What Is Drop D?

“Drop D” is an alternate tuning for guitar.

A guitar can be said to be tuned to drop D (or dropped D) when the low E string is tuned one step down to a D note. This results in a tuning of DADGBE.

That might seem like a small change from the standard tuning of EADGBE, but it can make a huge difference. Songs in drop D sound, feel, and look different.

A lot of people associate drop D tuning with heavy metal. That's because it allows for quick one finger power chords needed for fast passages, plus hard rockers tend to love the deeper sound the low D string makes.

Drop D isn't just for heavy metal. It's been used in many genres of music and by many notable musicians through the years. Some of which might surprise you (more on that in a minute).

How To Tune To Drop D

Drop D tuning has become popular as of late. In drop D tuning the low E string is tuned down one whole step to D. This enables the guitarist to play power chords with a single finger. If your favorite band uses drop D tuning and you want to experiment with this tuning, by all means do so. What ever you do, don't learn the guitar in drop D tuning-you'll get all mixed up.

To tune your guitar to drop D tuning, first make sure your tuned to standard tuning. Then you'll want to tune your low E string down two steps to D (we drop it down one step, hence the name). See the picture below. You can use the audio clip below to tune your low E string to D for drop D tuning.

drop d tuning

In this video I'll show you how to tune to drop D. It's easy!

Popular Songs In Drop D

Below is a list of popular songs that use the drop d tuning. It  has been used by a variety of artists through the years, from The Beatles and Pink Floyd, to more modern rock acts such as Tool and Soundgarden:

Alice In Chains “Them Bones”

Nirvana “All Apologies”

"The Magic Of Drop D" E-book

 Download my comprehensive e-book on drop d tuning.


 The Authority On Drop D Tuning

Drop D tuning is a popular alternate tuning that has been used by a variety of musicians through the years. In my new book titled "The Magic Of Drop D Tuning" you'll find the most in-depth look at the tuning ever created.

You'll find...

  • The Common Drop D Chords
  • How To Play  Scales In Drop D
  • How To Play Popular Drop D Songs
  • Secrets Behind Creating Killer Riffs In Drop D


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