Mountain Songs, Fiddle Tunes, and Blues
Fingerstyle master Al Petteway continues his exploration of the evocative DADGAD tuning with a variety of must-learn tunes in the Southern mountain tradition. In his hands, this tuning becomes an inventive and compelling way to play bluegrass, blues and country songs. A small alteration of chord shapes will give you the "high lonesome" sounds of Appalachian music, and standard chords add color to well-known country songs.
Al teaches a dynamic arrangement of Clarence Ashley’s iconic clawhammer banjo tune, The Cuckoo (The Coo-Coo Bird), replete with hammer-ons, pull-offs, octave licks and other tricks of the trade.
Using DADGAD for fiddle tunes can build your arranging skills as well as your picking techniques. Bonapart's Retreat, Red Haired Boy, Frosty Morning and the “pure bluegrass” of Black Mountain Rag all fall neatly into DADGAD as Al plays the melody with alternating bass accompaniment and the added power of some iconic bluegrass licks.
Al closes the lesson with Etta Baker’s One Dime Blues, played using a bass/chord thumb rhythm against syncopated high notes to help make one guitar "sound like two instruments."