** As featured in issue 11 **
In this acoustic guitar lesson, the final part of my modern acoustic guitar series of columns for iGuitar, we will now be looking at one section of my pieces - Lucid Drawl, which is in the open Dsus4 tuning or also called DADGAD. Whenever we’re using open guitar tunings we have the ability to really expand our sounds on the guitar. Although you may be limited to one key, it is an effective tool for making arrangements of pieces as well as incorporating two hand tapping/percussive sounds to get a rich and open sound. This was my first alternate tuning acoustic guitar composition to get into, so it was of no surprise that I had to write a song in it. You may need to relearn the fretboard with each tuning you get into or just trust your ears. In this section we can see that we are using some slides when we’re tapping with the right hand fingers.
It gives it a really cool effect and the illusion of there being two guitars. An important thing to note is to ensure you keep pressure on the strings when sliding your right hand fingers so the sound doesn’t deaden. This will take some practice and may hurt your fingers after a while if you haven’t built up the callouses yet. I would suggest you do short practice sessions daily as opposed to running a marathon. If you can tap your foot on every down beat then you’ve got this one down and it’s time to learn the full song if you accept the challenge! As I say, this will conclude my acoustic guitar column for now and as always, keep an open mind about approaching the guitar as it still has the potential to grow technically. These different tunings will be a crucial step in getting some really interesting voicings. Try these tunings out if you’re feeling like exploring: DADGBD, CGCGCE, DGDGCD, EAC#EAE.