How to do a Drop D tuning

A drop D tuning is a very simple change to the tuning on your guitar, all were doing here is tuning the sixth string (E) down to D. This creates a rather heavy sound to your top two strings and it's also extremely easy to play, you simply bar your finger over the two strings on the same fret.

Part 1 - Performing a Drop D Tuning

In a normal standard tuning, playing the fifth fret on the sixth string will produce an A note matching the fifth string. What you want to accomplish here is to tune your sixth down to the point where playing the seventh fret will produce the A note. Here is an example of a Drop D tuning being peformed (wav). All you have to do is tune down your sixth string to do this. I play both the fifth and sixth string when I do this tuning, there is distinct sound when you get the sixth string tuned to D and play the fifth string at the same time. Toward the end of the sound file above, I play the seventh fret of the sixth string to check my to see if my drop D tuning is correct.

More Sound Files:
Drop D Tuning with No Distortion
Drop D Tuning with Distortion

Part 2 - Drop D Tablature

Let's quickly run over some tablature using a drop a D tuning.
E|--------------|
B|--------------|
G|--------------|
D|--------------|
A|--0--1--2--3--|
D|--0--1--2--3--|
This is a very simple example, and pretty straight forward, notice that the E sixth string now says D.

To play the above example (Drop D - 123 (wav)):
1. Play strings five and six.
2. Place your 1st finger over fret 1 pluck both strings again.
3. Place your 2nd finger over fret 2 pluck both strings.
4. Place your 3rd finger over fret 3 pluck both strings again.




Soundgarden Outshined
E|-------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------|
G|-------------------------------|
D|-------------------------------|
A|--0-0---3-5-3-0--3--3b--6-5-3--|
D|--0-0---3-5-3-0--3------6-5-3--|
This is the introduction to and main verse to Soundgarden's Outshined off of Badmotorfinger. You can listen to the wav version I have for the Soundgarden Outshined Intro. For this song you will need utilize Palm Muting.

How to play:
1. Play strings five and six twice.
2. Place your 1st finger over fret 3 play both strings again.
3. Place your 3rd finger over fret 5 play both strings again. Be sure to leave your first finger on fret 3.
4. Lift your 3rd finger and play fret 3 with your first finger.
5. Play an open note on strings five and six, but be sure to leave your first and third fingers in position above the strings.
6. Place your 1st finger over fret 3 play both strings again.
7. Leave your first finger across both strings five and six and play fret 3 on the fifth string and then bend both strings.
8. Now stretch those fingers! While holding down your first finger place your third finger down fret 6 for both strings and play.
9. Use your second finger to play fret five of both strings.
10. Now play fret three with your first finger.

This is a very simple drop D riff to play, if your beginner the strecthing (8) maybe tough, keep practicing on getting flexibility with those fingers, use our Guitar Finger Exercises lesson to help.
 
     

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