The Best 100 Songs in DADGAD Tuning for Guitar

We’ve fought it out in a Celtic-themed death match to decide the greatest 100 songs in DADGAD tuning, so you don’t have to. Now jump into a Celtic world of joy and learn one of …

songs in DADGAD

We’ve fought it out in a Celtic-themed death match to decide the greatest 100 songs in DADGAD tuning, so you don’t have to. Now jump into a Celtic world of joy and learn one of these DADGAD beauties. 

DADGAD tuning is often associated with Celtic music, but it’s not just about the traditional folk scene. Modern musicians in rock and metal styles have also explored the amazing potential of DADGAD. 

Our list features a diverse range of artists, including the intricate fingerstyle of Michael Hedges, the haunting melodies of Ben Howard, and the powerful riffs of Russian Circles.

I’ve been playing guitar for over 25 years, and one of the things that keeps me fascinated is using alternate turnings. Every time we experiment and change our tuning, it’s almost like creating another instrument. New sounds and possibilities are opened up. 

Keep an eye out for my personal favorite, “Black Mountain Side” by Led Zeppelin at number 85. 

What is DADGAD tuning for the guitar?

DADGAD tuning is an alternative tuning for guitar inspired by Celtic music, where the strings are tuned D-A-D-G-A-D (from lowest to highest). Playing the strings in an open position creates a Dsus4 chord. 

The tuning allows for playing with lots of open strings to create a beautiful, resonant sound, making it popular with fingerpicking, acoustic guitarists. 

  • In DADGAD tuning, the strings are tuned to: D-A-D-G-A-D.
  • This differs from standard tuning, which is: E-A-D-G-B-E.

How to Tune to DADGAD for Guitar

Tuning to DADGAD is straightforward:

  • 6th String (Low E): Tune down a whole step to D.
  • 5th String (A): Leave this string as it is.
  • 4th String (D): Leave this string as it is.
  • 3rd String (G): Leave this string as it is.
  • 2nd String (B): Tune down a whole step to A.
  • 1st String (High E): Tune down a whole step to D.

Remember, tuning down is generally safer for your strings than tuning up. However, always tune carefully to avoid any potential damage.

Key Takeaways – DADGAD Tuning for Guitar

  • DADGAD tuning offers a distinctive sound that’s been utilized in a wide range of music genres, from Celtic and folk to rock and experimental.
  • It allows guitarists to explore new chord voicings and melodic lines, adding depth and originality to their playing.
  • Our list of 100 songs in DADGAD tuning showcases the versatility and beauty of this tuning, providing a rich resource for guitarists looking to expand their repertoire.

The Greatest 100 Songs in DADGAD (according to us dorks)

1. Kashmir by Led Zeppelin

“Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin, from their album “Physical Graffiti,” is a blend of hard rock and orchestral music, making it one of the band’s most iconic songs. Its unique sound is partly due to the DADGAD tuning used by Jimmy Page.


Kashmir by Led Zeppelin Tab

2. Photograph by Ed Sheeran


Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph” is a heartfelt ballad from his album “x.” The song’s acoustic richness is enhanced by its DADGAD guitar tuning, adding depth to its emotional lyrics.


Photograph by Ed Sheeran Tab

3. Circle by Slipknot


“Circle” is a departure from Slipknot’s usual heavy metal style, featuring acoustic guitars in ADGAD tuning. This song from their album “Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)” showcases the band’s versatility.


Circle by Slipknot Tab

4. Ain’t No Grave by Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave” is a powerful song from his posthumous album “American VI: Ain’t No Grave.” The song’s haunting melody is accentuated by the DADGAD tuning, reflecting Cash’s enduring spirit.


Ain’t No Grave by Johnny Cash Tab

5. Dear Maria Count Me In by All Time Low

All Time Low’s “Dear Maria Count Me In” is a pop-punk anthem from their album “So Wrong, It’s Right.” The song’s energetic rhythm is a hallmark of the band’s sound, though a DADGAD tuning tab was not found.

6. Black Mountainside by Led Zeppelin

“Black Mountainside” is a mesmerizing instrumental track by Led Zeppelin, showcasing Jimmy Page’s expertise in fingerstyle guitar and his use of DADGAD tuning. The song’s Celtic influences are evident in its melodic structure.


Black Mountainside by Led Zeppelin Tab

7. That’s When You Came In by Steel Panther


Steel Panther’s “That’s When You Came In” is a blend of glam metal and comedic lyrics. The band is known for their lively performances and satirical approach to the genre.
That’s When You Came In by Steel Panther Tab

8. Sligo Creek by Al Petteway

Al Petteway’s “Sligo Creek” is an acoustic masterpiece, featuring intricate fingerpicking and the use of DADGAD tuning. The song is a beautiful representation of Petteway’s skill in blending traditional and contemporary acoustic styles.


Sligo Creek by Al Petteway Tab

9. Dueling Ninjas by Trace Bundy


“Dueling Ninjas” is a showcase of Trace Bundy’s incredible talent and creativity on the acoustic guitar. His use of harmonics and rhythmic tapping makes this piece a standout in modern fingerstyle guitar music.


Dueling Ninjas by Trace Bundy Tab

10. White Summer by Led Zeppelin


“White Summer” by Led Zeppelin, often paired with “Black Mountainside,” is another example of Jimmy Page’s mastery of the guitar. The song’s Eastern influences and Page’s use of DADGAD tuning create a hypnotic and exotic sound.


White Summer by Led Zeppelin Tab

11. Black And White by Niall Horan

“Black And White” by Niall Horan is a romantic and upbeat song from his album “Heartbreak Weather.” The track showcases Horan’s smooth vocals and pop sensibilities.

Black And White by Niall Horan Tab

12. Drifting by Andy McKee


Andy McKee’s “Drifting” is a masterful display of percussive fingerstyle guitar. The song gained widespread popularity for its innovative technique and captivating melody.


Drifting by Andy McKee Tab

13. Norwegian Wood (Acoustic) by Colin Hay


Colin Hay’s acoustic rendition of The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” brings a unique and introspective touch to the classic song, highlighting his distinctive vocal style and guitar playing.


Norwegian Wood (Acoustic) by Colin Hay Tab

14. Merrily Kissed The Quaker by Pierre Bensusan

“Merrily Kissed The Quaker” by Pierre Bensusan is a lively and intricate piece that beautifully showcases his mastery of fingerstyle guitar. This track stands out for its delightful melodies and the way it captures the essence of traditional folk music with a modern twist.

Merrily Kissed The Quaker by Pierre Bensusan Tab

15. Knock on Wood by Justin King

Justin King’s “Knock on Wood” is known for its rhythmic complexity and percussive elements. King’s innovative approach to acoustic guitar has inspired many guitarists.

Knock on Wood by Justin King Tab

16. Given To Fly by Pearl Jam

“Given To Fly” by Pearl Jam, from their album “Yield,” features a blend of rock and spiritual themes. The song is celebrated for its uplifting melody and profound lyrics.

Given To Fly by Pearl Jam Tab

17. One Brown Mouse by Jethro Tull

“One Brown Mouse” by Jethro Tull is a folk-rock track with a whimsical feel. The song showcases the band’s ability to blend lyrical storytelling with intricate musical arrangements.

One Brown Mouse by Jethro Tull Tab

18. Abacus by Fionn Regan

Fionn Regan’s “Abacus” is a gentle, melodic song that highlights his poetic songwriting and delicate guitar work. The song’s introspective nature resonates with listeners.

Abacus by Fionn Regan Tab

19. Tell Her This by Del Amitri

“Tell Her This” by Del Amitri is a heartfelt ballad known for its simple yet emotive lyrics. The song’s acoustic arrangement complements its tender narrative.

Tell Her This by Del Amitri Tab

20. The Only Boy Awake by Meadows

“The Only Boy Awake” by Meadows is a soothing and reflective song, featuring soft vocals and a gentle guitar melody. It gained popularity after being featured in the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”

The Only Boy Awake by Meadows Ta

21. Treetop Flyer by Stephen Stills

“Treetop Flyer” by Stephen Stills is a song with a smooth, flowing melody, known for its storytelling lyrics and Stills’ distinctive vocal style.

Treetop Flyer by Stephen Stills Tab

22. Spencer the Rover by John Martyn

John Martyn’s “Spencer the Rover” is a folk classic, featuring his rich voice and intricate guitar playing. The song is a staple in the folk music repertoire.

Spencer the Rover by John Martyn Tab

23. The Blacksmith by Bert Jansch

“The Blacksmith” by Bert Jansch is a traditional folk song beautifully reinterpreted with Jansch’s unique fingerpicking style and emotive singing.

The Blacksmith by Bert Jansch Tab

24. Winona by Drop Nineteens

Drop Nineteens’ “Winona” is a track that captures the essence of the ’90s alternative rock scene, characterized by its dreamy sound and shoegaze influences.

Winona by Drop Nineteens Tab

25. Wayfaring Stranger by Al Petteway

Al Petteway’s rendition of “Wayfaring Stranger” is a hauntingly beautiful instrumental that showcases his skill in acoustic guitar fingerpicking.

Wayfaring Stranger by Al Petteway Tab

26. In Dreams by Ben Howard

“In Dreams” by Ben Howard is a hauntingly beautiful song, known for its intricate guitar work and Howard’s emotive vocals.

In Dreams by Ben Howard Tab

27. County Down by Phil Keaggy

Phil Keaggy’s “County Down” is a masterful acoustic piece that showcases his exceptional fingerstyle guitar technique and melodic sensibilities.

County Down by Phil Keaggy Tab

28. Harris and the Mare by Stan Rogers

“Harris and the Mare” by Stan Rogers is a compelling folk song, rich in narrative and characterized by Rogers’ powerful storytelling.

Harris and the Mare by Stan Rogers Tab

  • 29. Ragamuffin by Michael Hedges
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE7eVfIAkkI

“Ragamuffin” by Michael Hedges is an iconic piece in the world of acoustic guitar, showcasing Hedges’ innovative techniques and rhythmic mastery.

Ragamuffin by Michael Hedges Tab

  • 30. Seven Gypsies by Davy Graham

Davy Graham’s “Seven Gypsies” is a classic folk tune, demonstrating his influential fingerpicking style and fusion of musical genres.

Seven Gypsies by Davy Graham Tab

  • 31. Falling by The Civil Wars

“Falling” by The Civil Wars is a hauntingly beautiful song, characterized by its emotive lyrics and the duo’s harmonious vocals.

Falling by The Civil Wars Tab

  • 32. Below the Salt by Unwound

Unwound’s “Below the Salt” is a post-hardcore track known for its intense energy and complex guitar work, showcasing the band’s unique style.

Below the Salt by Unwound Tab

  • 33. I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow by Soggy Bottom Boys

“I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow” by Soggy Bottom Boys is a classic bluegrass song, popularized by the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”.

I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow by Soggy Bottom Boys Tab

  • 34. Call It Dreaming by Iron & Wine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXC80ZXQWQk

Iron & Wine’s “Call It Dreaming” is a folk song with a soothing melody and reflective lyrics, showcasing Sam Beam’s signature soft vocal style.

Call It Dreaming by Iron & Wine Tab

  • 35. Out of the Woods by Nickel Creek

“Out of the Woods” by Nickel Creek is a beautifully crafted song that blends elements of bluegrass and folk, featuring intricate string arrangements.

Out of the Woods by Nickel Creek Tab

  • 36. By the River by Stu Larsen

“By the River” by Stu Larsen is a soothing and reflective song, featuring gentle guitar melodies and heartfelt lyrics.

By the River by Stu Larsen Tab

  • 37. All Cried Out by Fink

Fink’s “All Cried Out” is a soulful and emotive track, known for its deep lyrics and the artist’s distinctive vocal style.

All Cried Out by Fink Tab

  • 38. Your Love is Enough by Jon Foreman

“Your Love is Enough” by Jon Foreman is a heartfelt song that combines introspective lyrics with a soothing acoustic arrangement.

Your Love is Enough by Jon Foreman Tab

  • 39. Xavii by Russian Circles

Russian Circles’ “Xavii” is an instrumental track that showcases the band’s ability to create atmospheric and dynamic soundscapes.

Xavii by Russian Circles Tab

  • 40. Harris and the Mare by Stan Rogers

“Harris and the Mare” by Stan Rogers is a compelling folk song, rich in narrative and characterized by Rogers’ powerful storytelling.

Harris and the Mare by Stan Rogers Tab