Skip to main content

Play better rhythm: Drop D riffing

Image 1 of 6

Image 2 of 6

Drop D riffing ex 3 and 4 - Full track

Drop D riffing ex 3 and 4 - Full track
(Image credit: Mike Goodman)

Drop D riffing ex 3 and 4 - Full track

Image 3 of 6

Tab: Play better rhythm: Drop D riffing

Tab: Play better rhythm: Drop D riffing
(Image credit: Mike Goodman)

Tab: Play better rhythm: Drop D riffing

Image 4 of 6

Drop D riffing ex 3 and 4 - Playalong

Drop D riffing ex 3 and 4 - Playalong
(Image credit: Mike Goodman)

Drop D riffing ex 3 and 4 - Playalong

Image 5 of 6

Drop D riffing ex 1 and 2 - Full track

Drop D riffing ex 1 and 2 - Full track
(Image credit: Mike Goodman)

Drop D riffing ex 1 and 2 - Full track

Image 6 of 6

Drop D riffing ex 1 and 2 - Playalong

Drop D riffing ex 1 and 2 - Playalong
(Image credit: Mike Goodman)

Drop D riffing ex 1 and 2 - Playalong

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.

Read more: Mesa/Boogie Fillmore 50-watt 1x12 Combo

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