I’m a huge fan of the altered tuning DADGAD, as it’s one of the most alluring and yet accessible ways to tune a guitar and still get some nice sounds of it, other than standard tuning. However, scale patterns in DADGAD aren’t that finger-friendly, even with 5 out of 6 strings tuned to only two different notes; this actually makes scales more cumbersome in DADGAD because you end up hitting repeated notes when you really didn’t want to; so how can we get around this?
Let’s say you need to solo in A Harmonic Minor in DADGAD (highly unlikely I know, but stay with me for creativity’s sake!); what you do is take a tiny fragment of the scale like the one below, learn the fragment so that you don’t need to refer to the diagram, then start improvising with it.
Here’s another fragment from the same scale. Practice it until you don’t need to refer to the diagram, then start improvising. As it’s such a small piece of information, you can ‘get hold of’ the sound way faster than you would with a big ol’ three-octave pattern.
Creative soloing deserves a creative backing track, so here’s one from Sean Armitage’s fantastic selection for you to wail over in DADGAD!
-How to Get the Most out of Altered Tunings
-5 Altered Tunings You Should Definitely Check Out