Everything You Need to Know About Drop D Tuning • Acoustic Tuesday 244

Drop D tuning can open up an entire new sonic soundscape, but do you know how best to practice your shapes and scales in this alternate tuning?

On today’s episode of Acoustic Tuesday, you’re going to get a lesson behind the acoustic guitar lick of the week. Every Tuesday, I offer you a quick lesson on learning an awesome lick. But this week, you’ll get to see the theory, rationale, and benefits behind learning the lick this week.

Specifically, this lick focuses on drop D tuning for the acoustic guitar. Drop D tuning is when you turn your low E string to a low D. This gives you awesome bass sounds and can infuse your playing with bluesy mojo sounds.

If you aren’t a fan of the blues (to which I say, check yourself!), drop D tuning is used in a variety of different genres. From American Primitive to modern fingerstyle, you’re sure to find a great way to apply drop D tuning to your playing.

Besides covering drop D tuning, you’ll also hear from TAC Family member Shannon and how building a solid guitar routine helped her in a difficult point in her life. Perhaps her story could inspire you, no?

Featured in this Episode

  • Jeffrey Foucault
  • Heartbreaker Guitars
  • Martin Guitar
  • SantaCruzGuitarCo
  • Luca Stricagnoli
  • Normans Rare Guitars
  • Dean Guitars
  • Gibson TV

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  1. I understand that Karla Bonhoff’s version of “The Water Is Wide” is in Drop D but have never been able to figure out the chords or fingerstyle. It is a beautiful Scottish Folk Song.

  2. You mean virtually every Neil Young song? The Loner, Cinnamon Girl, Harvest Moon, Mr.Soul, Old Man (selected readings) should I go on?

  3. I hope Justin Johnson gets his trademark paperwork in on that 3-string shovel guitar.
    I would hate to see Gibson dry-gulch him for the rights to garden tool instruments!

  4. Re Gibson lawsuit: Absurd! Imagine if Fender sued over every guitar that is shaped like a strat?
    Is Gibson afraid of losing the enormous amount of their revenue that comes from selling Flying V’s?
    And guys, it’s a V. You can’t patent a V. Go sue Churchill.

  5. Yeah TONY, That Gibson flying v thing is as silly as the Avalanche thinking they could win more then 2 in a row from the Lightning. Thanks your friend Guy B. Champa bay FL.

  6. New to Tac (week 1 of 30 days to play) and just watched my first episode of Acoustic Tuesday. I’ve been messing around with alternate tunings for bit; Drop D is certainly a favorite. Just in your short explanation, I got way more than I could ever discover on my own, huge win! Thanks, and looking forward to many more episodes and wins.

  7. Drop-D tuning tunes:

    Pete Seeger – “Living in the Country”
    Jorma Kaukonen (a.k.a. Jefferson Airplane) – “Embryonic Journey”
    John Hammond – “Statesboro Blues”
    J. S. Bach – Prelude #1 from The Well-Tempered Clavier

    I use a tuning in which both E-strings are tuned down to D. I think I’ll call it “Halfway to DADGAD.”

    I love “tuning in” to your Acoustic Tuesdays, Tony!