DADGAD Guitar Cross String Technique

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.

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.

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 approach to the guitar.