The Drop D Alternate Guitar Tuning

Drop D Tuning Structure

Quite possibly the most widely used and recognizable of all alternate tunings, the drop D simply requires the low E string tuned down a whole step to D while the rest of the strings are kept in their standard format.

In drop D, the three bass strings form a D5 power chord which can be shifted up and down the fretboard with a single finger to produce a power chord. It is for this reason that the drop D is frequently used by metal bands as this gives them the added advantage of being able to shift back and forth between power chords with extreme quickness, a staple of the genre. Although drop D can be found across multiple styles, notable genres include country, blues, classic rock, folk and alternative.

Due to its close similarity to standard tuning, the drop D is often used as introduction to alternate tuning.



Popular songs in drop D: “Dear Prudence” –The Beatles, “Everlong” –Foo Fighters, “Something in the Way” –Nirvana, “Killing in the Name” –Rage Against The Machine, “Your Body is a Wonderland” –John Mayer.


Remember to come back next Thursday for our next Alternate Tuning of the Week!

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