You can study and learn a song on a classical guitar in standard tuning that can help you with right hand technique with DADGAD fingerstyle Guitar. I will try and explain a bit... I have been taking a short break from my DADGAD fingerstyle guitar playing and working on the new Hymns for DADGAD guitar so try and get some new right hand techniques learned from Standard tuning. I will share just a short review of my journey with this and how it might help you also with your DADGAD fingerstyle playing. First of all why even bother with this approach and short change in your playing routine? For me, the primary reason I took a short break from DADGAD tuning to learn a standard tuning song was I really was getting a bit burned out and just need a spark of creativity and a break from daily DADGAD work. It is interesting because I have a really nice Collings OM1A deep body guitar that is only for DADGAD which I am so thankful for. The cost was something like $4800 new or something like that. Well, interestingly I am taking a break from that beautiful guitar and playing a $99 classical guitar that I purchased 35 years ago. It is just a really nice break , and new sound, a new source of creative flow to even use a very inexpensive different guitar! What I did was get on You Tube and found a wonderful video showing how to play an Earl Klugh song called Love Theme From Spartacus words and music by Alex Norte and transcription by Francois Leduc. Francois has done a wonderful job of transcribing Earl's song note by note such a find on You Tube, I cant tell you how great this is. The intent is for you to play this song as one person with one guitar which uses the Chet Atkins approach. I am not there in my playing ability yet to do this, so I am learning how to play the lead and then the rhythm as two separate takes and then putting them together with ProTools. Still many lessons are being learned by even doing this! What I have learned from this exercise is that you can learn a-lot about the Fingerstyle guitar approach by looking at how another guitarist approaches the song even with a classical guitar and even in standard tuning. Earl's playing is beyond great. He uses slides, slurs and hammer on and offs with such elegance and ease. This alone is a great way to learn some right and left hand techniques. Earl also does play both parts at the same time in the time honored Chet Atkins guitar approach. He is very good and playing the melody louder or accented which takes some practice. This also is a great technique to transfer over [...]
DADGAD guitar cross string technique is a very deep subject and one could easily write an entire book on just this one element of fingerstyle guitar. Before I dive in with a few details on DADGAD cross string technique I want to say that without this technique I don't think I would have ever moved from standard guitar tuning to DADGAD. Cross string technique is so foundational to the DADGAD tuning that it would be hard to have one without the other. Ok that is fine, but what exactly is cross string fingerstyle guitar with DADGAD? Let's take a slur pulloff for example in DADGAD. I have my guitar tuned to DADGAD and have a capo on fret number 2 right now. You don't have to do this, but I like playing a lot with second fret capo because it is a bit easier on my left and right hand after playing for awhile. Anyway cross stringing lends well to arpeggios.Basically the way I look at cross string DADGAD technique is playing either a chord note by note or even a scale note by note but not staying on the current string but borrowing the next consecutive note in the arpeggio from a neighboring string. Kind of magical really and I think the primary benefit of cross string technique with DADGAD is simply that you can play a nice arpeggio and let each individual note ring out from each string and thus create a delicate and very interesting ringing tonal sound that for me is very addictive actually. Below here now are two very quick videos I just created that show the right hand and left hand technique for a very simple DADGAD arpeggio using cross string with just one note change. https://youtu.be/zLMsA_KJgRw The cross string left hand example above here shows in DADGAD the F# note on first string 4th fret and then and same time A note on 4th string on 7th fret play at same time followed then by second set of D note on second string 5th fret then next the C# note third string 6th fret and then repeat that whole thing again but this time just take your finger off that first string F#note and play open first string which is an E note since we have capo set to 2nd fret all tuned to DADGAD. this kind of provides a very simple cross string example of a note change in a simple arpeggio. https://youtu.be/g2Pissmtp1A So again just above here is a short video I created showing what is happening above but this time with the right hand. This has been a very simple and perhaps too short of a blog on cross string DADGAD guitar technique. I will try and show more examples too. I have to say that DADGAD along with cross string has forever changed my [...]
The title of this blog is a bit strange, but hang in there with me and I think you will be glad you stayed with this. I have learned recently to let my guitars just be an expert at what they are, and not to try and make them into something they are not. All my guitars are tuned to DADGAD pretty much all the time, and in fact my Collings OM1A Deep Body has never been out of DADGAD from day one! I have been trying different guitar string brands on the Collings for some time now but am back to just simple DAddario Phospher Bronze light EJ16 strings. The OM1A does one thing really well, it plays with authoritative, clarity and has great ringing tone with excellent sustain. I tried some other strings to kind of tame the sound a bit , but the OM1A does not want to be tamed! It has an authoritative clear tone and will always have that. I have learned to more then accept this, I have learned to really enjoy this unique voice that it has. The guitar does reward good clean playing in DADGAD and is a joy to play. But there is more to this. I have found from practice recording that the OM1A really comes alive when I use a more authoritative right hand with DADGAD and kind of pick with more intension and dynamics. I have this one recording where I played with more power like this and it is by far the best the OM1A has ever sounded, not even a close second. So there is kind of a marriage between letting the Om1A have it's unique and strong voice but also letting the guitar reward the player with DADGAD tuning right hand picking technique to bring out that unique voice and certainly not try to hide it! So in summary I have recently found that letting my guitars have their own unique voice and then playing , particularly with right hand technique so as to bring out that unique voice is a very rewarding experience.
Grace notes can be thought of as a great tool to have in your DADGAD guitar tool belt. This is true for both composition as well as just daily playing in DADGAD. Grace notes are part of a category in fingerstyle guitar called ornamentation. Basically I like to look at ornamentation as putting ornaments on a Christmas tree. You can certainly just keep your Christmas tree bland without adding anything to it and it would be fine. But adding ornaments to the tree really makes it come alive with beauty and interest. I see guitar ornamentation in the same way. You can play a song without ornamentation in DADGAD and it will be fine and even move audience. But adding ornamentation can add both beauty and interest just like our Christmas tree example. Basically a grace note is a very quick hammer on note that happens so fast you might miss it other then the fact the ear and mind are so fast they do in fact pick it up! Kind of magical how it works I think. As noted in this website I am currently writing a new song book for DADGAD Guitar Hymns with arrangements I have created over the past years. So here is an example of a grace note in my Amazing Grace arrangement. You can see that the note is very small and proceeds the primary note. It is good to kind of practice grace notes in your playing by for example playing an E note on the first DADGAD D string and then a very very fast hammer on to the F note on same string. With practice you can kind of hit the grace note very nicely as a very fast and passing note and it will add really a lot of nice interest to your song. It is important to play that grace note as kind of a 32nd note really fast and then land on the primary note and let it ring as a normal quarter or whatever note it is. I will try and add some sound examples soon of this. I think you will have fun with grace notes and they will add a lot to your song!