DADGAD or D modal tuning gets its name from the tuning of the guitar strings. Instead of the standard EADGBE tuning (low to high strings), the guitar is tuned to D-A-D-G-A-D. This is done by tuning the first and sixth strings down a whole tone from E to D, and tuning the second string down a whole tone from B to A.
DADGAD was popularised by British folk guitarist Davey Graham. Graham employed the tuning to great effect in his treatments of celtic music, but also the folk music of India and Morocco. The suitability of DADGAD to Celtic music is that it facilitates the use of a number of moveable chords which retain open strings which act as a drone on either the bass or treble strings, approximating the voicings used in traditional celtic pipe music. Other exponents of the tuning include Pierre Bensusan, Bert Jansch, Richard Thompson, Soig Siberil, Gilles Le Bigot and Paul McSherry.
DADGAD tuning was also used by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin in the late '60s and early '70s. On the band's eponymous first album, he used this guitar tuning to perform Black Mountain Side, a piece which was strongly influenced by Bert Jansch's earlier arrangement of a traditional Irish song called Blackwater Side (though Jansch actually used a simpler 'drop D' tuning). Page later revisited the DADGAD tuning for the song Kashmir, which appeared on the band's sixth album Physical Graffiti. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
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