DADGAD fingerstyle guitar – hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides

In DADGAD fingerstyle guitar there are ways of playing that can add a tremendous amount of contrast and interest to your songs.  This blog entry will discuss three of those techniques which include hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides. There are other techniques that I will deal with in a later blog entry. All of these techniques really come alive when playing DADGAD guitar because of the interest they provide along with the celtic feel of each string.


I like to think of hammer-ons and pull-offs as kind of opposites. It playing a hammer-on note in DADGAD or really in any tuning you can start with an open string like the high D or first string and then you can pluck that open string and quickly play another note like for example the E note   on the first string and second fret, and sort of hammer-on to that note while not really plucking that D string again. So what you have is a plucked first D string followed immediately with pressing down on the E note first string second fret. The tricky thing is to learn to kind of hammer your finger down on the string stopping the open D note from playing by playing that E note right away.  Hammer-ons can really add a lot to your playing style in DADGAD. I will be creating a video on hammer-ons for DADGAD guitar soon.

The next technique that can help your playing in DADGAD tuning is the pull off. The pull off as noted earlier is kind of opposite of the hammer-on. Let’s say you have played the E note on that first D string second fret in your DADGAD tuning without plucking the string with your right hand at all you can just pull off that E note ending in an open D note. Again I will be creating a video on this, but a super great technique for DADGAD because your landing strings often are modal D open strings.

Keep in mind that hammer-ons and pull-offs can also start and end with other non-open notes in DADGAD. I will write on that later.

The final technique that can add to your guitar playing is the slide up or slide down.  If you are playing that E note on the first string in DADGAD second fret you can slide that finger up to the F note on first string third fret again without plucking that string at all. You can also slide back down.

This is just an into to DADGAD fingerstyle guitar and I will be creating videos later to help show this in more detail.  These techniques really can add a lot to your playing.