Category Archives: DADGAD

DADGAD BLUES arrangements

Lastest updates of my DADGAD Blues and other arrangements are:

Four fingerstyle blues that are simple and musical.  There are a few twists that might be challenging for some players.

 An old folk song called Gypsy Rover with a simple bass part.

 Amazing Grace with a bluesy feel, a bit of new life breathed into it.

A 3 octave D blues scale, more of a rock style fingering.

 And also an Eastern sounding scale.

 Go to www.the-guitarplayer.com/ they are free tab and music notation in DADGAD downloadable in pdf format

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Filed under acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, DADGAD, MUSIC

DADGAD guitar arrangements

I have written a couple of very playable DADGAD arrangements that are posted at www.the-guitarplayer.com/ These are free, extremely musical and will be really useful if you are swapping over to playing in DADGAD open tuning on acoustic guitar.  Although they are fingerstyle arrangements for both classical and steel string guitar there would be no lproblem in using a plectrum / pick or a combination of fingers and picks.  These tunes could easily be extended and modified  into songs that you’d play in an acoustic guitar repertoire.  Enjoy them, they are in acrobat reader format pdf, I have found that pdf prints much better than saving guitar tab and notation in an image format.

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DADGAD Blues for Acoustic Guitar

I wrote a simple downloadable blues in DADGAD tuning.  I uploaded it to my other blog because I have a bit more storage space.  It’s in TAB and music notation and is as free as it gets.  

Go to www.the-guitarplayer.com

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Filed under acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, DADGAD

dadgad blues scale

DADGAD Blues Scale

I’ve had a couple of requests from people wanting to know how to play a Blues scale in D. I purchased some new software today, (that’s right, a guitarist who purchases guitar software).

I’ve decided to change the fingering a little to help players get out of the normal patterns and allow a few open strings to ring out.  Put it this way, if you want to do normal fingering, just stay in normal tuning; open tuning is about expanding as a guitar player.  

Below is a gif image, if you want a better print copy, Download the PDF at the link  dadgad blues scale for acoustic guitar in pdf

 dadgad blues scale

This is a Minor Blues scale (note the Flat 3 note, the F natural) , it also has a flattened 5th note which gives it that BLUE sound as well, yes it clashes sometimes with other notes, it’s about tension ……………..and………….release.

 Use it against a standard blues pattern in D.  As you may know the foundation chords would be D, G and A or A7th.

I thought very carefully about the fingering, I was going to write in the fingering but I thought, why not offer a challenge.  My first fretted note would be with my 1st finger on the 3rd fret.

Good luck…plenty to follow on this topic.

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Filed under acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, DADGAD

Open tuning guitar – beginning

The first thing we notice when we start playing open tunings after playing in standard tuning is that the guitar suddenly relaxes.  It’s a bit like wearing a suit and tie and then suddenly being barefoot on the beach wearing shorts.

I was ready to post an article on something else today but I received a question from a blogger called MulledVine, it got me thinking.  He was wanting to find some online resources e.g. good basic arrangements of DADGAD songs.  OK, on the spot I couldn’t answer that because I write my own arrangements if I want to play a song.  But I’ll see what I can find in the near future.  But the question had a number of things that prompted me to write this article.

 I had a great teacher (and many others)  Ike Isaacs (Stephane Grapelli Quartet), I’d been playing 20 years when I met him and what he said was ‘you only need to learn about three songs (contrary to popular opinion)’.  What he also said was you need to learn them inside out, play them in every key,  play them with lots of chord substitutions and improvise over them.  If you do all this to three good songs that have great chord changes, by the end of it you’ll be a great player.

Getting back to DADGAD.  If you play an open chord in DADGAD it will give you a chord that I would call a Dsus4(no3rd). 
This chord is neither minor or major because it doesn’t have a 3rd; a 3rd being the defining factor of whether it is min or maj.  It has the first, a D note, a 5th an A note and the 4th note of the D scale G ( D, E, F sharp, G,  1234). 

 A lot of people would like the 3rd ( an F sharp)  to make a standard D chord, me I don’t mind, it’s implied in some way, the ear fills in the gaps.  One of the beauties of DADGAD is that it doesn’t sound like normal tuning.  But if you want a D sounding chord without the frills, the added G note, all you need to do is add a finger at the second fret on your 3rd string and it will give you another A note, so what you have now is a stack of D’s and A’s.  This is very useable regardless of all the repeated notes.

dadgad.gif

Lots of songs have 3 chords, so for this post I’ll add a couple of other chords.  To play a  G (type of) chord is very simple, just add three fretted notes, one to the 3rd string on the 4th fret, one to the 6th string on the 5th fret, and also a note at the 5th fret of the 2nd string.  The notes you would have then would be G A (avoid this low A when you strum) D B D D.  This is a G chord. In some tunes,  leaving the 2nd string open and adding that high A is quite sweet and useable.

DADGAD G chord how to

The next chord we add will be an A chord.  All you need to do is slide the fingers up two frets. 
You’ll have A A D C sharp E D. You can use the added high D note depending on the tune. 

DADGAD Chord A

Now, above we have three foundation chords in the key of D, with 3 chords we can play a lot of simple tunes.

Many classical players have a glorious guitar technique, but sometimes ( not always) they haven’t developed an ear because when they studied guitar they learnt to rely on dots, dots are a bit like training wheels, there’s a time to get rid of them.  The remedy that I find is useful for fixing this is to sit with a guitar, hum a few notes and then play them.  Then gradually get to the point where you can hum a whole melody and then play it.  Whenever I work with a singer I always learn to play a complete arrangement of a song that includes the melody and the chords together.  If the singer falls off the stage or falls in love with someone in the audience and runs off, I can keep playing.

 If you are interested in DADGAD.  I highly recommend two things, artilcles from acoustic guitar magazine Oct 2007 edition and also the April 1997 edition if you can get your hands on it.  Also the Mel Bay Complete Celtic Fingerstyle Guitar Book By Stefan Grossman, Duck Baker and El McMeen has some good arrangements. update I have checked the book this evening and I have noticed there are only three tunes in there that are DADGAD, but there are numerous arrangements by El McMeen in CGDGAD, these tunes are beautiful to play. There is a simple arrangement at http://www.guitarnoise.com/article.php?id=548.  which is worth a look and could easily be developed into something much larger.

 In a nutshell, what I’m implying in this article is:

  • Develop an ear for melody and the ability to play what you here
  • Learn some basic chords in DADGAD
  • DADGAD is different to normal tuning and chords are implied not necessarily played

The idea of playing in DADGAD is to broaden your musical possibilities.  Take a simple 3 chord song that you know and try and put it into the key of D.

To be continued…

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Filed under acoustic, Acoustic Guitar, acousticguitar, DADGAD