Fender’s Dobro: A brief history of the instrument and what made it so popular.
The resonator guitar, or “dobro,” as it was commonly known in the 1930s, is one of the most unique instruments in musical history. It had a metal body and cone, which amplified the sound without the need for electricity. Its distinct look and sound has made it one of the most iconic guitars ever built.
Invented by John Dopyera, the guitar was named after his company: Dopyera Brothers (Dobro). The first resonator guitars were designed to have three cones instead of one. The original design included three metal cones made from spun aluminum that were 6” wide and 11/16” thick. Each cone would have its own bridge which would connect to a single tailpiece with eight screws that held it all together. These first resonator guitars had a distinctively bright sound compared to the wooden bodied acoustic guitars of the time.
The first dobros were made by National, a company founded by Dopyera in 1926. The company was later renamed National-Dobro Corporation when they merged with another company called Dobro Manufacturing Company (the name coming from “
In 1977, the Dobro Corporation sent a letter to the Fender Musical Instrument Company with the intent to transfer all rights, title, and interests of its Dobro guitar trademark. The Dobro guitar is most commonly recognized as a square-necked resonator guitar with a single cone resonator built into the body. Resonators were originally developed in the 1920s by John Dopyera, who sought to improve upon the sound quality of acoustic guitar. Dopyera’s creation was patented in 1927 and renamed the National String Instrument Corporation. Later on, National was purchased and became the National Dobro Corporation. In 1985, the Fender company obtained the Dobro trademark and transferred it over to its subsidiary brand, Guild Guitars.
Dobro guitars are characterized by their high-quality sound and distinctive design. This includes a resonator that is mounted directly onto the body of the instrument. In this way, it is different from other types of resophonic guitars that feature an external resonator cone mounted on a bridge attached to the top of the guitar body’s surface.
In addition to its unique sound quality, other features of these guitars include their square necks that are generally made from wood or aluminum. A common feature in steel guitars is also
The Dobro is a brand of resonator guitar that is also the generic name of any wood-bodied, single cone resonator guitar. The word “Dobro” is, in essence, a trademark of the Gibson Guitar Corporation. Its origin and inventor are unknown. The first Dobro was first made by John Dopyera who, along with his brother Rudy, formed the National String Instrument Company in 1927 to manufacture resonator guitars in Los Angeles. Within a year they were joined by their older brothers Emil and Joe, and together they became the Dopyera Brothers.
As with many innovations in music technology it can be difficult to sort out exactly who invented what. The Dopyeras claimed to have invented the resonator guitar and sell it under their own brand name: “Dobro” which is short for “Dopyera Brothers.” Several other companies began selling resonator guitars at about the same time, but Dobros became so identified with the concept that all others were generically referred to as “dobros.” In 1932, however, when financial stress forced them to leave National, John and Rudy Dopyera went on to form Dobro Manufacturing Company in Chicago with just one worker: Emil
From the first few notes played by this instrument, it is easy to understand why it is so popular. It has a unique sound that is somewhat mellow and very percussive. It is also very easy to play with its flat top and low action.
The dobro guitar has a long history of use in American music. From bluegrass to blues, country to jazz, rockabilly to rock n’ roll and even in Hawaiian music, the dobro has been used for decades in a wide variety of styles and genres.
The dobro guitar was developed by John Dopyera in the early 1930s as an attempt to improve on the banjo sound. By using metal “resonator” cones attached to the top of the body, Dopyera was able to create an instrument that produced a much louder sound than other acoustic guitars. The loud tone also had more sustain and sustain than non-resonator guitars.
Dobro guitars were originally built under the name National Guitar Company but were later renamed Dobro after John Dopyera’s last name. After their release on the market, Dobro guitars quickly became popular with acoustic blues players such as Blind Willie McTell, who used them on his recordings in
The Fender Corporation has been one of the most popular musical instrument manufacturers in the world since its inception in 1946. The company’s stringed instruments, particularly its guitars and basses, have been a major part of this success.
The company’s first instrument was a Hawaiian steel guitar, often referred to as a lap steel guitar. A lap steel guitar is played in a horizontal position on the musician’s lap or raised on a stand. The player moves a metal bar across the strings to create the desired sounds.
The Dobro is another type of steel guitar that has gained popularity over the years. Dobro is the brand name for resonator guitars that were originally built by Dopyera Brothers Manufacturing Company starting in 1927. Resonator guitars are made with a metal resonator disc mounted under the strings at the base of the sound box to magnify and improve the sound quality of their instruments.
In 1928, John and Emil Dopyera left their company to form National Stringed Instrument Company, which they sold to Valco in 1953. In 1967, Valco was acquired by Fender Corporation, which began producing resonator guitars under their own name.
The first major manufacturer of resonator guitars was the National String Instrument Corporation. It was founded in 1927 by John Dopyera, who immigrated from Slovakia to California and worked with his brothers at a machine shop in Los Angeles. They made metal cones for banjos and other instruments, which led to their first attempt at building a resonator guitar. Their first model was called the Tricone for its three metal resonator cones. The sound of the instrument resembled that of the banjo more than that of the acoustic guitar, but it was much louder.
In 1928, Dopyera formed a new company, Dobro Manufacturing Company, with his brother Rudy and several investors. The Dobro name came from an abbreviation of DOpyera BROthers (Dopyera also owned Dobro Aluminum Products Co.). Although they had manufactured resonator guitars before, they now concentrated on these instruments exclusively. Their first successful model was a single-cone wooden resonator guitar, which had a light body and an arched back similar to that of many non-resonator archtop guitars.
In 1929-30, National introduced its single-cone wooden Tricone and wooden “biscuit” cone models as well as its three-cone metal Tricone model; Dob
When you see a slide guitar, there’s a good chance it’s a Dobro. A brand that has been around for over 80 years, the Dobro is one of the most recognizable instruments in the world.
The term “Dobro” has become synonymous with the word “resonator”, but what exactly is a resonator guitar? To put it simply, they are an acoustic guitar that uses a metal cone in place of a traditional soundboard to increase volume. Unlike other acoustic guitars, resonators produce a distinctive twangy sound that is often associated with blues and country music.
When John Dopyera immigrated to America from Slovakia, he had no idea he would pioneer one of the most iconic musical instruments of all time. After receiving his first guitar as a gift from his sister in 1915, Dopyera began tinkering with its design. By 1920, he had developed several variations on the instrument that would eventually become known as the Dobro.
In 1934, Dopyera founded Dobro Manufacturing Company and began mass producing his new invention under the name “Dobro” which means “good” in his native Slovak language. The company quickly became