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DADGAD guitar tuning is an alternative tuning for the six strings of a guitar. Unlike the standard EADGBE tuning, where each string is tuned to a specific pitch, DADGAD tuning involves changing the pitches of the strings to create a unique and distinctive sound. In DADGAD tuning, the strings are tuned as follows, from the lowest (thickest) string to the highest (thinnest) string:
- 6th string (lowest): D
- 5th string: A
- 4th string: D
- 3rd string: G
- 2nd string: A
- 1st string (highest): D
The name “DADGAD” comes from the open string notes that are created by this tuning. When you strum the guitar without pressing down any frets, the open strings produce a D5 chord (D-A-D) and a suspended fourth chord (G-A-D). This inherent harmonic quality lends DADGAD tuning its unique character and versatility.
DADGAD tuning is often associated with Celtic, folk, and acoustic music. It offers a rich and resonant sound, making it well-suited for creating atmospheric textures, modal melodies, and drone-like harmonies. Musicians who use DADGAD tuning appreciate its ability to evoke a sense of depth and complexity that may not be as easily achieved in standard tuning.
Guitarists who explore DADGAD tuning often find themselves experimenting with fingerpicking patterns, chord voicings, and melodic structures that capitalize on the open strings. This tuning encourages a unique approach to playing, as it offers fresh avenues for creativity and expression.
DADGAD tuning has been popularized by various guitarists, including Pierre Bensusan, Jimmy Page, and Davey Graham, who have demonstrated the versatility and beauty of this alternate tuning through their compositions and performances. Whether you’re a seasoned guitarist looking to expand your musical horizons or a beginner curious about exploring different sounds, DADGAD tuning is definitely worth trying out.
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