With a simple tweak of the tuning pegs, guitar players can unlock a new world of sound: double drop D. By dropping both the low and high E strings down a whole step, guitarists can create a resonant, open-tuned sound that lends itself to all sorts of sonic experimentation. From swampy blues to heavy metal riffage, double drop D offers a range of possibilities for players of all levels.
In this article, we’ll explore the musical landscape of songs in double drop D, and highlight some of the finest examples of this tuning in action.
“Bron-Yr-Aur” – Led Zeppelin
This Led Zeppelin classic will undoubtedly make it on any list of songs played in double drop D. “Bron-Yr-Aur” is a fingerpicking acoustic guitar instrumental that showcases Jimmy Page’s intricate playing and the band’s ability to create a serene and introspective mood.
With hints of folk and blues influences, the track is a showcase of virtuoso musicianship that still manages to be accessible and catchy. Even with no lyrics, “Bron-Yr-Aur” is a standout track in the Led Zeppelin discography, a perfect example of how a band can use a unique tuning to create something truly special.
“Blackbird” – The Beatles
This track is a beautifully tender acoustic number that showcases the intricate fingerpicking style of the fab four’s lead guitarist. The combination of McCartney’s disarmingly simple melody and Harrison’s delicate yet complex guitar work produces a hauntingly emotive soundscape that feels ethereal and nostalgic.
Its use of double drop d tuning lends a unique, melancholic quality to the instrumentals, adding another layer of depth to this already immersive and moving track.
“Going to California” – Led Zeppelin
The enigmatic thrall of this scintillating number reverberates with a paganistic aura of premonitions and mysticism, seeped in the scorching distortion of the double drop D tuning.
The internal rhymes and ethereal melody weave a prima facie whimsical facade which gradually reveals its poignant substance, leaving the listener awestruck amidst the cyclical patterns of the strumming and fingerpicking. A sonic amalgam of folk, rock and blues, this song is a masterclass in musical inventiveness and emotional resonance.
“The Rain Song” – Led Zeppelin
This tune is an enigma wrapped in a shroud of mystery. The harmonious interplay between the guitars and vocals produces a burst of sound that pierces the soul.
The intricate fingerwork gives it a distinctive character that makes it stand out from the pack. It’s no wonder that this anthem is a staple for those seeking to explore the depths of Double Drop D tuning.
“Heart of Gold” – Neil Young
This Neil Young classic is a soulful lament to the passing of youth and the search for meaning in life. With its signature double drop D tuning and delicate finger-picking, “Heart of Gold” captures the essence of the folk-rock genre while providing a lyrical meditation on the essential questions of human existence.
From its iconic opening riff to its unforgettable chorus, this song continues to resonate with audiences of all ages, drawing them in with its haunting melodies and poignant reflections.
“Dear Prudence” – The Beatles
This track by the fab four is one of their most celebrated acoustic arrangements and happens to be in the same tuning as the double drop D. It showcases the interplay of acoustic guitars between John Lennon and George Harrison to create a mesmerizing yet simple melody.
McCartney’s bass also blends smoothly with the guitars for a laid-back and folksy feel. That and the captivating lyrics make this a must-hear for anyone looking to indulge in some double drop D magic.
“Don’t Cry” – Guns N’ Roses
This track showcases Guns N’ Roses’ masterful use of the double drop D tuning, giving the song an edginess and grit that perfectly complements its dark lyrics. The open, droning chords and thick, buzzing distortion create an atmosphere of desperation and despair, while Axl Rose’s haunting vocals draw the listener deeper into the song’s emotional vortex.
It’s a haunting, unforgettable track that captures both the chaos and melancholy of the human experience.
“Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd
“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd showcases a mesmerizing progression in double drop D tuning, utilizing open strings to create a gentle and sorrowful atmosphere. The melancholic yet mesmerizing strumming and subtle slide solo in the middle of the song really captures the essence of the tune, evoking a sense of longing and loss that resonates with the listener.
Overall, “Wish You Were Here” is a haunting and unforgettable musical experience that showcases the uniqueness of double drop D tuning.
“The Wind Cries Mary” – Jimi Hendrix
“The Wind Cries Mary” by Jimi Hendrix is a perfect example of how the double drop D tuning can be used to create a haunting, enigmatic sound that’s impossible to ignore. The way Hendrix blends his effortlessly fluid phrasing with the disorienting, almost chaotic use of vibrato creates a tension-filled atmosphere that draws the listener in without giving them a clear idea of what’s going on.
It’s a strange, beguiling piece of music that demonstrates the unique possibilities of this tuning, and it’s definitely worth a listen for anyone looking to explore its full potential.”
“Landslide” – Fleetwood Mac
“Landslide” is a masterpiece of the Fleetwood Mac catalogue, beloved by listeners worldwide for its emotive and poetic melody. The song is rumored to have been composed by Stevie Nicks while reflecting on her life and career, making it a potent representation of self-reflection.
The use of double drop D tuning in the song lends itself to a unique and cathartic sound, creating a feeling of vulnerability that sets it apart from other tracks in the band’s repertoire.
“Tangerine” – Led Zeppelin
“Tangerine” is a tantalizing and whimsical tune that wends its way through a double drop D structure, adding a unique depth and intensity to its already enigmatic and moody melody.
With its delicate harmonies and evocative instrumentation, this Led Zeppelin classic bounces effortlessly between pensive introspection and soaring transcendence, making it a standout not just in the band’s extensive catalog, but the wider world of experimental and progressive rock.
“Street Spirit (Fade Out)” – Radiohead
“Street Spirit (Fade Out)” by Radiohead is a hauntingly beautiful track that echoes the complexity of the human experience. The opening guitar riff is played in double drop D tuning which introduces a unique tonality to the rest of the song.
The poetic lyrics are delivered with emotive vocalizations by Thom Yorke, accompanied by an eerie backdrop of atmospheric instrumentation. This song is a masterpiece that showcases the raw ability of Radiohead to convey deep philosophical musings through music.
“Wake Up” – Rage Against The Machine
This track by the iconic Rolling Stones has a well-known open tuning of double drop D, giving it a unique and recognizable sound. “Wild Horses” is a ballad with a haunting melody, accompanied by Keith Richards’ gentle guitar strumming creating a captivating experience.
The double drop D tuning enhances the track’s emotional tension and depth. The Stones’ classic sound fits perfectly in this distinctive tuning, resulting in a harmonious track that has continuously captivated audiences.
“Over the Hills and Far Away” – Led Zeppelin
This tune, executed in double drop D tuning, is a tour de force of dynamic diversity. The opening sequence establishes a pacific and serene atmosphere, but soon deviates into a heavier, almost bluesy motif, replete with wailing vocals and scintillating guitar work.
The ensuing interludes alternate between moments of bombast and transcendence, with a palpable sense of urgency for the duration of the piece. Led Zeppelin excelled in this kind of evocative storytelling, and this song is no exception.
“Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” – Led Zeppelin
There’s this Led Zeppelin tune that’s just so gnarly when you set it up in double drop D. The riffs are heavy and raw, and the pacing is all over the place.
It’s moments like these where you’re not sure if you’re in for a wild ride or if the song is going to switch up on you at a moment’s notice. But that’s what’s so cool about it – every time you come back to it, it’s like a new adventure.
“All Apologies” – Nirvana
Nirvana’s “All Apologies” is a low-tuned grunge-inspired piece that mirrors the mood of the band’s last studio album before Kurt Cobain’s untimely death. It features an eerie yet meditative aura that’s fast becoming a staple in double drop-D tuning. The contemplative lyrics highlight Cobain’s artistic melancholy, while the simple chords provide a broody playing experience.
Overall, listening to “All Apologies” is both emotional and reflective, making it a definite representation of the grunge sound that characterized the ’90s.
“Angie” – The Rolling Stones
“Angie” by The Rolling Stones is a hallmark in the rock canon. Originally released on their 1973 album Goat’s Head Soup, the acoustic ballad features a double drop D tuning, adding emotional depth to the already powerful songwriting of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
The song is named after Angie Bowie, the then-wife of David Bowie, and has become a staple in the Stones’ live performances. The haunting melody and poetic lyrics make “Angie” a standout track in the band’s illustrious career, and a favorite among fans of double drop D tuning.