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Play better rhythm: Drop D riffing

The favoured sound of grunge guitarists, and the ideal technique for fast power chords

Drop D tuning gained a huge boost in popularity in the early 1990s when many of the grunge bands of the time were using it to great effect.

Apart from the obvious benefit of being able to play a tone below the normal lowest note, it enables you to play a power chord with one finger barred across the bottom three strings, therefore enabling you to move the shape around pretty quickly. Two guys who really epitomise that era are Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and Kim Thayil of Soundgarden.

Gear

A G&L and Les Paul devotee, Cantrell uses Mesa Boogie and Bogner amps. We used a Palm Bay guitar and PODxt on the Boogie Dual Rectifier setting.

Click 'see all pictures' in the picture box for full-sized tab.

Audio - Examples 1 and 2 full track

Audio - Examples 1 and 2 playalong

Audio - Examples 3 and 4 full track

Audio - Examples 3 and 4 playalong

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