The Drop D Tuning

G power chord in standard and drop d tuning

By Rod Ferreira

One question I tend to get a lot is about alternative tunings on the guitar, which is nothing more than messing with your standard way of tuning the guitar ( E B G D A E) in order to have different open strings which will create the ability of playing certain chord voicing that normally would be hard or impossible to reach.

So let's start talking about  Drop D tuning. The whole idea behind the Drop D is to keep all the string the same, except the low E string which will be lowered to a D note (hence the name “Drop D”).


Let's think of how beneficial this might be. Let's take a look on a basic G power chord in standard tuning and in a Drop D scenario:

E—--------      E—--------
B---------      B---------
G---------      G---------
D---5--G--      D---5--G--
A---5--D--      A---5--D--
E---3--G--      D---5--G--

The notes on the A and D string will be exactly on the same spot since the tuning on those strings did not change, but on the Low E, which became a Low D, the G note will be located at the fifth fret making it possible for us to play the entire power chord with just one finger. Personally I like the Drop D sound for rock and metal because of that “dirtier” low sound that we achieve with the open D, but this way of tuning can be use for any style of music.

Learning an alternative tuning can be frustrating sometimes, especially because the shapes of scales and chords might now work in the same way anymore, but it is a great way to force ourselves to concerted more on the notes and sounds instead really solely on shapes. Also remember since we are messing with tuning and therefore the location of the notes it s a really good idea to study one alternative tuning at the time.

Next time we'll be chatting about Open Tunings! Have fun. rod ferreira guitar teacher

Rod Ferreira has been teaching guitar in the Phoenix area for over 10 years, and on Lessonface for about six months. Learn more about his background and book a lesson with Rod​>>>


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