DADGAD guitar tuning: an introduction to the (not quite) open tuning favored by Jimmy Page

British musician Jimmy Page, of rock group the Firm, plays guitar as he performs onstage at the Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 7, 1985.
(Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

To be absolutely correct, DADGAD (that’s low to high) is not actually an open tuning, rather an altered one. I say this because we do not get a clear chord by playing the open strings. 

Nevertheless, this tuning does offer some very interesting open chords using a minimum of complicated fingerings – though, as we will see, there is no reason why we can’t go there for some interesting and unusual chord voicings. 

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Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.