• OVERVIEW •
The same pattern as Drop D, but everything is then moved down two semitones. Brings a loose, chaotic, imperfect texture: total string tension is lowered by around 25% – equivalent to a ~40lb drop on an acoustic (total string tension on a steel-string can often top 180lb/82kg…no wonder you need a truss rod).
Possibly my all-time favourite versatile acoustic tuning, allowing for wide bends and fluid articultions while balancing well against smoother instrument timbres (n.b. probably best to jump it up a half step on shorter-neck designs). Also known as just ‘Drop C’ by some…although for clarity I’ve reserved that title for CADGBE.
Harmony: C6/9(sus4) | 1-5-1-4-6-2
• TUNE UP •
• SOUNDS •
Often found on heavy-strung electric cuts – e.g. Question! (System of a Down), Ill Wind (Jonny Greenwood), Vox Stellarum (Arch Enemy), Radiant Eclipse (Avenged Sevenfold), Nottingham Lace (Buckethead), She Found Now (MBV, -1), most of St. Anger album (Metallica).
- Question! – System of a Down (2005):
• NUMBERS •
- 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!
• RELATED •
—Associated tunings: proximities of shape, concept, context, etc…
- Drop D (this +2): higher, tighter transposition
- Dracula: same 6-3str, slightly higher 1-2str
- Pink Moon: same 6-3str, much higher 1-2str
• MORE INFO •
—Further learnings: sources, readings, lessons, other onward links…
- Tracks in Full Drop C: check out the huge list on the Wikipedia article (although it has to be said: its citations are a little thin…and I haven’t heard of most of the artists, who range from Swedish thrash acts to obscure Japanese electronicore)
- Playing in the tuning: step-by-step basics from Fender, and a Reddit discussion of the 6-string bass equivalent (“…I play a lot of stoner/doom/sludge metal, and this thing is perfect…”)
Browse 100+ tunings: type in names, notes, artists, sequences, words, etc. Also see tags below & the Full Menu:
Everything you didn’t realise you wanted to know about guitar tuning: fresh perspectives from Ming Dynasty mythology to modern psychoacoustics via jazz, Joni, Madagascar, & more. Ad-free, open-access multimedia resources, continually updated (‘tuned’) over time. Feedback encouraged!
Project Home | Altered Tunings Menu | Divine Indian drones | EADGBE by ear | Peg-twisting heroes | Joni’s ‘stringed canvas’ | James Taylor’s puzzle | Alpha-melodic inventions | Microtonal guitar | Megatable analysis | Social, scientific, & spiritual | Feedback & future ideas
• RĀGA JUNGLISM •
rāga: ‘that which colours the mind’
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 above, follow below, & hit me up for…
• ONLINE LESSONS •
—guitar & global music—
everything here will remain ad-free and open access