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How to play in "Drop D"

posted on #1
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Joined: 13.06.14
I understand the tuning, but I've never seen an explanation of what happens to the notes, and what translation has to be done....I assume the notes available change on the D string is that correct?

Maybe that's not it at all. I don't know! Anyone willing to explain? I have already googled it and didn't find a clear answer.
posted on #2
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Posts: 487
Joined: 07.01.13
nope ! a drop D is your lowest E string tuned down to D :)
there's also a double drop D version where you will also tune down your first E string to D
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posted on #3
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Joined: 22.03.14
I've been experimenting with detuning on my bass because my band is playing some songs in E flat and D. Drop D on a bass as Olivbee said involves tuning down the E string on step, which gives you access to a low D and low E flat. The problem with that is that it changes the fingerings on the songs you have learned in standard tuning. You can also tune down every string a half step (for E flat) or a whole step (for D) which preserves the same fingering patterns (just move up the neck one or two frets). String tension becomes an issue sometimes too; you may need a thicker gauge set of strings for detuning. I just did a Wikiloops jam in D standard (all strings funded down a full step) with a new set of slightly thicker strings. It came out ok but I can notice the floppiness of the strings when I play. You can adjust your playing technique so as not to pluck so vigorously to compensate.
Edited by bhunt1 on 31-12-2014 14:40
posted on #4
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Joined: 25.08.14
You can buy from almost every brand a drop D set for guitar.
Highly recommended ‘cause a common gauge 6th string (ex. O53) tends to vibrate in an uneven manner, which results in a higher pitch at the attack and then descends.
There are even drop C# or drop C strings available.
posted on #5
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Wow thanks for the great answers guys.
posted on #6
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With a drop tuning it is much easyer to play fast powerchords - because you only need one finger instead of two to play the powerchords with the lowest strings ;)
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Tha bass has to be a lil louder...!
posted on #7
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Depending on what you consider Drop D (experts might argue here ;)), you might just drop the lowest string down to D, you can additionally drop down the highest E string to D.

But you might also drop down the high B string to A. Then you have an open Dsus4 chord with no 3rd, so D major and D minor are possible. Also the overtones are working great. A good example for what is possible with that tuning (he is playing D minor, also consider the overtones in 3:00-3:20), see here:
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-h6MoF7HLA[/youtube]
[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-h6MoF7HLA]Chris Jones - Long After You're Gone[/url]

You can then additionally tune down the G string to Gb/F#, which gives you an open D major, which is often used in the blues/country genres. Example:
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW08Rc802MQ[/youtube]
[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW08Rc802MQ]Roy Rogers (slide guitar) - Walkin Blues[/url]
Edited by hurzel on 27-01-2015 18:21
posted on #8
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the drop D you described (both E strings down to D) is a double drop D ;)
and the sublime modal (sus4) tuning you mentioned is the famous DADGAD used by many ... i have posted lots of tracks in this tuning ;)
open D is excellent for playing major in slide :)
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #9
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Joined: 25.08.14
For the record :the drop D tuning is not that new,the first movement of J.Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez (1939)is in drop D tuning.
David Graham encountered the Dsus4 tuning(DADGAD)in 1964.
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