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Drop D Tuning

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by tallman, Sep 4, 2000.

  1. tallman


    Sep 4, 2000
    I've very new to the bass... having just bought my first guitar last week... so this is probably a VERY basic question...

    When reading TABs... what is Drop D Tuning... is is possible with a 4 string bass?

    Thanks for the help...

  2. D Man

    D Man

    Sep 5, 2000
    Hey, to tune to D, just match the tone of the 7th fret of the E string with the tone of your A string, instead of matching the 5th fret to it.
  3. tallman


    Sep 4, 2000
    Sounds simply enough... Thanks for the info...

  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I'll just add a little bit more info here for you about drop D tuning. The E string is tuned to D. The other three strings do not change their standard tuning. Thus you have low to high: D, A, D, G.

    In drop D, the octaves of roots are directly above the the root (same fret), but on the high D string. The fifth of the root is directly above the root (same fret) on the A string. This makes for some easier fretting of power chords for guitarists and possibly some faster fingering for you, the bassist, depending on what kind of bass lines you are playing. Jason OLDSTED

  5. Bruski


    Aug 30, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Anybody wanna share some of their Favorite Drop D Tune'd Songs? Both that we like to actually Play versus just Listening to...? I recently just got a 2nd Bass. Before that, I hated to Drop D Tune, 'cause then I had to Re-Tune to play something else. I could never find 3 or 4 Drop D Tracks that I WANTED to learn... Now I just keep my 2nd Bass Tune'd in Drop D... But what should I be learning?
  6. Journey55

    Journey55 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Orlando, Florida
    Personally I like MiA and The Wicked End (especially the second half) by Avenged Sevenfold, they're pretty fun to play.
  7. Bruski


    Aug 30, 2012
    Boston, MA
    I think "Another Brick In The Wall" is a MUST LEARN for anyone trying Drop D... But after posting that, I've been looking around... Did not know that pretty EVERY System of a Down Track is Drop D, if not Drop C!!!
  8. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    This is a tune I just did in drop D, you can hear the low D very easily and it's a pretty noticeable difference from the normal bottom being E.

    Tuned DADG just like the posters above me say...

    I often play in drop D to reach that low D sound and/or do some fun octave tricks that are a little harder for me with a regular tuning. I've got that drop D lever installed on a couple basses, I find it quite useful.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  9. Bruski


    Aug 30, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Very Nice!
    You did all that yourself? What's that Band In A Box or something? It is VERY GOOD
  10. Bruski


    Aug 30, 2012
    Boston, MA
    "Space Between Trips" is F@#king Awesome!
  11. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Hey thanks! I didn't do the guitars, a friend of mine who is a great latin jazz guy actually did those. I did all the other stuff. I'm learning drums and you can hear my clams in there but it was fun. I have a decent home recording studio, not computer based. Thanks for the listen!
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    When I used to play a 4 string bass and needed a low D I tuned it DGCF ... also called D standard.
  13. Bruski


    Aug 30, 2012
    Boston, MA
    DGCF, have not tried that one yet... Gonna give it a try, any Tracks (famous or otherwise) out there, where I could take a listen, Ric5....?
  14. Bruski


    Aug 30, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Take a listen to this https://www.facebook.com/pinnpanelle Pinn Panelle band I just found on SoundCloud, very good Bassist... Anyone else out there, try wearing a Glove, a la Scott Devine....? I have yet to try it out...
  15. Pretty much any Tool song is in drop D. Lateralus is super fun. Don't let the rhythm scare you. Its actually not too bad once you find the groove. Stinkfist is a whole lot of fun too. Dynamically challenging.
  16. bloobass


    Jul 10, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    IMO good Drop D songs:

    Forever Man - Eric Clapton (I think Nathan East on bass)
    Them Bones - Alice in Chains
    King - King's X (or a million other King's X songs)
    Going Crazy - David Lee Roth (Billy Sheehan on Eat Em and Smile)
  17. My favorite in Drop D would be The Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson...the song responsible for me wanting to play bass and the first song I learned.
  18. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Standard tuning: EADG
    Drop D tuning: DADG (The first, thickest string goes down a whole step)
    Standard D tuning: DGCF (every string a whole step down)

    Being new to the instrument, I can't stress enough the need for you to get a decent tuner and a metronome. You can de-tune a bass/guitar without a tuner if you know how, but its quicker with a tuner. If you are going to play bass you need to be able to keep time, which is what the metronome is for.

    Favorite Drop D song? When I was learning bass there was only one: Metallica's The Thing That Should Not Be
  19. Slither by Velvet Revolver
  20. Learning2Groove


    Oct 23, 2006
    If you like Rage Against the Machine, they have a lot of Drop D tuned songs. "Killing in the name of" for example.