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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:23 pm
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Location: SE PA near Philly
toasty wrote:
Wombat wrote:
toasty wrote:

Nowadays I flatpick Itrad tunes on a Martin in standard tuning because the instrument rings better that way. Don't ask me to explain why it does, it just does.



Here's a possible explanation. Your guitar was probably set up to play with an easy action in standard tuning with light guage strings. To get to DADGAD you tune down, thus making certain strings a bit loose for the action. Those strings won't ring well. If you only play in DADGAD, use medium guage strings on the ones you tune down and light guage strings on the ones that stay the same. Since Martin tell you to only use light guage strings, check with a good guitar tech before following my suggestion and he/she will suggest what guage is the best match.


It ain't that simple - and I truely wish it was.

It is set up for SP mediums . Clatters like a 88 Honda with lightgauge on.


It sounds like you may need a truss rod adjustment. I have a Bourgeois Slope D (dreadnought size) that has a very low action, but just today after not playing if for a while, I just tuned it up (had tuned it down a bit more because I wasn't playing it) and it played great in DADGAD, no buzzing, no clanging, no 88 Honda with a lightguage on! I also have two other guitars that I tuned to DADGAD and had no problems either, and neither have high actions, but they do have a little relief in the fingerboard (negative bow) which makes it work.

That is, unless you have a very heavy hand when you pick, then the saddle might need raising too. I believe I have Martin SPs on mine too. If these minor adjustments don't cure it, then maybe you need some fretwork or a neck reset on your Martin, Toasty.

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Last edited by greenspiderweb on Mon Oct 10, 2005 7:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:25 pm 
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Location: SE PA near Philly
Emrys wrote:
I've been playing guitar for years, but just started playing DADGAD. I love it! Also, I've been experimenting with tuning the fifth string (second from lowest one) to a G so that I can just as easily play in G major/minor as D major/minor. I play a Martin D-16 and the other thing I like to do is tune it down a half-step so I'm actually playing in Db versus D. I'm looking for a really mellow, round sound to accomplany my whistles on my next album. I tried for years to find a guitarist to record with me, but I live deep in the country. Finally decided that I'd have to be that guitarist. It sure is a lot tougher on your hands than playing the whistle! I'd love to hear from other DADGAD Celtic players about whatever you're doing...


I just wanted to thank you Laurel for your renewed interest in guitar, since it made me dig mine out and tune them up to DADGAD, and give them a whirl again. I've been playing quite a while too, on and off since about 1967, and find that I always enjoy coming back to guitar after I've been off of it for a while. So, thank you!

I think this new forum (Thank You Dale!) was a good incentive for me to dig out my stringed instruments again too, so I've started back with my fiddle also, another love of my life!

You can also get a mellow round sound picking too. It just depends on what you use for picks, and the position where you pick the guitar in relation to the soundhole. I like the Dunlop white plastic fingerpicks, and a Herco thumb/flatpick in at least heavy guage (want to try X-Heavy). The finger picks give a nice tone, as well as the thumbpick, which actually accents the bass strings instead of muffling them.

Of course, the bare fingers work well too, you can get quite a range of volume and tone depending on your attack-just using the flesh of the fingers.

I envy your living in the boondocks, as I live 2 blocks from Main Street, but I imagine it can have its drawbacks too. But, see, now you are learning to be self sufficient with your music and recordings. And this way, you can get it exactly as you like it!

Good picking to you!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
I not only tune my Martin D-16 to DADGAD, but I tune it down a half step to Db... and it doesn't clatter or buzz. Tricky biz.


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