Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #8295  by fatcat
 Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:21 pm
can anyone help me out with some ideas on writing/playing in a DADGAD tuning? i know it was used alot in folk and you can do a lot of cool fingerpicking/melodic riffs in it.


 #8297  by wisedyes
 Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:27 pm
Well, while I'm certainly no expert at it, there is a wealth of available instructional information on it. You may want to check out; I know that there is an excellent dvd on there by Laurence Juber, who is THE DADGAD master.

There are also lots of books available on it that I have seen. I'm sure a search on google or would turn up alot. I've never gotten too much into it, I have enough trouble with standard, ya know?

 #8304  by spilly
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:07 am
check out Neil young, "Don't let it bring you down", and "Loner", those will give you some ideas,if you fish around you'll find alot of other interesting neil tune is said tuning. those are the only 2 I can think of now because I'm slighly hammered

 #8305  by Crazy 9.5 Fingers
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:34 am
I have a few tunes I wrote in DADGAD and a lot of the voicings and chords in said songs basically came out of using existing shapes, riffs, and chord structures, mainly double stops and triads, that I used in standard tuning. There are also lots of nasty sounding pullofs dwon at the bottom of the fretboard utilising the open string sound. What I am saying is that you will find you make many happy accidents and discover great chors tones by just experimenting a bit.

 #8308  by Jimkkc
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:41 am
Dadgad is a tuning to be careful with because once you start finding your way around the fretboard in this tuning, it is difficult to stop - Many of the more "acoustic" dead songs sound wonderful in dadgad - the trio I am in has tied Friend of the Devil to I Know You Rider and I play the rhythm parts in dadag. The attraction of dadgad is the drone like quality of having three d's - I guess this is why Celtic guitarists use this tuning extensively. I have a great book from Mel Bay that features scales and chords up and down the neck, and once you learn a few of the chord shapes, you can pretty much find your way all over the place. Pay particular attention to the "Amaj" chord voicings - they blow me away every time. I always wondered why the boys didn't experiment with such tunings . . . good luck!

 #8309  by hesgone95
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:34 am
Jimkkc...funny you mention doing FOTD>Rider. I do them as well on my acoustic, finger picking in standard tuning. I know that has nothing to do with DADGAD, but I thought I'd share it anyway. I dunno the two songs just seem to fit together. peace.

 #8310  by Jimkkc
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:44 am
I agree - the two songs go well musically and lyrically. From a singing standpoint, it is easy (at least for this seriously challenged singer) to go from G in FOTD to D in IKYR. There is also a wonderful D voicing at the 12th fret in dadgad that paves the way for a wonderful transition. Althea also works well in this tuning - though it is a little more tricky in terms of chord placement than FOTD or IKYR; nonetheless, it also works well. My trio used to do FOTD into Little Martha (exept we played Little Martha in D not E) - hell, that final D chord in Friend of really opens up many segue possibilities -

 #8312  by st stephen
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:44 am
i once read in a garcia interview that jerry was not really into different types of tuning. Not sure why i think it was the interview from 1980.

 #8319  by hesgone95
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:07 pm
Jimkkc wrote: hell, that final D chord in Friend of really opens up many segue possibilities -
Totally, there's a lot of stuff you can go into. I like to turn it into Dead Flowers by the Stones from time to time. Helpless works as well. BTW, if you have a chance, I wouldn't mind seeing your voicings for FOTD & Rider in DADGAD.

 #8352  by Jimkkc
 Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:36 am
I would love to show the voicings, but alas I do not know how to create the tabs online - if anyone reading this thread knows how to create tabs, any help would be appreciated. I suppose I can try to explain the voicing(s) in "long-hand" - I don't know how much sense this will make, but here goes.

D major voicing at 12th fret in Dadgad tuning:

Index finger (1) on the 3rd string 11th fret
Middle finger (2) on the 4th string 12th fret
Ring finger (3) on the 2nd string 12th fret
Pinky (4) on the 1st string 12th fret

The root of the chord (D) is on the 4th string. This chord form is one of the forms for major chords and it is moveable - thus, move it down two frets and you have the C major, move it up two frets and you have the Emaj. You can also play this chord with the middle finger on the 6th string (which is the same note as the 4th string)

To get minor chords from this chord form, move the index finger back one fret - so to get from D maj to D minor, move the index finger from the 11th to the 10th fret - this form is moveable as well. With the Am chord in "Friend of the Devil", you would move this minor form down to the 7th fret and your index finger would be on the 3rd string, 5th fret. These two chord forms are moveable and should get you into Dadgad. Remember the root note of the chord will be on the fourth and sixth string. Be warned though - once you start down the dadgad path, it is difficult to want to leave - for quite a while, dadgad became my "standard" tuning!
I hope this makes some sense - I wish I could give you the tabs, but as I said before, I don't know now how to create tabs online.

 #8364  by jck_strw
 Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:04 pm

Up in the top left corner, under the new pick image, there's a link, Tab Creator- . That may be a good start for creating tab. It's quite intuitive, so play around with it and see if you can come up with something.

 #8392  by hesgone95
 Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:17 am

Yeah that appears to make perfect sense. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the effort :smile:

 #11145  by fatcat
 Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:16 pm
thanks everyone, it really helped to just mess around for awhile in DADGAD. it is great for rythm and melodies, but i went back to standard tuning just because i am more familiar with my modes and scales in a standard tuning. but DADGAD does get addicting i must say. its alot of fun to mess around with


 #11147  by BlobWeird
 Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:20 pm
All I have to say on the subject is Keller Williams. He is the man at DADGAD. And everything else for that matter lol.

 #11149  by LazyLightnin
 Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:23 pm
Keith Richards?