For Dulci-Bro Players in D-F#-A-d Tuning

Video 1

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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Demonstration Before Steve plays through this old-time fiddle tune on the dulci-bro, he explains why the words to the tune may vary - depending on where the person is from who is singing.
2. A Part Melody Steve shows how the melody for Part A is played by playing across the strings and staying down in the first two frets the entire time. Part A is to be played completely through twice.
3. A Part Chords Here Steve demonstrates the clipped, backbeat, chopped chord style as a backup for this tune. Notice how his chop chords are played on the off beat and the chord is muted by lifting the fretting fingers immediately after strumming, producing a nice percussive effect.
4. B Part Melody Techniques Slide playing makes a signature sound you will often hear played on resonator instruments such as the dobro, the electric steel guitar, and the dulci-bro. It is a technique that was introduced in Hawaii in the late 19th century, where guitar strings were played by sliding an object such as a comb or the back edge of a knife blade along the strings.  The technique was also made popular by African American blues artists.

In this video, Steve explains one way to hold the slide, and how to slide up the strings and stop at the melody note.
5. B Part Chords The B part has 4 chords - D, G, Bm, and A. All four strings are plucked, except when playing the B minor chord.
6. B Part Melody Now Steve shows that, when playing the melody for the B part, you will even pluck the bass string.
7. Put the Parts Together Part A is played through twice, but Part B is only played once. Steve suggested you might want to sing the words the first time through Part A, and play the instrument alone the second time through.
8. Whole Song: Chords & Melody Here Steve plays through the entire song twice, first using chords and singing the words, and then playing the melody alone. And you can have some additional fun with this tune by making up your own verses.
9. Strategies for Playing This is a good tune for strategizing how you're going to play. For example, Steve shows how to play the Part B melody in a linear fashion instead of across the strings. Your choice!


  • Linear

  • Cross-String

Music GlobeExtras

  • This tune is also known as Old Yeller Dog or Old Yeller Dog Come Trotting’ Through The Meeting House. It's an old-time fiddle tune with the same melody line as the well-known tune, The Old Grey Mare.The music first appeared in print as "Down in Alabam' " in 1858.

    This song was possibly written back in the Civil War Days, before there were screens on the windows or doors on the church. The inspiration for it may have come when an old yellow dog was seen walking through the church on a Sunday morning.

  • Listen to The Hogslop String Band performing "Old Yellow Dog" for square dancers at Music City Roots live from the Loveless Cafe.

  • Lyrics for Old Yellow Dog
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