I'm new here, and also a new Irish Bouzouki player. I've been playing Guitar a good 6 years, and Mandolin for the better part of this one. I have real big hands, so Mandolin has become a pain at times. I've answered that with the Bouzouki! Been playing a Trinity College Zouk for a few days now, and it's just fine for me.
So here's where I get to questions and such. I hear that GDAD tuning is far more popular than any other, because of the ease of playing chords, and because GDAE requires too much stretching. Well, I find this hasn't been the case for me as of yet. While I primarily use GDAD, I find GDAE with Mandolin chords makes for far less stretching. I also hear that GDAD is full of 2-or-3-finger chords, which heavily utilize open strings (and capos). Well, the only real easy chords in GDAD I seem to find using a chord dictionary I found online (pdf from this page) are bar chords, which just aren't as pretty or clean to me as open chords, and I while I can make some realy pretty sounds with just two fingers, I can't seem to find many set chords which fit this description, that aren't some complex Am/Gb#madd11. That's not neccessarily a problem for solo Bouzouki, but accompanying other instruments I forsee as being largely restricted to basic chords.
What're your thoughts, experiences, in these areas? Can anyone recommend a real good chord dictionary? I'm also interested in books which'll teach me to read music for Bouzouki, and a real good book full of traditional Irish tunes for the instrument (either Irish or sheet music).
Hoping for some excellent responses, as I've seen for others,