D-A-d Tuning

Video 1

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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Using a Capo at the first fret Steve introduces the tool of the capo made by Ron Ewing, and demonstrates what happens in DAd tuning, changing the notes to EBe. The scale on the melody and bass strings produce the Aeolian mode of E from the capo to fret 8. (Using the 6th fret) And, the drones match!
2. Playing Chords with the Capo at the 1st fret While we do NOT re-number all the frets for tablature, the familiar DAd chord shapes now produce different sounds and chord results which Steve demonstrates!
3. Issues with Tuning & the Capo Convention When adding a capo make sure there is no buzzing of strings, and that all the strings are still in tune after it is in place. Steve also discusses the convention of not re-numbering the strings when adding a capo.
4. Capo 1, Using the 6+ Fret If we use the 6+ fret when using the scale from the 1st (capoed) fret the scale is now Dorian! Now Scarborough Fair is available to be played in this position. Steve also demonstrates where to find the notes below “Do”, when the capo is in place.
5. Using the Capo at the 3rd Fret Moving the capo to the 3rd fret, the strings become GDg and the scale on the outside strings becomes Ionian of G, or the G major scale. The familiar chord shapes are analogous to playing them in the first open position, but now they sound like the chords needed for the key of G! Bonus: If using the 6+ fret, then I get the Lydian mode of G
6. Using the Capo at the 4th Fret The strings become AEa and the Dorian mode of A (mountain minor) is what the scale on the melody and bass strings offer. The Dorian tune, Drunken Sailor, is the tune Steve demonstrates here by using the regular 6 fret. When using the 6+ fret, the Mixolydian mode of A is available and Old Joe Clark can be played in its Old-Time home of A Mixolydian!
7. Chords with the Capo at the 4th Fret The same chord shapes that are familiar to DAd players work in this location also, but the player needs to be mindful of working around the 6/6+ fret location.
8. Conclusion Another benefit of using the capo at the 4th fret is being able to test the experience of the 1+ fret before adding one, or purchasing an instrument with that fret.


Using a Capo in D-A-d Tuning:

  • Using Only 6th Fret

  • Using Only 6+ Fret
Music GlobeExtras
  • Learn to use a Capo in the D-A-A Tuning.

  • Watch Steve Eulberg and Bing Futch perform a duet of "The Road To Lisdoonvarna" on mountain dulcimers with the Capo at the 1st fret in the key of Em - tuned dd-A-D

  • In this example, David Haas is playing "Here Comes the Sun", using the Capo at the 4th Fret.

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