I want to play DADGAD

I want to play DADGAD

What I want to know is which chords are best to start of with as i know there are various different voices of chords when i look at the chord charts its all very overwhelming. I want to know where abouts i should start any help would be greatly appreciated

Re: I want to play DADGAD

Why? standard is so much better 🙂 seriously though;DGA, EmGD , CGD, AmG ,AG,DC , Bm D A , DmC Am all inversions should cover you for 9 out of 10 tunes and sessions

Re: I want to play DADGAD

dadgad, is very good for chords that avoid the third note, so you might have D which consists of dadacd. a d modal 7
draw out a fingerboard diagram for dadgad, you can double dd or aa, first or fifth in a d chord, or triple the d or a

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Re: I want to play DADGAD

The inversions are a big part of what makes DADGAD fun to play, but one thing that can simplify matters is a transitive chord. On the fifth fret it’s 054505 (major) and 053505 (minor). You can slide it all over the neck and it’s useful everywhere. When I played DADGAD, I used it for my Em and Bm exclusively and for all other chords intermittently. Here’s a few others I find handy.

3 big D5 chords: 002000, 002050, 007750
C: 030230
2 G options: 000020, 550055
2 A options: 000200, 007900 (second one functions as major or minor)

I hope this didn’t serve to overwhelm more! The notation, by the way, just corresponds to the fret (so 000020 is all open, but second fret on low A string).

And Will… the post is titled "I want to play DADGAD". ;)

Re: I want to play DADGAD

I would suggest moving away from thinking about chords altogether with dadgad! Also if you are new to dadgad don’t be afraid to use lots and lots of capo changes.Learn the modes of the tunes you want to play with and the shapes on the fingerboard and concentrate on the open chord structures ie play with capo on root note.after you are comfertable with this learn to play tunes in Em /G with no capo the work your way onto A and so on ie add a new chord structure slowly and dont be afraid to resort to the capo! yes standard tuning can also be played to sound ‘open’ and I know some dadgad players who can play chromatic music without a capo!I went down the dadgad road some 20 years ago mainly to back songs and because as a fiddle player I liked the feel of dadgad. I think it would be a little silly to say it is better than standard tuning or vice versa,they both have draw backs it all depends on how you best feel you can express yourself with the music you want to play.I had the pleasure of playing with a very tasteful guitarist a few weeks back who had replaced the G string with a D !I did a gig with the man and at no point noticed any limitation in his fine playing.experiment but mainly have fun!But again Just to get the point across START WITH A CAPO!!!!!!!

Re: I want to play DADGAD

@Zazzaliss
………3 big D5 chords: 002000, 002050, 007750

Only the last one of these chords is a D5. There are plenty of decent D5 available in standard XX0235 or x5023x or my favourite, played with your index finger on the 7th fret like this 10 x 0 7 10 x

C: 030230 is not C. It could be a a C6sus2 or a muddy inversion of a D7 with no third, but it is not just C. This is the C you may have meant C:X3203X (one finger away from the more open sounding 032010 or 332010 in standard tuning ) or maybe Cadd9:X32030 (Again, more open in standard in the same position 032030).

If you wanted a C without thirds in standard tuning, just mute the thirds or turn the thirds (e notes) into fifths (g notes), like this x3x013, or this for a more beefy sound (thumb over the neck on the 8th fret) 8 10 10 0 8 x or this for less beef (thumb over the neck again, fretting at the 8th fret and muting the a string) 8 x 10 0 8 x.

Zazzaliss, you also provided 2 G options: 000020, 550055

This chord 000020 is a D5 on the three lower strings and a G major triad on the top three.
At a stretch this *could* be seen as an inversion of Gadd9 but if you’re using this behind a tune in G then this is a chord that a stroke victim could provide by hitting the open strings of a guitar tuned to double dropped d (dadgbd). These are the same notes. Never heard this chord used in a useful way behind a tune by anyone who knows what they are doing.

The second G you mention 550055 is a G5, no different from this in standard 3x0033, or this with the thumb over the neck 3 5 0 0 3 3

A really nice light sounding option in standard is this, again fretting with the thumb over the neck at the third fret.

G5: 3 x 5 0 3 x, add the middle finger for a major third G: 3 x 5 4 3 x, or add a pinky for a G sus 4 which is lovely in G major to imply a C chord like this G: 3 x 5 5 3 x



The A options you mentioned (A options: 000200, 007900), the first one is actually a D5 and the second could be either a D5sus2 or an inversion of A5sus4. This second chord actually sounds better again in standard to my ear as this with the thumb over the neck like this 507750 or just x07750 or for a straight A5 then this x 0 7 9 10 0

You also mention "a transitive chord. On the fifth fret it’s 054505 (major) and 053505 (minor)."

This chord in dadgad 054505 is a D7. Lowering the third 053505 makes it a Dm7. No mystery. Just another couple of chords, all of which are available in standard tuning.

Dadgad might turn up a few "surprise" chords for people who don’t know how to play properly in standard tuning or don’t know how to construct or name a chord.

If you play in dadgad in an uniformed way just to leave out thirds and to play "modal chords" you’re likely to be muddling and that is what the playing of dadgad capo sliders often sounds like. Utter uninformed garbage.

The principle of building a chord is combining notes to make a chord. You can apply this to any instrument in any tuning once you know where the notes are and it’s best learned in standard tuning first.

OP, if you find chord charts overwhelming it’s likely you don’t understand how chords are constructed. You’ll be limited in what you can do if you don’t learn this, regardless of the tuning.

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Re: I want to play DADGAD

Zazzalis, I read your chord diagrams the wrong way round. I do them low to high, left to right. Yours are the opposite. Apologies!

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Re: I want to play DADGAD

yes, but there are not so many options in standard to do it and the sound is different because you are not employing ringing strings but closed strings, for example in dadgad it is not only much easier,to play certain inversions of a d modal dyad than it is in standard.
for example please show me how you do an inversion of a d dyad like this using 4 open strings, d a d d d d, in standard, it is very difficult even impossible. I rest my case.

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Re: I want to play DADGAD

For what it’s worth, I’ve played with people who thought I was using DADGAD, when in fact, I just used other voicings/runs/progressions than other guitarists do. By the way, I rarely strum all strings in DADGAD (depending on what sound I’m after).

Re: I want to play DADGAD

Hi Barry,
I’m gonna post a few vids (soon) showing some basic DADGAD chords, including some advanced chords (at least that’s my opinion). I’ll drop you a msg when they’re up on youtube.

Here’s a vid I made a few days ago. I had originally just only recorded the chords, but added the additional guitars so that my friends could understand what tune I had in my mind. I know the playing is not great and out of time, but you should get an idea of how DADGAD can be used creatively for backing tunes. There are some really nice chords out there that sound great but don’t require difficult fingering.
All the best,
Dom
http://youtu.be/dKKXAVMtobE

Re: I want to play DADGAD

John Townsend : "yes, but there are not so many options in standard to do it and the sound is different because you are not employing ringing strings but closed strings, for example in dadgad it is not only much easier,to play certain inversions of a d modal dyad than it is in standard. "

Ah, but that’s why many of us play in Drop-D as an alternative. 🙂

It’s not all open strings, but that gives you D,A,D,A,D with a standard D chord and muting the top E string. When I back this music on guitar, I like Drop-D because it avoids the capo dance when tonal centers change in a set (or in the middle of a tune!). If there is a tune in an unusual key like G dorian, I don’t have to think, or transpose, or throw on a capo. I know where the chords in that mode are in standard tuning, and I just make a small adjustment for the bottom D string.

There are many interesting dyads available in Drop-D when I want to stay ambiguous. And not every tune needs that anyway. Some DADGAD players sound too consistently ambiguous to my ears; almost like rhythmic noodling, instead of actually backing a tune (not the best players, of course). It isn’t always a crime to throw in a major or minor third to make a more definitive chordal statement, when the tune is actually shifting in that direction.

That said, I know the OP is interested in DADGAD and hope this isn’t derailing the thread. To be honest, one reason I haven’t made a study of DADGAD is that my main instruments are mandolin and flute for melody, and I only back this music on guitar as a side project. If I was only a guitar player, and only played Irish music, I might have gone into a study of DADGAD at some point.

Re: I want to play DADGAD

"No, you can’t play with it. You won’t enjoy it on as many levels as I do" - Professor Frink

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Re: I want to play DADGAD

@John Townsend

"……for example please show me how you do an inversion of a d dyad like this using 4 open strings, d a d d d d, in standard, it is very difficult even impossible. I rest my case."

John, there is only one string tuned to d in standard tuning. It would be apparent to anyone with a functional knowledge of the alphabet, never mind the guitar, that playing d a d d d d with four open strings would present difficulty in standard tuning. Rest your case all you want and while you’re at it try the equally ridiculous task of playing a capo free E major chord in dadgad with even just one open string. Here’s an aforementioned D5 chord in standard that should be more than droney enough for fans of that sort of thing 10 x 0 7 10 x

How many d notes does a dyad need? Have you considered buying a harp or a 12 string guitar and tuning every string to d?

What to do when you want a G equivalent of this d a d d d d open string dronefest in dadgad? Oh yeah! Slide the capo up to the fifth fret and play g d g g g g. This is complete reductionist nonsense!

For someone starting out with some holes in their knowledge, sending them on this path is the equivalent to telling an able bodied athlete to aim for the paralympics.

Also, if a tune is in d major, there is no reason to consistently exclude the thirds in a d chord. To say otherwise is bullsh!t. Endlessly playing chords without thirds serves to drain the colour out of very obviously major or minor tunes.

If you don’t understand how chords are constructed or inter-relate in standard tuning, you’re pretty unlikely to gain a decent understanding of this by playing in dadgad and moving a capo around the neck.

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Re: I want to play DADGAD

Sorry, the need to constantly use a capo to change key or mode seems to be a major flaw/fault/limitation of the DADGAD tuning. I prefer dropped D myself, it’s more flexible.
Or try double dropped D if you want a droney washy sound.
As previously stated I’m not big about ambiguity if a set of chords are all major!

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Re: I want to play DADGAD

Not a flaw of the tuning, but of many players. The worst thing I’ve experienced so far was when a guy accompanied the Jig of slurs on a DADGAD guitar, using chord progressions which he thought worked (well, they did, so-so), but since we played it in G, he started with his capo on the fifth fret and when it was time for part 3 and 4, I gave him the key and too my surprise he moved the capo up to C position (10th fret!) and kept strumming his D, G and A shapes… (Original thread: https://thesession.org/discussions/33279#comment710822 )

Re: I want to play DADGAD

all tunings have limitations, I rarely use dadgad, because I use the guitar for song accompaniment more than for tunes.
However I can see the advantages and disadvantages of DADGAD.
Pierre Bensusan has taken DADGAD and studied it in great depth and is a very accomplished player he also has a tutor which the OP might find useful, his tutor might be a good starting point.

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Re: I want to play DADGAD

Pierre Bensusan talks specifically about the approach to the instrument being the same regardless of tuning, i.e., mastering the fretboard and understanding chords and the scales they are derived from. He also talks about learning to make dadgad discreet and playing music rather than playing a tuning. You can see an interview and tutorial here but a lot of the stuff of relevance to the discussion here that I’ve mentioned is between is 4 and 6 mins in the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PpMg2IypX8


Pierre Bensusan didn’t start from scratch in dadgad, he applied his pre-existing musical knowledge to a tuning with a specific goal in mind.

There’s few enough people that dedicate the time to playing to his level using solely dadgad. In most cases it’s a very specific result that people are aiming for with this tuning, i.e., people such as Tony MacManus, Randal Bays, Jean Banworth. For each one of these great musicians there are thousands of clueless capo sliding plodders tuned to dadgad for lucky dip "modal chords" that they often reckon they have invented!

The standard of the guitar in trad is not well served by people with close to zero understanding of what they are doing on the instrument to begin with deciding to retune the guitar to play muddy chords they can’t name behind tunes they can’t usually be bothered to learn. This is often the case with people who treat the guitar as a lazy half-arsed sideshow to another instrument as if the guitar isn’t worthy of proper attention in its own right. As a result, you end up with an awful lot of alternative tuning gibberish and mystery chords being "discovered". Most people who use dadgad competently to back tunes are playing very conventional chords for the most part.

Why pick an alternative tuning to ground yourself in the absolute basics of chord construction and music theory? If chord charts are overwhelming then absolutely basic knowledge is lacking. Standard tuning is far better for learning the basics. When you know how chords are formed and named you can then apply what you know in standard tuning to different tunings and you’ll understand what you gain (…and lose) by using another tuning.

Jumping into dadgad without knowing the basics will be a walk in the dark, like playing Scrabble to learn English.

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Re: I want to play DADGAD

good post, T.

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Re: I want to play DADGAD

good post, T.

Re: I want to play DADGAD

If you want to play DADGAD go for it. It’s all part of the learning curve. Don’t be put off. It’s all a walk in the dark at first.
But do also use standard tuning and learn to read music - not easy if you change tunings to often.
Banjo tuning is also good (DGBD top strings) - you can then read banjo tab and there is masses of it out there.

Re: I want to play DADGAD

If you want to understand what you are playing, it’s easier to find some good books (or teacher) for standard tuning than for DADGAD… So my advice is : work in standard first, then find a second guitar and try DADGAD.

Jean Banwarth

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