That’s the question Rob Scallon puts to us in this video called “The Down-Tuning Experiment.”
In it, Scallon explores the notion that tuning down your guitar can make your riffs sound heavier than heavy. He starts in standard tuning and then drops the tuning lower, to D, C# and so on, right down to F#, changing string gauges as necessary. (This man is dedicated!)
Scallon then takes the experiment to the theoretical by lowering his tuning to drop-Q! Okay, he’s joking with us—there is no drop Q. But essentially he’s gone about as far as he can go.
So it’s left to you to decide if downtuning make riffs sound heavier. Check it out, and be sure to look at Scallon’s other videos on YouTube. He’s a talented multi-instrumentalist and quite the virtuoso on the eight-string guitar.