1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

droped "D" tuning.

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by david_lewis93, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. david_lewis93

    david_lewis93 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    748
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Location:
    Eureka, texas
    Please, dont think I am a total idiot or some such,I have been playing ,or trying to learn how to, for a LOOONG time,(since I was about 12 or so,)and all I have ever known is standard tuning to "440" , I have heard about it but I dont anything else about it ,how to do it or what it is even used for,(styles ect.)Could someone explain it to me>
    Thanks

    bend it tight and let it scream
     
  2. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    9,728
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Tune the bass 6th string one whole tone down from E to D and you have dropped D tuning.It allows you to play Dmajor chords in first position with the tonic D in the bass.
     
  3. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    7,478
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta/Rome, Georgia, US
    Dropped D tuning simply allows for a deeper, richer sounding D chord. The fifth of D is A, so if the low E is tuned to a D, there's the possibility of an insanely rich six string D chord. Obviously, if the root is to be configured on the low E, the grips for the corresponding chords change. Off the top of my head, some rock examples would include "Don't Misunderstand Me" by the Rossington-Collins Band (Lynyrd Skynyrd alumni) and "Rockin' Heaven Down" by Heart. Actually, the latter might be in double dropped D, I'd need to hear it again. Double drop D sees both of the E strings dropped to D. This is a great approach for eliminating or negating the major 3rd on top, and it also promotes the b7 on top for bluesy slide playing. DADGAD tuning promotes some really cool suspensions, and is a benchmark of Celtic stylings. Open D tuning (D A D F# A D) is a tuning that I use on my Supro lap steel, and for me personally, it's a blues tuning.

    I'd suggest some experimentation and arrangement.
     
  4. Mojohand40

    Mojohand40 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,543
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    manassas,va
    Dropped D is used in some old country. Johnny Cash's "Hey, Porter" for example.
    Junior Brown has used it on a few songs. In finger picking Dropped D is used to keep an alternating bass over various chord shapes.
    Another (IMO, the worst...) use of dropped D is in Heavy Metal or speed metal where it allows you to play 1 finger "power chords" chugging up and down the top three strings. (Blech...)
    Personally, I like playing in dropped D. It's an easy tuning to switch back and forth from standard to (Only one string! Duh!) In Fact I'm planning on getting a Hipshot with the E to D toggle soon for my newest Tele.
    Here is an example of something I recorded lately in Dropped D "Foggy Mountain Top"
    http://soundclick.com/share?songid=8178974
    If you listen to the recording it's pretty obvious where the low D comes in, especially the open chord at the end.
    (Excuse my playing, I'm just posting this as an example of Dropped D that's easy to hear the D).


    -
     
  5. allen st. john

    allen st. john Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,803
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Drop D sounds amazing on an acoustic, especially on fingerpicking pieces where you alternate between the Low D and the D on the fourth string.

    It's kind of the toe in the water for alternate tunings. You can pretty much play the same chord shapes--C and A don't use the sixth string, the thumb can easily grab the E root at the second fret, and it's an easy reach to the fifth fret on the G.

    Have fun.
     
  6. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,985
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    From here to obscurity
    Fat Bottom Girls = dropped D tuning
     
  7. Jahmbie

    Jahmbie Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,907
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    College Station, TX
    There is lots of stuff in dropped D tuning besides "cookie monster metal."

    Harvest Moon - Neil Young
    Dear Prudence - The Beatles
    The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
    All Apologies - Nirvana
    Moby Dick - Led Zep
    Grace - Jeff Buckley

    And many more I can't think of right now. I like the description of it as a toe in the water to alternate tunings. I play a lot of dropped D and slack G tuning. Slack tunings (where all the changed strings tune down) are really fun. One of my favorite slack modal tunings is C-A-C-G-B-E variant on C6 lap steel.
     
  8. pistolsteve

    pistolsteve Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    294
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Now see, that's my favorite use of Drop D tuning. Instant Sludge Metal or Speed Metal god.
     
  9. BuddyLee

    BuddyLee Former Member

    Posts:
    726
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Location:
    Liberty SC
    Don Rich I am pretty sure use a dropped D for some of those lower honking tones... unless he just tuned in D...
     
  10. Brandon mac

    Brandon mac Tele-Holic

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    967
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    north alabama
    brent mason uses dropped d a good bit also. listen to summertime blues by alan jackson.
     
  11. warmingtone

    warmingtone Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    563
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    australia
    Dropped-D tuning is as described...you might be interested to know that EVH's D-tuna device allows an instant drop of the low E to get this sound. There are other devices around that do a similar thing, hipshot for instance.

    There are a lot of uses for it and it's a great sound...a lot of those nu-metal guys were using it and you get an easy one finger powerchord thing on the lower strings. But it is also a common "tuning" in classical guitar as well...so many uses!

    ...

    Anyway...the only other thing I can add is a kind of "fake" dropped D you can get with some C clamp type capos. If you put it on from under the neck, you can clamp all but the low E at the second fret. That gives you an open bass note a tone lower than the "open strings" without retuning. I believe you can get (or modify your own) capos to allow any of the strings to play open while others are clamped at a fret of your choice as well. It's kind of fun to play with.
     
  12. RelicStrat

    RelicStrat Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    433
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Location:
    Laguna Hills, SoCal
    Here's a great example of drop D tuning. Jerry Reed's "Struttin' "

     
  13. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    7,478
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta/Rome, Georgia, US
    As for old rock songs that utilize basic drop D, Uriah Heep's "The Wizard" is a killer.

    As for drop D devices. The D-Tuna on EVH Wolfgang guitars is pretty impressive. It's accurate and predictable. I tread lightly as to my next comment, as Hipshot makes some great products. That said, my considered opinion is that the Hipshot D-tuner device leaves much to be desired. I've gigged the device on a strat and a tele. I've tweaked it. My tech has tweaked it. I can't find a useful marriage of intonation between the E and D. It gets "close", but if that was all I was going for, it's much simpler to merely back down the tuning peg in the traditional and mechanical way. Additionally, the unit has a tendency toward falling apart. I've had tightened screws fall out of the assembly on the bandstand on more than one occasion. I realize that my assessment borders on being somewhat harsh, but it's assuredly honest.
     
  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    37,178
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
     
  15. warmingtone

    warmingtone Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    563
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    australia
    True...and yet...EVH himself does not use a fully floating bridge and as far as I know, his signature guitars are set up that way.

    So...yes, if the bridge is fully floating it won't stay in tune...however, if set to a tight drop only as EVH does, it works perfectly well and allows a full drop with the trem as well.

    "devices" for this effect have appeared quite a bit over the years, I saw an old one recently on an ibanez that was a simple lever behind a hard tail tunamatic kind of bridge that looked like it could work ok. For a while I was experimenting with a multiple dropped tuning device myself that would fit inside a strat spring cavity, but It never made it to a fully functioning prototype unfortunately before I had to stop work on it.

    Personally, I now play a guitar with a fully floating bridge (khaler) and very rarely if ever use alternate tunings at all for that reason though...but this does not apply to a properly set up trem that only drops in the manner EVH has always had his done. You will see some of his guitars has a coin nailed in under the back of the trem to prevent full movement. EVH has always used quite a few different tunings, but especially the dropped D thing.
     
  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    37,178
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    EVH is famous for using the vibrato bridge fully floated. THe first bridge system that truly allowed him to do what he does was the Floyd Rose with the large rout behind the bridge that allows for radical pull backs in addition to the dives. Does he use a floated bridge set-up at all times? I have no idea. The only way to utilize a D-tuna in a bridge such as in the Wolfgang would be if the bridge was locked out in both directions...in effect making it into a set bridge. OR, I suppose the audience could be tone deaf and/or not care about the fine aspects of guitar tuning. ?????
    For a laugh in 'detuning', give a listen to this massive screw up by the Van Halen band. The problem is not due to digital recrodings or such because everything except EVH's guitar is in tune. THe guitar is not in tune.....who knows why....but the effect is hilarious. EVH should have tossed this guitar to the side and done a dance for a solo instead. LOL I can't believe he coudln't find a way out of this mess, but the guitar in his hands should never have been on stage for that song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mjx_GjyXCs4
     
  17. warmingtone

    warmingtone Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    563
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    australia
    You might want to check up on that...Vai is famous for the routing, EVH is famous for nailing a coin under to affect down only dives, the locking trem is still required for those moves.
     
  18. mody

    mody TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    71
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    India
    Song for George in double dropped tuning is easy to start with.
     
  19. billd13

    billd13 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    194
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ashton, IL
    Mercury Blues by Alan Jackson is another one using dropped D
     
  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    37,178
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Warming tone, we agree on how the bridge and the D-tuna works. I suppose EVH can get those screaming raised pitches thigns with hiw fretting hand and stabilize the brdige in that direction. I seem to remember reading about the developement of the Floyd Rose and EVH's involvement and the resultant rout behind the bridge.....I could be wrong.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.