Tune to open D (D A D F# A D). Using the second fret on the fourth string and first fret on the third string, “you sort of have your five chord,” says Mark Bilyeu, or, more technically, “it creates a V7sus chord.” Using the first fret on the third string and the second fret on the second string, “you sort of get your four chord,” he says. More technically, Bilyeu explains, “the notes in this chord are G, B, and D, which one hears on the top four strings. That leaves the two lowest strings as D and A. (The D is the IV chord, though not the root of the chord.)
“Those two low notes ringing out below create a drone effect, which to my ear evokes the drone of bagpipes,” Bilyeu says, “so there’s a Scottish feel to this style, I think. “You can get a lot done with those two chords,” he adds, “and you can also take both up the fretboard two frets to give you even more melodic opportunities.”
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.
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