1. Getting Started
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Introduction
2. Right Hand
Position
Finger Freedom
3. Harp Style
Basics
Variations
Examples and Chords
4. Celtic Ornamentation
Left-hand
Right-hand
Triplet Variations
Thumb Triplets
Percussive
5. Related Tunings
CGCGCD
DAAEAE
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6. Scales in DADGAD
Overview
Detailed Charts
7. Chords in DADGAD
Overview
Detailed Charts
8. Tablature
Performance Notes
Notation Guide
9. Articles
Miscellaneous Topics

    

Play DADGAD - Simon Fox

3(a) Harp Style Basics

One of the reasons DADGAD is an attractive tuning is that it encourages playing melodies across the strings. Melodies are often played in a linear fashion on the guitar, with several notes being played in succession on the same string. In this case, in order to play a new note, the previous one must be ended. A nice effect is created when neighboring notes of a melody are played across two different strings, allowing the first note to sustain while the second is played. With DADGAD, this effect can readily be extended to runs of 4 or 5 notes hence the name harp style guitar. With DADGAD however, this quickly becomes a bit tiring for listeners and some thought is needed to make this technique work.

Here are some simple D major and minor scales played in a cascading pattern across the strings. In all of these exercises right hand organization really helps. Try to avoid using the same picking finger twice in a row.

Exercise 3.1. D major cascading scale - Tuning DADGAD

Exercise 3.2. D major cascading scale variation - Tuning DADGAD

Exercise 3.3. D minor cascading scale - Tuning DADGAD

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