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Sarah McQuaid is the author of The Irish “I really enjoyed your workshop and I liked the
DADGAD Guitar Book
Book, originally published by way you made sure there was something for
Ossian Publications, now under the imprint of everyone. Each one of us had come along with
Novello & Co. (part of the Music Sales Group). widely different expectations and experience but
you overcame this by adapting to the way the flow
“This book and tape should be a godsend to was going. As someone who has dabbled in open
aspiring traditional guitarists.” — The Irish tunings, including DADGAD, for 35 years without
Times really knowing what I was doing I certainly got a lot
out of the session, which was also my first ‘guitar
“Even if you’re a beginning guitarist, this book lesson’! For me it was useful to have read your Irish
might help you on your way.” — Dirty Linen DADGAD Guitar Book beforehand but this was by
no means a necessary requirement for a participant
“Technical know-how supported by a to benefit from the workshop. I liked too the
refreshingly uncomplicated approach ... impromptu illustrations using guitar parts taken from
Recommended for the advice and also the songs and instrumentals on your CDs. Your insight
professional wisdom on display.” — Living into chord structures and scales cast a new light
Tradition on the reason why an open tuning like DADGAD
works, in contrast to my previous hit-and-miss,
“This book is a treasure.” — The Irish limited attempts at picking out chords that sound
Examiner nice. I’m sure I speak for other participants when
I give a big thank you for an excellent workshop,
“Very highly recommended.” — Ireland of the which I would recommend to any guitarist.”
Welcomes —Adrian Vranch (Devon, UK)
WORKSHOP OUTLINE Since 2007, Sarah McQuaid has presented
An Introduction to DADGAD at festivals,
1. Introduction music schools and other venues
2. The DADGAD tuning including the following:
3. The modes
4. A few general guitar playing tips UK
5. Basic chord shapes in DADGAD Sidmouth Folk Week
6. The capo and its uses Trowbridge Village Pump Festival
7. Chord patterns for backing tunes in DADGAD Alcester Folk Festival
Wadebridge Folk Festival
8. Backing guitar styles for Irish music
Bordergrass Festival, Weobley
9. Ornamentation Lafrowda Festival, St Just
10. Backing songs in DADGAD Wadebridge Acoustic Guitar Club
11. Playing melody in DADGAD The Warehouse Theatre, Lossiemouth
Resipole Studio, Acharacle, Argyll
St Andrews Community Centre, Bristol
Redbourn Folk Club

Strandhill Guitar Festival
CHORD – Ennis International Music Festival

Rowallane Garden (NT), Ballinahinch

Passim School of Music, Cambridge, MA
Elysium Arts, Rollinsford, NH
First Plymouth Church, Lincoln, NE

Born in Spain, raised in Chicago and holding dual Irish and American citizenship, Sarah spent 13 years
in Ireland and now lives near Penzance, Cornwall, in the southwest of England. She has recorded two
critically acclaimed solo albums, When Two Lovers Meet and I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning, as well as
Crow Coyote Buffalo, her album with fellow singer-songwriter Zoë Pollock under the band name Mama.

“An unreserved thumbs-up. Captivating performance, great songs, playing and singing. Sarah was also
totally professional, charming and low maintenance. What more could you ask for?”
— Gerry Evans, TwickFolk, London

“Pure magic!! We are running our folkclub for 16 years now but I never experienced such a thrilling
interaction between artist and audience.” — Piet Snellen, De Fookhook, Netherlands

“Sparkling guitar and compelling alto voice ... reminiscent of Pentangle’s best efforts ... a gentle and
magical recording that I will return to time and again.” — Sing Out!

“She sings with so much beauty – and with utmost respect for the folklore behind each song and
ballad.” — Gene Shay, WXPN, Philadelphia

“Some of the loveliest songs you’ll hear all year.” — Living Tradition


More info, reviews, MP3s, videos and downloadable high-res photos available at