Dropped-D Seminar

May 18, 2005

Many guitarists find it difficult to deal with that much change, even though the sonic rewards are substantial. If you’re eager to explore the rich bass of a lowered tuning—but don’t relish the idea of getting lost on your fretboard—you’re in for a treat. Dropped-D tuning offers intriguing new sounds, yet only one string departs from the standard E, A, D, G, B, E scheme. Though it’s the simplest of all altered tunings, dropped-D delivers a lot of musical mojo. Best of all, you won’t need to change your string gauges to experience these sonic benefits.

To enter dropped-D from standard tuning, simply lower your sixth string a whole-step to D. As we’ll discover in this lesson, the burly low D lets you create wonderful new chords and riffs. For extra points, we’ll also try double dropped-D tuning, in which the first string is lowered a whole-step to D, echoing the sixth string two octaves below.

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