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Drop D tuning for guitar

Drop D Tuning For Guitar
by Shawn Bradshaw

In the modern rock era, Drop D is fast becoming the most common tuning for the guitar. The only difference between Drop D and standard tuning is that you are going to lower (drop) the 6th string from an E down to a D. Everything else will stay the same.

This lesson will assume that you already know how to read tablature, understand basic tuning, understand harmonics, and tuning with harmonics.

Getting into Drop D from standard tuning

Getting into Drop D tablature

Since the only note that is different from standard tuning is the 6th string, here is an easy way to get into Drop D tuning. Play your 4th string open, which is a D. Then play the 12 fret harmonic on the 6th string. Tune that harmonic note down a whole step so that it sounds like the open 4th string. If you play electric guitar, use some distortion when you do this. When both notes are ringing at the same time, you will then hear them "crash" against each other when they are out of tune. The further those crashes are from each other, the closer you are to being in tune.

Listen to the example below.

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Getting into Drop D tablature

notes are an octave apart

Sometimes guitar players will tune the 6th string open to the 4th string open, understanding that the 6th string will sound an octave lower. Try playing both notes at the same time and listen for the same "crashing" sound that you heard when using the 12th fret harmonic on the 6th string.

Listen to the example below.

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Drop D Tuning for Guitar
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Getting into Drop D from standard guitar tuning
tuning all of the strings of the guitar from the 6th string D note
Getting into Drop D from standard tuning



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