Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Phil Keaggy - The Reunion

Phil Keaggy has long been one of my favorite guitarists. And he is very versatile, not sticking to one particular style or genre. Listening to this, I'm wondering...is he tuned to DADGAD?

Monday, January 30, 2012

DADGAD Tuning is a beautiful thing

I had recently heard about DADGAD tuning through various avenues and sources. Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to try it out. It was simple enough to tune down to DADGAD, just drop the low E to a D, the B to an A, and the high E to a D. Now, what the heck do I play on this?

>Google searching<...ah, here we go, easy songs to play in DADGAD tuning. Hey! I didn't know Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" was played in DADGAD tuning! Wow, that song is super easy! And fun.

Currently I have that Zep song and an alternate rendition of Amazing Grace in DADGAD under my belt. Last night I had to tune my guitar back to standard EADGBE tuning to play worship. Somehow my guitar sounded sad. Seriously, that DADGAD tuning is so beautiful. I now want to become a Celtic player!

Anyway, I used to be scared of alternate tunings, but now I can say with authority that I am hooked!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I recently discovered Reddit.com. Yes, I'm slow when it comes to the latest and greatest places to correspond on the internet. Anyway, I only involve myself in a few subreddits, and namely, I go on the www.reddit.com/r/guitar subreddit.

Check it out. There are a lot of interesting topics, and actually, I've learned a few things on that site since first discovering a few months ago. You'll find a variety of players, with varying degrees of skills, and it is a great place to approach the masses with questions about the guitar that maybe you haven't quite been able to understand or solve.

Be warned: Reddit can cause your entire work day to be wasted, so exercise some discipline when perusing Reddit. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Capo

Yesterday I was playing guitar with a friend and the subject of capos came up. I have nothing against capos, and in fact, I would love to get one of those Spider Capos, check them out! A quick way of setting up alternate tunings!

Anyway, when using a capo, how do you refer to the chords? We were playing a regular I-IV-V-II progression in the key of G and he decided to capo up to the third fret. Even though he was playing the same chords as I was down on open tuning, he was referring to them as the same chords, so for example, Capo 3 and playing a G pattern, he was actually playing a different chord.

Actually, it was a simple opportunity to refresh my memory, and to teach him how transposing works. And a reminder that I need to really focus on memorizing the bass notes of a guitar, but anyway, this was simple. The third fret on Capo 3 is a G. So, when playing a G pattern, he was actually an A chord. Correct me if I'm wrong, it's still too early in the morning for me!

In fact, this guy here has a much better description of transposing chords when using a capo!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Slow but steady

I admit that I'm not the most patient musician. For example, when learning a new song, I would typically rush through the basics of it so it was passable to at least the non-musician. Yeah, to the untrained ear, I may sound like I know what I'm doing, but deep down inside, I knew the truth. I was faking my way through a song, and probably not playing it to true to form.

All that has changed. I found that it is improving my chops when actually slowly but methodically going through a new song, scale, or chord progression. For example, I take a simple tune like Neil Young's "Heart of Gold". In the past, I would be satisfied with playing the basic chords and coming up with what I thought was the rhythm pattern. Instead, now I actually sat down and tried to figure out exactly how he played the song, using the correct mutes, chords, and licks. It made a world of difference, and as a result, I'm satisfied with the song when I play it.

So, from now on, I will choose not to rush through songs, but sit down and deliberately play the song, measure by measure, until I believe I'm as close to the original as possible. After that, then I can add my own flavor to the songs.