Donation Driven Dobro Instruction

Open Position Major Scales

The Major Scale is the foundation for most melodies in bluegrass and country music. Every musician should know how to play major scales on their instrument! It is also important to hear the "root" of each scale. The "root" is the first note of the scale and the note the scale is named after. So, in the key of G, we use the G major scale, and the G note is our root. I've written each of these scales starting and ending on a root.

These 3 scales (G, D, and C major) are the most common scales played on dobro in the "open position". The open position means that we are using open strings for part of our scale. The open position is great for bluegrass, because it enables us to use hammer-ons and pull-offs, and allows us to play faster in general. Many bluegrass tunes are in the key of G, so the G major scale is absolutely essential. Many bluegrass players will use a capo on the 2nd fret for the key of "A" too, which allows them to play the A major scale in the "open position".

The D major scale is the second open position scale you should learn, and comes in handy. Fiddles love the key of D, so it's pretty common. The C major scale in the open position is useful, but not essential. I include it here for those who want to try it out!

Open Position Major Scales Tablature
Open Position Major Scales TAB - Portrait

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