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johnnysmash
07-22-2018, 09:10 PM
I use to play guitar until pain took over my left hand and thumb. Searching for a painless way to play I purhased Understanding DADGAD by Doug Young. A good book. It helped a little, but I finally quite guitar for about 3 years. Now I am back at trying to play again. Between weekly PT, shorter scale instruments and only four strings I am able to play with only light pain, sometimes. Sometimes no pain. I am now playing a Tenor Ukulele and a Baritone Ukulele. I am also looking at Tenor Guitar.

So, my question is if I want to play DGAD on a four string, will it work to just drop off all information in the book on strings 5 and 6 or is there a better way? All comments and suggestions are welcome. Thank you

Jim Hanks
07-23-2018, 07:18 AM
Sure it'll "work". As with all arrangement issues, you have to decide whether it sounds good for a particular piece without the bottom two bass notes. You might decide to use different chord voicings in places to accommodate your chosen tuning.

johnnysmash
07-24-2018, 08:53 AM
One person's "working" is another's "not working." My experience trying to just ignore the bottom two strings in guitar arrangements has never yielded satisfying results. I would expect even less satisfying results from DADGAD arrangements, since with them the role of the bass strings is pretty central to the sound. I'm not saying that DGAD would be an inappropriate tuning, only that arranging for it may be more complex that what you want to tackle, and may involve changing the key to get the most leverage out of the D and G strings—in short, coming up with an entirely different arrangement.


More complex then what I want to tackle sounds pretty close to the truth. That is one thing I have figured out so far. Also most of the droning is gone using only four strings, at least for me and what I am doing it has. I think one might have to play mostly in the key of D to make it work or use a capo to play in E, F, G, and maybe A.Maybe rewritting the song, capoing, and playing in different keys could make one talk to themselves before they could cover a song. I love DADGAD on guitar, however, I am starting to think that standard tuning might be best on ukulele. At present I use DGBE when not trying to use DGAD on ukulele. I looked at some other tunings, like, 5ths. The stretches are too much for my old hand even on my Tenor Ukulele. Oh, well, back to the drawing board and play around with it some more.

johnnysmash
07-24-2018, 09:05 AM
Carrickfergus in the key of D taken from a music book - Celtic Guitar by Glenn Weiser. The tune is written in the book for DADGAD. Also from the same book, a tune in standard that I am working on is Jack O'Hazeloon. On U Tube they spell in Jock O'Hazeloon. Sorry I have no way to make a copy to send from where I am at.

Jim Hanks
07-24-2018, 11:05 AM
Another thought is that you might be able to get by with a guitalele tuned in DADGAD or a transposed version of it. I gave up my full scale guitars decades ago but have recently been playing 19" Guilele with no more discomfort than my ukes.

johnnysmash
07-24-2018, 02:29 PM
Another thought is that you might be able to get by with a guitalele tuned in DADGAD or a transposed version of it. I gave up my full scale guitars decades ago but have recently been playing 19" Guilele with no more discomfort than my ukes.

Yes, I have been thinking of something like that too. The shorter scale makes it much easier on the shoulder and hand. I have even thought of a childs size guitar if there is such a thing of decent quality. I miss six string. I think the width of the neck and the length of the scale is my main problem. I play my baritone ukulele now with almost no pain. Tenor too, but anything smaller would be to small for my short fat fingers. Do guitalele's have metal or nylon strings. I assume they have 6 strings. Since I have lived in Thailand for a long time and started guitar while in Asia I have never seen some of the other instruments available. Thai's seem to know only ukulele and six string guitar. I get strange looks when I inquire about four strings. They say Bangkok, a city of approximately 12 million has everything. LOL not when it comes to guitars unless I am just looking in the wrong part of town.

Jim Hanks
07-24-2018, 03:22 PM
Guitaleles are usually nylon strings, always 6 strings . Here are a couple of baritone scale options for $200 or less : https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?132838-Baritone-Guilele-Comparison-Cordoba-vs-C1M-1-4
There are quite a few inexpensive tenor scale options as well by the usual suspects: Yamaha, Kala, Ohana, Cordoba, Gretsch.

johnnysmash
07-25-2018, 07:27 PM
Guitaleles are usually nylon strings, always 6 strings . Here are a couple of baritone scale options for $200 or less : https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?132838-Baritone-Guilele-Comparison-Cordoba-vs-C1M-1-4
There are quite a few inexpensive tenor scale options as well by the usual suspects: Yamaha, Kala, Ohana, Cordoba, Gretsch.

Hi Jim, I like the guitalele idea so I tried on my guitars with capo to see approximately how it would work. On my Yamaha 6 string guitar with capo on 5th fret - no pain. On my Classical guitar with a nut width of 2"&1/8" at 5th fret - again, no pain. Then I retuned my classic by droping each string a whole tone (2 frets) and then I capoed on 2nd fret. I was playing like that with no pain. I can only assume that by going weekly since just before last Christmas for PT that something is working. I also love the sound of the classic tuned like that. I was mostly playing baritone ukulele music and fingering but it sounded great to me. I can't believe there was no pain. I probably will not be able to get out of bed in the morning. LOL

I watched the vids you sent the link to. I like them but I think better I just order the Yamaha GL1 since I can get it here within Thailand. Everything I order from outside has custom tax, plus shipping is expensive so I end up paying double.

Thanks for your help Jim.

Pirate Jim
07-25-2018, 10:46 PM
Great to hear the PT is working, Johnny, enjoy your GL1!

Tootler
07-26-2018, 06:55 AM
Assuming your Guitalele comes tuned ADGCEA, DADGAD equivalent would be GDGCDG and dropping the C to B would give open G.

Hmm! That sounds like an excuse to get a guitalele. :agree: :stop:

Jim Hanks
07-26-2018, 01:11 PM
I think better I just order the Yamaha GL1 since I can get it here within Thailand. Everything I order from outside has custom tax, plus shipping is expensive so I end up paying double.

Thanks for your help Jim.
No problem. Nothing wrong with the GL1 if you find one with a good setup or can tweak it a bit yourself. I've almost walked out of Guitar Center with one a couple of times but was able to resist. :)

casualmusic
07-30-2018, 10:35 AM
You can continue with DADGAD on smaller guitars.

If available in Thailand, the six string Cordoba Mini guitar (bari uke size body 20" scale) sounds nicer than the Yamaha GL1 because it has a larger solid spruce soundboard. I use regular nylon guitar strings EADGBE ("hard" tension to compensate for the short scale) because the stock Aquila aluminium wound strings frayed easily. You can adapt this to DADGAD. (Cordoba also sells Aquila strings for standard uke tuning ADGCEA).

Since you are interested in six strings for a person with restricted hand motion, you may want to check out smaller nylon string guitars aka 3/4 size or parlour size with 22-23" scale.

Best regards.