D Standard

D-G-C-F-A-D

 

Tuning ‘down a whole tone’ lowers overall string tension by around 20%, decreasing volume but allowing for wide bends, subtle vibratos, and an overall ease of fretting. Great for opening up electric-style melodic freedoms on the acoustic guitar – and for reducing strain on the hands.

  • Pattern: 5-5-5-4-5
  • Intervals: 1-4-b7-b3-5-1
  • Harmony: D m7(11)

TUNE UP

SOUNDS

Used on innumerable tracks: e.g. Yesterday (Paul McCartney), Working Class Hero (Lennon), Come As You Are (Kurt Cobain), Walk (Dimebag Darrell), Dogs (Dave Gilmour), Between the Bars (Elliot Smith), Sad But True (Metallica), Budapest (George Ezra), many Neil Young live records.

 


  • Come As You Are – Nirvana (1991):

NUMBERS

6str 5str 4str 3str 2str 1str
Note D G C F A D
Alteration -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2
Freq. (Hz) 73 98 131 175 220 294
Tension (%) -21 -21 -21 -21 -21 -21
Pattern (>) 5 5 5 4 5
Intervals 1 4 b7 b3 5 1
Semitones 0 5 10 15 19 24
  • See my Tunings Megatable for further such nerdery: more numbers, intervallic relations, comparative methods, etc. And to any genuine vibratory scientists reading: please critique my DIY analysis!

MORE

Associated tunings

Further resources

  • Stringing lower: GearPage discussion on gauges, scale lengths, etc – also Music.StackExchange chat on various reasons you might want to go down.

—SEARCH TUNINGS—

 

Browse 100+ altered guitar tunings: type in names, notes, artists, sequences, descriptions, etc. Also see tags below & the full Tunings Menu.

 

RĀGA JUNGLISM’s WORLD OF TUNING  

Everything you didn’t realise you wanted to know about guitar tuning – fresh perspectives from Ming Dynasty manuscripts to modern psychoacoustics via jazz, Joni Mitchell, Madagascar, & more. Ad-free, open-access multimedia resources, continually updated (‘tuned’) over time. Feedback encouraged!

WORLD OF TUNING: HOME

George Howlett is a London-based musician, writer, and teacher. I play guitar, tabla, and santoor, loosely focusing on jazz, rhythm, and other global improvised traditions. Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, interconnecting fresh vibrations with the human voices, cultures, and passions behind them. Site menu above, follow below, & get in touch!

ONLINE LESSONS

Dedicated to Nigel Tufnel – a true tuning connoisseur

everything here will remain ad-free and open access