Resonator instruments use one or three aluminum cones in place of a soundhole to amplify the sound acoustically. Dobro geniuses such as Jerry Douglas of , Mike Auldridge or the late Bob Brozman and his metal bodied Nationals have recorded the range of tone and sounds with these instruments.Many music critics have acclaimed Douglas for developing a signature lyrical quality to his playing.He appeared on stages across America and in films in 1932 and posthumously in 1951.Lap steel guitars became popular with Country and Western music during the Depression era. Musicians play lap steel guitars with the strings facing upwards.With the strings raised, you hold a steel bar in one hand to stop the strings, forming notes and chords. The picking hand may use the thumb and fingerpicks for increased volume and a brighter, more articulate attack.While you can play a regular guitar lap style, lap steel instruments are a single slab if electric or if acoustic.They also have a squared neck in the form of a hollow block for resonance and strength to hold tuning.
Lap steel guitars are perfect for ethnic music that operate on scales other than the 12 tone Western scale.
It even plaintively complements the angelic vocals of Alison Krauss.
The Nationals tend to have a faster decay but a cutting tone.
Although when you amplify your notes, your bare fingers can offer greater nuance, like Ben Harper prefers.
The microtonal sliding between notes is similar to that in bottleneck slide guitar.