Commonly, the resonator is played as a steel slide guitar, meaning the strings are set high above the neck and used in one’s lap. Not all are recommended for round neck resonator guitars because of the high string tension. You may want to consider one of the many replacement cones that are currently available, if the existing cone is damaged. The string spacing at the nut will depend on the width of the neck and the preference of the player. The ridge of the cone that contacts the underside of the biscuit must be flat. If the lip of the cone is deformed, it can be bent or smoothed out for better contact. Once you have trued the cone, biscuit seat, and biscuit, attach the biscuit to the cone using the small wood screw. Measure .225" from the center of the tension screw to get the spacing for the two middle strings. If you are not familiar with this kind of tuning jargon, relax, because there is one tuner that does it all for you. The 1920s spawned many other instruments which took on a resophonic mantle such as resonator mandolin, ukulele and even dulcimer . Check out StewMac's selection of pickups for resonator guitars. To adjust the spider, place a thin wooden shim (1/16" to 3/32") under the high leg (at the intersection of the leg and the outer ring), hold the center of the spider down, and tap the tip of the leg lightly with a small mallet. Still, round neck guitars have a great range of positions to play in. Plain strings will be closer than wound strings. There will be a difference in the sound of the tap where the cone is firmly seated compared to where there are gaps. This insures that the screw is using the original threads, and doesn't cross-thread the wood. A nut that is too tall will make the action stiff. How hard is it to learn resonator guitar? In 1932, two brothers gained control of both brands, merging them into the National Dobro Corporation. On slide guitars, the tops of the strings should all be the same height above the fretboard, so the bar will not hang up when moving across the strings. the more of an angle from the bridge to the tailpiece, the more stress on the cone. This Sweetener is useful in band settings where instruments with fixed intonation are present. There will be a difference in the sound of the tap where the cone is firmly seated compared to where there are gaps. The tension in the string sometimes pulls the tailpiece away from the cover plate. Typically, there are two main sound holes added to either region of the fingerboard extension. Blues players usually gravitated toward the national style guitars played most often with a bottleneck. The beginner may want to check out Gretsch, Republic, or Michael Messer brands for entry-level guitars. Spruce is a traditional wood used for acoustic guitar tops and is now gaining popularity with resonator guitar makers, although some are crafted from solid mahogany or maple wood. If the nut and saddle slots are too large, the strings will sustain poorly, and may even buzz or rattle in their slots. Tuning a resonator guitar for bluegrass is usually done by using the open G with the strings pitched to D G D G B D or G B D G B D. Still, occasionally, there are other tunings used such as the open D which is D A D F# A D. How to identify resonator guitar brands. Quarterman cones are best; cheap cones have a tinny sound. My point of reference would be GBDGBD or open-D. You can raise the action to a round-neck and play it with a slide, but you can’t lower the action. If the slots in the biscuit are too deep or wide, carefully remove the saddle from the biscuit and make a new saddle. Tuning to open G does exert pressure or tension on the strings, which is normal. If you play with your fingers, tune using your fingers, and if you regularly use a pick, tune with a guitar pick. The strings are not “fretted”, rather they are stopped with the use of a metal tone bar (Stevens Bar). Now you’re ready to start playing. Use a fresh set of strings when setting up the instrument. Much of the set-up of a National or biscuit-bridge guitar is the same as a Dobro-style spider-bridge instrument. You want to tune the initial note. You may want to consider one of the many replacement cones that are currently available, if the existing cone is damaged.