Five Best Drop D Tuning Songs
by Rodrigo Sanchez, Jan 25, 2021 . 4 min read
The five best drop D tuning songs on this list are part of Rock N’ Rolls’ heritage. These songs created an impact on audiences across the world and are fun to play.
They all feature the low E string of the guitar dropped down a whole step to a D. And that is exactly what drop D tuning is. If you are wondering what’s the point of using this tuning, keep reading. By dropping the lowest string by a whole step, you can achieve lower bass notes. This in turn makes your guitar sound fuller, which is ideal for a deeper, punchier sound. So grab a reliable tuner, drop your E string to D, and let’s play these five best drop D tuning songs.
You could say that The Beatles created the modern paradigm for songwriting. Their songs used techniques that were not common for commercial songwriting, and at the same time their material was incredibly popular. “Dear Prudence” is a great example of this. It features drop D tuning and a fingerstyle pattern known as Travis picking pattern (named after Merle Travis). That low D note is a great choice for this song as it makes the guitar have a greater dynamic range that serves this riff well.
One of the biggest songs from one of the biggest bands to emerge in the last 25 years. “Everlong” was a big hit included in Foo Fighters’ second album entitled The Colour and The Shape. It features Dave Grohl’s melodic songwriting with great chord changes and a fantastic riff. “Everlong” is one of Rock’s most recent hits and a signature song for Foo Fighters.
It is hard to find a band that represents rock better than Led Zeppelin. Their classic “Moby Dick” is a study in what a great distorted line can be. The fact that the guitar is in drop D gives this riff a unique flavor that makes this song feel heavier. Jimmy Page shows us one more time why he is one of the greatest guitar heroes ever with his killer riff writing and burning solos. “Moby Dick” is a rock classic and a great song to put your drop D chops into practice.
This is a very dark and incredible song by one of the greatest songwriters that ever lived. Kurt Cobain wrote this in drop D, and that fits perfectly with the somber mood of this song. The lyrics are very visual, visceral and atypical for a love song. “Heart Shaped Box” features a unique chord progression with a killer riff, to accompany Cobain’s unmistakable melodies. A classic song from a band that transformed the music industry and moved its epicenter from Los Angeles to Seattle, albeit for a few years. “Heart Shaped Box” is a great example of the depth and power of Nirvana’s music.
A beautiful song by one of the most emblematic bands in history. “Never Going Back Again” features a beautiful guitar part in drop D. In addition, this song presents a great opportunity to work on your fingerstyle picking. This song is not for beginners, and can be a challenge for many. As always, practice will conquer everything. “Never Going Back Again” will be a good workout for your hands and brain.
Drop D tuning is very popular and for good reason. You can basically transform your guitar by detuning your low E one full step. This creates an impressive array of possibilities. You can come up with new riffs and chord voicings would be impossible in standard tuning. There are many more essential riffs in drop D, besides these five best drop D tuning songs. Take the time to listen to other songs that feature this tuning as it is a great way to add variety to your songwriting and discover more of your instrument. Feel free to leave us a comment with some of your favorite drop D songs below.