How to Tune Guitar in Drop D

Drop D guitar tuning is a rich and versatile alternative tuning. It is a standard in metal music and is used by bands such as Meshuggah and Slipknot. This type of guitar tuning also allows you to play chords with the D bass note. The lower register of the strings in drop D provides a richer and darker sound than the standard tuning.

One of the most common scales used by guitarists is the Major Pentatonic Scale. In this scale, the notes are D, G#, A, C, B and E. Unlike in the standard scale, however, the notes are not separated by any 4th or 7th degrees. There are some other notable uses for this scale, including playing chords that are open.

Another notable use of this scale is in learning how to play a power chord. Power chords are played on the 5th and 6th strings of the guitar. You can play a power chord with the first finger on the 5th string and the second on the sixth. Using the sixth string in this manner helps to avoid stretching the chords.

person holding guitar neck and strings
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The sixth string is actually the lowest note on a guitar, so it is a perfect choice for playing heavier sounds. However, playing notes on the sixth string isn’t always easy. If you want to play an A chord on the sixth string, you will need to move up two frets. Once you have reached the fifth fret, you will then need to move the third fret of the sixth string over one fret to make the E.

The other use of this chord is to mute the higher notes, giving the sound a more pronounced effect. In this song, you will need to be sure to not saturate the gain. To achieve this, you will need to use a double stop bend.

Although drop D is the most popular guitar tuning in the world, there are other similar tunings. DADGAD is another example, which requires you to drop the first and second strings by the same amount. Similarly, there is a tuning called the open fourth string.

Using the D bass note, Drop D guitar tuning is great for playing riffs and progressions. It is also great for finger picking. When you are able to play the D bass note in a chord, it adds a whole new dimension of aural interest to the song.

person playing a brown guitar
Photo by Ahmed Rizkhaan on Unsplash

Many famous musicians have used drop D guitar tuning, such as Chris Cornell from Soundgarden and Kurt Cobain from Nirvana. Their songs “Moby Dick” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” are both early examples of how this type of tuning was used. Other notable songs using this tuning are Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” and Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing in the Name”. Regardless of whether you’re a guitarist or a musician, you will definitely enjoy the unique sounds you can achieve with this type of tuning.

Getting started with drop D guitar tuning is simple. With some practice, you’ll be able to play a wide range of riffs and chord progressions.