Watch the D sus 4 Tuning online guitar lesson by Vicki Genfan from Essentials: Open Tunings
Probably the most well recognized and used of all the open tunings, DADGAD seems to have permeated Celtic, American roots, blues, and fingerstyle genres, just to name a few. Many trace the tuning back to Davey Graham, one of the most influential guitarists in the British folk music scene of the 60’s. Graham had a great influence on guitarists as diverse as Bert Jansch, Wizz Jones, John Renbourn, John Martyn, Paul Simon and Jimmy Page, who in turn influenced players such as the French-Algerian guitarist, Pierre Bensusan who uses DADGAD exclusively in his music which is most often characterized as Celtic, folk, World music, New Age, or chamber jazz.
I found a wonderful quote from a website called Session.org that sums up the ‘Zeitgeist’ of this period of time and musical innovation in the 60’s; “There were bazillions of guitar playing eclectic folk fanatics tuning into exotic ethnic musics and experimenting and improvising with the main instrument at hand - the guitar”. There are ties to Morocco, to the modal tunings used by the slaves of African descent on their banjos, to the middle eastern Oud. And the list goes on.
The etude I've composed for this tuning reflects two sides of this uber versatile tuning; a modal, roots feel showing its blues influence as well as a more new age or folk feel which highlights the lush, rich chord voicings that are so easily found here.