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Drop D Tuning

Rating: 0 user(s) have rated this lesson Posted by: DanielKaczmarczyk, on May 11,2012, in category The Basics Views: this lesson has been read 1516 times
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Using dropped D tuning

Tune your low e string one tone lower - from e to d. Changing the tunning in that manner gives you a lot of new opportunities to play notes that were unreachable, or uncomfortable to play before.

If you have electronic tuner it's really sipmle to do that. Just plug the guitar and detune low e to d. if you can't use a tuner, here you can read here how to do it.

  1. tune your guitar first to normal tuning : E a d g b e
  2. play low e string and fret the 5th fret. It should sound an "a" note.
  3. we want to tune low e to d, so the "a" note from 5th fret will move to the 7th fret. This means, you should tune it lower, untill the 7th fret of 6th string sounds an "a" (just like the 5th open string)
  4. now you have tuned to drop d tuning! continue reading the lesson ! :)

Drop D "moves"

Now, let's talk a little about the opportunites that dropped d tuning gives us.

One of the most important advantages of tuning to drop d is that you can simply play power chords on the 3 lowest strings using only one finger. This allows you to make really fast, heavy sounding riffs using very easy shapes, that go like this;

e\------------------
b\------------------
g\------------------
d\-3--5-0-----------
a\-3--5-0-----------
e\-3--5-0-----------
    f5  g5 d5 etc

If you are familiar with using the "pedal tone" when creating your own riffs, instead of jus one note - low e in e standard tuning, in drop d you can use the whole d5 chord, like this:

e\-----------------------
b\-----------------------
g\-----5-7-8-7----5-7-8-7
d\-0000-0-0---0000-0-0---
a\-0000-0-0---0000-0-0---
e\-0000-0-0---0000-0-0---

Drop D tuning is made for heavy music genres. So if you are into heavy music, consider using it in your songs! But mind my advice - if you are used to E standard tuning, remember that the scale,chord and arpeggio shapes that include 6th string are not the same as before. It sounds obvious, and it is obvious but when you lose your focus, you can easily forget about that and you will sound greatly out-of-tune.

Here I'll provide you a fretboard map with notes of drop d tuning.

|E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|
|B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|
|G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G|
|D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D|
|A| |B|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A|
|D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D|
 0     3   5   7   9     12 (fret numbers)

This may help you orientate around new tuning!

I hope that this article helped you in going familiar with drop D tuning. I wish you best in playing in dropped D and writing some great riffs! Rock on, my guitar playing friends!

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