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DADGAD chords–B-flat

fretbflatcSo we were talking about that F-chord the other day, hopefully you’ve had a bit of time to work it out.  The next part of that musical thought is this, the B-flat.  Like the F-chord you’re going to find this a really useful thing to have available to you for various reasons.  I’ll explain why once we’ve got all the pieces together, but for now take a bit of time to make this something you can get to.

DADGAD chords–F

fretfOkay, I’d like to show you something about DADGAD, let’s start here.  I learned some time ago that a lot of very fine songs set down really well when they were played in what’s sometimes called the flat keys, their scales start on notes like B-flat and E-flat.  B-flat is a particularly nice key to play in on the upright, just feels good with how the notes work out.  B-flat isn’t particularly graceful on a guitar tuned in DADGAD.  But oddly enough I’ve found that playing something in the key of F has an interesting flavour.  It’s another one of those flat keys, although it doesn’t have a flat in it’s name (it does have one note that you play as a flat, B-flat).  And a lot of very interesting things happen when you can work in F.  So let’s start here.  The three chords that are going to be most of interest are the root chord, the chord built on the 4th note of the scale, and the chord built on the 5th note of the scale.  That’d be an F-chord, a B-flat-chord, and a C-chord.  So, here’s the F.  Once we get a bit farther in I’ll show you how this chord becomes useful in a whole bunch of ways.  And there are all sorts of good things that can happen playing around with the F, B-flat , C-chord continuum (including maybe a G-minor chord as well).  But for now take a few minutes and get solid with this as being an easy reach for you.  It’s only one way to play an F-chord, but it is very useful.  (You’ll notice right away that it comes in handy in between playing a C-chord and a G-chord, for instance.  But I digress…)

DADGAD chords–F-sharp minor

F-sharp minorA number of Cape Breton tunes start here, the second finger can also cover the fourth fret of the bass D-string, might also try second and third fingers instead of three and four to see what the fourth finger can then play.

DADGAD chords–B minor

B minorGet to know this, then lift the first finger to play the open A-string while the chord stays in place, you can also take the three fingers and move them up one fret for a version of a C-chord, and two more frets for a D-chord of sorts

DADGAD chords–E minor 7

E Minor 7Pretty enough to know on its own, add the second fret on the middle D-string and it’s a power chord but don’t let that get to you, jigs and reels a thousand each start here, then it’s what you do with it, the fourth fret of the middle D-string is another thing to explore

DADGAD chords–D/C bass

D/C bassNot a full C-chord, but good to have the sound of, one thing to consider is how much of the two open D-strings you play, or how much you let the C define what you hear, with all of these chords listen to how much you let the two treble strings ring, try fingering them as a useful note, or not playing them at all

DADGAD chords–D/C-sharp bass

D/C-sharp bassGoing from home D-chord to this starts you on a bass progression worth hearing, try the bass D-string lightly if at all, it’s probably useful to know that anything you do on the bass A-string can be done on the other treble A-string, that C# for instance

DADGAD chords–D major

D majorHome plus one, the fullest sounding major chord in the tuning, running up and down between this and the original home D-chord gets you somewhere interesting

DADGAD chords–G

GAdding the fifth fret on the middle D-string makes another G-chord in fifths, going between the bass D-string played on the fifth fret and then played as an open bass D-string is a good way to get drive, might use second and third fingers instead of three and four

DADGAD chords–A (fifths)

A (fifths)

An A version of the home D-chord, neither major nor minor, might also play the treble D-string on the second fret to hear another note