The second part of “Blind Mary” includes a Bm7 chord and a Gmaj7/B chord. Doug walks you through the B part of “Blind Mary” phrase by phrase in this video.
Alternate tunings can create beautiful guitar sounds that are impossible in standard tuning, and make some things easier to play. You’ll learn to play fingerstyle melodies in a variety of popular alternate tunings, including favorites like dropped D, DADGAD, and open G, as well as more unusual tunings.
Doug gives you an introduction to playing in alternate tunings, advice about the kinds of guitars and gear that work well for playing fingerstyle in alternate tunings, and a basic introduction to fingerstyle guitar (in standard tuning) for those who are new to fingerstyle playing.
Doug gives you an introduction to alternate tunings in this video, talking about the benefits of using alternate tunings to get different sounds or make getting those sounds easier, the use of capos to play in different keys, how to make sense of all the different tunings, and more
Doug talks about the guitars and gear that work well for playing fingerstyle guitar in alternate tunings, including advice on choosing strings and tuners.
If you’re new to playing fingerstyle on the guitar, Doug shows you some basic techniques, using standard tuning so you can concentrate on using the fingers of your picking hand before you start learning new voicings in alternate tunings.
The first alternate tuning you’ll learn is probably the most common, and just involves tuning the low E string down to D.
The first alternate tuning you’ll learn is probably the most common, and just involves tuning the low E string down to D. Doug talks about some of the advantages of playing in dropped-D tuning and shows you how to get into dropped-D tuning.
The first tune you’ll learn to play in an alternate tuning is the traditional Irish song “Blind Mary.” It’s in the key of D and uses the basic chord shapes you’ll need to play in the key of D: D, G, A, Bm.
In this lesson, you’ll learn to play in the key of G in dropped-D tuning with the Irish folk song “Down by the Sally Gardens,” which uses the I, IV, and V chords in the key of G (G, C, and D) as well as the three minor chords in the key of G: Em, Am, and Bm. “Down by the Sally Gardens” has four four-bar phrases, with an AABA structure. Doug’s arrangement includes a couple of different ways to finger the melody against the G chord, including one that takes advantage of the open strings in dropped-D tuning.
In this lesson, Doug shows you how to play the song “Danny Boy” up the neck in dropped-D tuning using triads and chord inversions, a technique that is very useful no matter what tuning you’re in.
In addition to triads and chord inversions, it’s also important to learn the harmonized major scales in whatever tuning you’re in. In this lesson, Doug uses the traditional song “Shenandoah” to show you the harmonized major scale in dropped-D tuning.
The second alternate tuning you’ll learn (DADGAD) is common in Irish music and contemporary fingerstyle guitar, and there are a few great guitarists (Pierre Bensusan, Laurence Juber) who have made it their “standard tuning.”
In this lesson, Doug introduces you to DADGAD tuning, gives you a capsule history of the tuning, shows you how to get into DADGAD, and demonstrates some of the common chord shapes in DADGAD. He also shows you how to modify chord shapes you already know from standard tuning to create new chords in DADGAD.
Doug shows you one of the signature sounds of DADGAD: a harp-like effect created by playing scales across the strings. He shows you how to play a D major scale in such a way that most of the strings ring, and then shows you an Irish melody called “Three Lovely Lassies from Kimmage.” He also uses his own composition “Cross String” to demonstrate cross-string patterns up the neck.