Posted on September 9, 2020April 12, 2023 by Dale Phillips The Bluegrass Dobro The Bluegrass Dobro America’s Second Native Instrument by Bobby Wolfe Originally published in American Lutherie #5, 1986 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume One, 2000 There is a little ditty known as “The Duck Principle.” It says: If it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck. Well, since the Dobro only looks like a guitar, and even in this respect with significant differences, and doesn’t qualify in the other ways, I say it’s not a duck. Seriously, in my opinion, the mechanically amplified instrument known as the Dobro does qualify as America’s second native instrument. This article is designed to acquaint you with the Dobro and to provide information on common repair and setup needs of the instrument. Today, in addition to the members of The Original Family building the original instrument, there are many individuals building their versions. Most of these people have their own ideas and opinions about what works best. Therefore, I am not presenting my ideas, experiences, and working practices as the “last word.” First, let’s define Dobro. It is a registered brand name that is now also used generically to describe most resonator-type guitars. The name comes from the Dopera (Dopyera) brothers. There are five Dopera brothers. There are five letters in Dobro. The word dobro means “good” in their native Slavic language. Take your pick! Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.