The guitar is a beautiful instrument that you can tune in many ways. While the most common is standard tuning, you can take it many steps further! The drop D tuning is an amazing tuning to get your hands on. Besides, it’s the most popular alternate tuning of the guitar. So, you don’t want to miss out on this!
Have you tried playing guitar in an alternate tuning? Do you want to explore drop D tuning or do you prefer the Open D Tuning? We got you! In this article, we’ll rip apart everything you need to know about drop D tuning. Also, we will take a look at the top drop D tuning songs that will put you in the mood.
First, let’s discuss the drop D tuning briefly.
What is Drop D Tuning?
Of all alternate tunings, drop D is one of the easiest to get a hang of. This is because it only entails lowering the pitch of your 6th string (low E string) from E to a whole step down to D. If you’re a beginner try to start with alternate tuning, drop D tuning is a good place to start.
In drop D tuning, you take the standard tuning (EADGBE), and tune only the low E string down a full step lower to a D. So, you have a DADGBE tuning pattern, aka ‘Drop D.’
This is what your guitar’s tuning will look like for Drop D:
- 6th (thickest) string: D
- 5th string: A
- 4th string: D
- 3rd string: G
- 2nd string: B
- 1st (thinnest) string: E
Now that you know what drop D tuning is all about, let’s take a look at the top 20 drop D tuning songs.
20 Top Drop D Tuning Songs
Here’s our roundup of the 20 top drop D tuning songs of all time:
1. Foo Fighter – ‘Everlong’
The song ‘Everlong’ by the Foo Fighters, released in 1997, is first on the list. This is yet another song that takes us back in the days! Many people are familiar with the Foo Fighters.
This song is a fan favorite among many, especially beginners who enjoy drop D tuning. Besides, the guitar riff makes the song an amazing tune. The intensity with which it presents itself is great. It’s not difficult to learn this song on the guitar because it’s fairly simple.
2. The Beatles – ‘Dear Prudence’
Next on our lineup of top drop D tuning songs is ‘Dear Prudence’ by The Beatles. The song was released in 1968, as part of the double album, The Beatles. Because of its popularity among fans of psychedelic rock music, it became a hit on the UK and US singles charts.
If you’re new to drop D tuning, this song is a good one to start with. Without a doubt, the is a drop D tuning song that’s simple to learn and play!
3. Linkin Park – ‘What I’ve Done’
One of the many songs that have cemented its place in our hearts is Linkin Park’s ‘What I’ve Done.’ The song was released in 2007 as part of the album, Minutes to Midnight.
The album was certified Platinum in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This song has a moderate tempo and simple guitar riffs. Besides, the drop D tuning and chord progression are ideal for beginners!
4. Rammstein – ‘Du Hast’
Du Hast is a popular song by the German industrial metal band, Rammstein. The band is still active today and is famous for their amazing live performances.
This song has an incredible and aggressive riff played by power chords that are perfect for any guitar player. Moreover, the main guitar riff is fairly simple. It features a drop D tuning and three power chords with a slide in between.
5. Hinder – ‘Lips of an Angel’
‘Lips Of An Angel’ by Hinder is a simple song to learn in drop D tuning. The song is a part of their debut album, Extreme Behavior, in 2006. It is undoubtedly one of their biggest hits, propelling the band to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
With a slow tempo, simple riff, and musical clarity, this song is more than deserving to be on the list of top drop D tuning songs.
6. Korn – ‘Coming Undone’
Korn’s song ‘Coming Undone’ joins the list of top drop D tuning songs. It has a very slow tempo and is simple to follow. The song is a part of the band’s album, See You On The Other Side, released in 2006.
This song has a hypnotic effect due to its heavy guitar riffs and Jonathan Davis’ vocals. Overall, this is a great drop D tuning song that you will enjoy learning!
7. Papa Roach – ‘Last Resort’
‘Last Resort’ is one of the most popular metal songs of all time. A closer look at the lyrics reveals the desperation and sadness of mulling suicide. This is a sharp contrast to the catchy chorus.
In many ways, it’s a perfect song, and it’s no surprise it became a crossover hit. It’s the lead single from Papa Roach’s second album, and it propelled them to fame. Without a doubt, this is a top drop D tuning song!
8. Frank Zappa – ‘Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow’
‘Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow’ by Frank Zappa is one of the most unique songs of all time. The song is one of the first four tracks on his album, Apostrophe. It was a risky move, but it shows his creative genius.
The songs in the suite tell the story of an Eskimo in a dream-like world. Besides, it has a great bassline, a unique lyrical delivery, and is in drop D tuning. Lastly, it’s a strange song, but many people enjoy it.
9. Pantera – ‘Walk’
Pantera’s song ‘Walk’ joins the ranks of this drop D tuning list. It is another excellent example of drop D tuning with a very slow tempo. When it comes to learning to play the guitar, this song is a fan favorite. It came out in 1993.
Because this song is simple, any beginner guitarist will be able to play it with little practice. The song also features a few chords, all of which are simple to play.
10. Green Day – ‘Whatsername’
Green Day appears halfway through the list. In 2004, they released the song ‘Whatsername.’ The band’s previous record of fast-paced songs doesn’t add up here.
The song is quite mellow and is in drop D tuning. This song is simple enough for any beginner to learn. One day of practice is more than enough to make this song a big part of your repertoire!
11. Jason Mraz – ‘I Won’t Give Up’
Drop D tuning has been a big part of metal music, but Jason Mraz shows that it also works well in other genres. This is a laid-back acoustic love song, and the tuning is the icing on the cake.
The lead single from his fourth album was an instant hit, with over 500 million Spotify plays. It’s well worth your time because it’s one of the best tracks ever made with drop D tuning!
12. Paramore – ‘Decode’
‘Decode’ by Paramore is not on any of their albums. The song was written and released in 2008 for the soundtrack of the film Twilight. Though there was no album release, it’s one of their most successful singles.
The song’s moody and deep feel was enhanced by the use of drop D tuning, which was ideal for the film. When that is combined with brilliant drumming, an excellent solo, and Hayley Williams’ singing, you have a fantastic track.
13. Ed Sheeran – ‘One’
‘One’ by Ed Sheeran shows us how good drop D tuning can sound on acoustic guitar. It is a love song with a textured tuned sound that adds an emotional touch. The song is the opening track from his massive second album, X.
Besides, it’s the final song he wrote about his ex-girlfriend, who inspired his debut album. The minimal use of instrumentals combined with Sheeran’s falsetto produces spine-tingling results in this song.
14. Rage Against the Machine – ‘Wake Up’
Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Wake Up’ is another drop D classic! This song was released in 1992. It is not only amazing but it is also a very simple song to play.
All through the album, guitarist Tom Morello uses three main chords: drop D, C, and F. Even if you’re a beginner, you can practice switching between these three chords as well as some basic power chord progressions.
15. Fall Out Boy – ‘Sugar, We’re Goin Down’
‘Sugar, We’re Goin Down’, released in 2005, is the epitome of emo! It was a huge success and helped to bring both the band and the genre into the mainstream.
Besides, it’s become an iconic song, aided by the delightfully odd music video. The song is the lead single from Fall Out Boy’s second album. The song uses drop D tuning, which adds to its excellent sound. The chorus is catching, and fans have been singing it with zeal ever since.
16. Avenged Sevenfold – ‘Bat Country’
Avenged Sevenfold are masters of drop D tuning. That is evident on ‘Bat Country’, from their third album. It’s an incredible track with two brilliant solos and a steady tempo.
The song was a big commercial success, and it’s also been used in a lot of video games. Moreover, this song is a perfect example of how to use drop D tuning. The tuning gives the song a massive feel and is aided by M. Shadows’ great voice.
17. Nirvana – ‘All Apologies’
Nirvana also makes this list of top drop D tuning songs. They made an impact on grunge rock with their song ‘All Apologies’. It was released posthumously after Kurt Cobain’s death. Besides, this is a simple song to play and learn. So, one day of practice should suffice for this one. If you’re a Nirvana fan, then you’re sure to love this song!
18. Creed – ‘My Sacrifice’
Creed has a collection of amazing songs over the years, but ‘My Sacrifice’ is up there as their best. This instant hit was the lead single from their third album.
It’s a beautiful song with lyrical content about overcoming addiction that speaks to a wide range of people. It also has a fantastic music video that is well worth watching. Without a doubt, the song will make any list of the top drop F tuning songs!
19. Ratt – ‘Lack of Communication’
Here’s a drop D tuning song that will pique anyone’s interest. ‘Lack Of Communication’ by Ratt was released in 1984. It’s the title track from the band’s debut album, which came out the same year.
This hit song is simple to learn and play. Moreover, it classic rock vibe that will undoubtedly make for a fun learning experience. Are you still in doubt? Listen to this song and get in the mood!
20. Lamb of God – ‘Ruin’
Last but not least, ‘Ruin’ is a popular song by the death metal band, Lamb Of God. Like most of their songs, it features aggressive and heavy guitars in drop D tuning. Besides, most parts of the song have power chords and fast riffs on the low D string.
To play this tune, you should use a lot of distortion and a strong attack on the strings. This one is ideal for trying heavier-sounding tunes in drop D tuning.
How to Tune the Guitar to Drop D
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to tune your guitar to drop D:
- Start by plucking the low E string.
- Then, turn the tuning peg towards you to tune it down a full step.
- Continue to pluck the string until you hear the correct note.
- Also, you can use an online tuner to help you tune your guitar to the correct note.
- If you don’t have access to a tuner to hear the note, you can tune your low E string to drop D by ear. To do this, pluck your D string (4th string) till it matches its tone as you down tune your low E.
- There you go! Your low E will be an octave lower than your D string.
Why Should I Learn Drop D Tuning?
When you tune to drop D, you extend the range of the instrument by a full step lower. Moreover, drop D tuning makes it easier to shift your guitar into a range that allows singers with lower voices to hit the correct notes as you play. Lastly, Drop D tuning makes certain riffs and power chords easier to play.
Do Chords Change in Drop D Tuning?
No, they certainly don’t! In drop D tuning, most of the open chords you’re already familiar with will remain the same. Besides, any standard tuning chord that does not use the low E string is exactly the same to play in Drop D.
Why Do Bands Use Drop D Tuning?
Bands use drop D tuning because it adds a “heavier sound.” With the bottom string loosened in drop D tuning, the sound will be heavier, with more low-frequency rumble. Besides, drop D makes power chords simple to play. Simply strum straight across the bottom three strings of a drop D guitar, and you’ll be strumming the three notes of a power chord.
Finally, it’s a wrap on this article about drop D tuning songs. We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about the drop D tuning of the guitar. Remember, to tune your guitar to drop D from the standard guitar tuning, only the lowest string (E) is changed. Moreover, our roundup of the top drop D songs is a good place to start playing your guitar in this tuning.
What do you think about our compilation of drop D songs? Which is your favorite? Did we miss out on any song that should make the list? Feel free to share your thoughts and recommendations via the comments!