1. Getting Started
2. Right Hand
Finger Freedom
3. Harp Style
Examples and Chords
4. Celtic Ornamentation
Triplet Variations
Thumb Triplets
5. Related Tunings
6. Scales in DADGAD
Detailed Charts
7. Chords in DADGAD
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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