DADGAD Guitar (Fall 2010 Week 1)

My apologies for the long break. Still have some catching up to do with some tunes from Ireland, but will hopefully fill those in during the coming weeks. For now, it is back to BRIMS classes. So, a few notes from our first DADGAD class (and I will catch up with Alex’s fiddle class when she returns from her tour).

Key points:

Four main aspects to learn for guitar backing (applies to all tunings – DADGAD, Drop D, Standard):

• Rhythm (jig, reel, polka, etc.)
• Root Note or Tonic (D, E, B, G, A)
• Mode (major, mixolydian, dorian, minor)
• Chords (fingering/shapes)

Understanding these will take you a long way. Practice, ear, improvisation, and experience is the rest of it.

Listen to ITM so that you know the tunes. As you go through the DADGAD course, learn to recognize if tunes are major or minor, their rhythm (jigs, reels, hornpipes, etc.), their root drone (key), where they are going, and recognizing when they don’t fall in typical patterns. These skills are essential for you to develop as you begin playing in sessions.

Here is a link to the handout provided in class that provides some helpful background information on guitar accompaniment and DADGAD in particular (with a big thanks to Kent!)

Chord Fingering / Shapes:

Here’s one nice D scale pattern (can be used ascending or descending)

Today we’ll work on a well known reel, “My Love is in America”. It is a two-part reel in D.

Play along with My Love is in America

Once you’ve mastered that, try O’Connell’s Trip to Parliament, a tune we learned in Ireland from Breda and Claire Keville.

Play along with O’Connell’s Trip to Parliament

It’s not often you get to play along with world class musicians, so enjoy… see you next week!

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