How Drone Strings Can Unlock Your Guitar Playing • Acoustic Tuesday 225

Drone strings aren’t used by many guitar players, but it is a crucial tool for helping you practice and even perform! This video will cover all the basics of using drone strings, when to use them, and how to use this technique to the greatest effect.

I love drone strings because they add so much body to your playing. Depending on what key you’re playing in, drone strings can make a huge difference. They can fill out your sound, give you a nice bass-y foundation, and make your playing much more musical.

One of the easiest ways to start experimenting with drone string playing is tune your low E string to a low D. Then, you can play an D minor scale on the middle D string. This can give you a load of melodic phrases.

You can apply this technique to any of your open strings. But there’s one important thing to remember: drone strings don’t have to be lower than the string your playing melody on. You can use an open G string and play the G minor or major scale on the A string.

My hope is that you walk away from this episode feeling a little more inspired to use drone strings. If you’re a guitarist who plays by yourself, drone strings really add depth to your playing. It sounds, almost, as if there was another guitar player backing you up!

So go ahead and try to add some drone string playing to your guitar routine this week. It might just become your new favorite technique.

In addition to discussing drone strings, here’s what else is packed into this episode…

  • Cristina Vane
  • Western AF
  • Charlie Parr
  • Smithsonian Folkways

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  1. Thanks Tony for another fantastic show. I’m heading into my 3 year with the Tac Family and absolutely love the slight changes in both with Challenges and Acoustic Tuesday. I’m at the point where after that days challenge I want to add just a little more. I been going back in the challenges looking for connections, playing through 5 or 6 old challenges quickly for sound and speed and sight now you are expanding my toolbox in show us how to get there.

  2. “Lesson behind the Lick” Virtual or Online learning is tuff enuff for sum of us, all on its on. When disabilities are thrown into the mix, things git even tuff-r. We really do appreciate everything that y’all are doing at TAC to help us with our guitar journey… it’s a blessing!

  3. The detail in the beginning with the resonator is a true leaning memory for me. Great Job. I am excited about AT again thanks to that offering. Music was awesome, too.

  4. I started watching Acoustic Tuesday around episode 53, and I haven’t missed an episode since. A lot has changed. I kind of miss Noah and the scotch verses bourbon debates, but overall, the changes are working. The Tuesday lick section is a winner. It gives a little more information than the tac lessons on how to integrate them into playing scenarios. The show has always been about guitars, artists and gear, so adding more teaching segments seems like the next step in the shows evolution, and that is always a good thing. With that said, expanding the Tuesday lick section to add more information regarding the rational behind a lick and a little theory is really cool. Keep up the good work.

  5. Thank you Tony!
    I found the explanation behind todays lick incredible informative, and eye opening. One of those aha moments, when you realize you have given us a lot of knowledge, but some of us are still learning how to use the tools you have given us. Today was a HUGE win! it opened a lot of doors for my journey. Appreciate being part of the TAC family

  6. Very interesting show today. Enjoyed the drone string comments. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for the introduction to Christina Vane, she sounded amazing. And Charlie Parr is always a treat. Always watch the Tuesday episodes, gives us a lot of things to think about and you continue to open up the mind to all the pathways the guitar can take us on. Much appreciated.

  7. Hey Tony here is a quote from John Prine about making mistakes. This goes along with your statement about learning a song note for note.
    “As far as guitar picking, if I make the same mistakes at the same time every day, people will start calling it a style.”