Understanding DADGAD For Fingerstyle Guitar


By Doug Young


Understanding DADGAD is a complete introduction to using DADGAD tuning for fingerstyle acoustic guitar. The book systematically explores the tuning, starting with simple chords and scale patterns, ultimately showing how DADGAD can be used to play in nearly any key and in many different musical styles. Topics include movable and open-string chords and scales, intervals, the harp-effect, common chord progressions in DADGAD and more, all in the context of either short musical examples or complete tunes.

Topics are organized as a series of small self-contained sections - usually 2 facing pages - ideal for a single study session or lesson. After exploring extremely easy ways to get started with DADGAD, involving as little as a single finger on the fretting hand, the book progresses to examples that will interest even more advanced players. Two hundred musical examples, including several full performance-quality pieces, demonstrate each concept. The companion recording features the author playing many of the examples.

See a preview on Google Books
Listen to a few examples from the book:

Ex 1 - Intro

Example 116

Ex 119

Ex 16

Ex 182

Ex 191

Ex 197

Ex 42

Ex 44

Ex 57

Ex 65

Ex 84

Ex 88

Nuff Said


Guitar Player Magazine, Sept 2008

"Is DADGAD really an "altered tuning", as it is referred to by so many guitarists? Or is it a parallel universe in which open strings jangle vibrantly within chords and melodies, making them easy and satisfying to play, and helping riffs chime for days. Jimmy Page, Adrian Legg, and Doug Young (who wrote the excellent Mel Bay offering, Understanding DADGAD for Fingerstyle Guitar), would take the latter stance. And remember, DADGAD isn't only for the key of D. Get into the jangley tuning by dropping your sixth, second, and first strings a whole step from standard, play this splendid phrase from Young's book, and you'll hear how gorgeous the tuning sounds in A minor."


Bob Evans - Winfield Fingerpicking Champion
(on the fingerstyle-i mailing list)

"Jim beat me to suggesting Doug Young's book "Understanding DADGAD for Fingerstyle Guitar ".

Go to Amazon.com and you can preview chapter 1 of the book and also view the table of contents to see what else it contains. The book comes with a CD containing all of the musical examples. It's not free, but it is packed with useful information and delivers big bang for the buck.

Doug really covers all the bases in the book. Aside from pieces to learn, there is also a lot of applied theory presented, including discussions about intervals, scales and transferring the CAGED system concept to DADGAD tuning.

More specific to your request, he discusses chord progressions in DADGAD tuning - blues, II-V-I, I-VI-II-V-I, and playing in a variety of keys.

Doug really moves out of the "Celtic mode" that DADGAD is so often associated with, and really demonstrates its potential as a versatile tuning. I say this as someone who has never really been taken with DADGAD - I was impressed with what he's done."

Make Guitar Music

Here's a new review at MakeGuitarMusic.com

"Mel Bay Presents Understanding DADGAD for Fingerstyle Guitar is well worth the price. I would recommend it for any intermediate guitarist with basic fingerstyle skills who is looking to expand her repertoire and explore alternate tunings."

Comments from Readers

"This is a perfect intro to DADGAD tuning. DADGAD can make you sound good with very simple techniques and this book and cd prove it. Right from the start I was impressed with the potential DADGAD has to offer. With the very first exercise you learn three chords using on finger on a different string on the same fret and sound better than most three chord standard tuning songs in beginning guitar books. The exercises get more involved as you go but maintain a pace that is very comfortable. I listened to the cd that comes with the book to hear the exercises and was impressed with how musical the exercises sound. It's almost criminal how simple they make it to sound so good. I doubt I'll ever go back to standard tuning again." --- From Amazon.com

"My 2 cents on a great place to start with DADGAD is the book/CD "Understanding DADGAD for fingerstyle guitar by Doug Young" 140 pages on only one tuning!! - DADGAD and a CD as well, I must have 6 or 7 books on alternate tunings and this one is easily the best!!" --- from Facebook: DADGAD