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  #1  
Old 01-26-2022, 07:14 PM
sstaylor58 sstaylor58 is offline
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Default Drop D tuning question

I am a newbie to alternate tunings, though I’ve played for over 30 years (guess I’m lazy and never bothered to learn other tunings). But I’ve been playing around with drop D, and I have a stupid question…when in drop d and playing a song, what do you do about other chords in the song, like G for instance? If I play a normal G chord, it doesn’t sound right…what are you supposed to do about the low E (now D) string? Just don’t use / mute it?

I know, stupid question, but inquiring minds want to know! Thanks in advance for your wisdom!
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2022, 07:46 PM
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hubcapsc hubcapsc is offline
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Before you tuned down your low E, you could easily reach 3 G notes, and
two D notes. Afterwards, you can easily reach 3 D notes and two G notes.
I guess people mostly play whatever G chords they need while in drop-D
without a G base note?

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Old 01-26-2022, 09:00 PM
Laughingboy68 Laughingboy68 is offline
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A G chord is GBD.

Grab the G at the fifth fret on the 6th string. The D can be at the fifth fret on the 5th string or the open 4th string with the 5th string muted. Another G is there on the open 3rd string. The open 2nd string gives you the B. You can triple the G on the 1st string.

Other options are leaving out the B for a G5 chord, playing an A on the 1st string for a nice add9 voicing. Similar finger positions also work when the high E string is dropped as well.

Once you get used to this hand position, you'll find there are many moving voices available to fancy up your static G chords.

...and it's really easy to play G/D (which is still a G chord) with a nice low bass note; that's pretty tough in standard tuning.
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Old 01-26-2022, 09:30 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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"Standard" tuning is well named. It's not the standard tuning for no reason. On the guitar you can manage chording the fingerings for a large variety
of chords that show up in different keys so it is the most versatile tuning. Dropped D has a great full sound for playing some pieces but if playing a
first position G chord is important for some particular piece I'd stick with standard tuning for it (perhaps some other tunings but you will most likely
need to change tunings more often to manage playing in different keys).
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Old 01-26-2022, 09:34 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
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For a G, just play it without the low string. For an E, or any other 1st position barre chord: bar the three low strings use your ring finger to fret the G string two frets up, and fret the B string one fret higher or 3 up from your barred notes.
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Old 01-26-2022, 10:41 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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Yep, you have to tweak your chord shapes if you want to play the 6th string.

For example, in one song I do I play a G using 5-5-0-0-3-3. Technically it's a G5 because there's no 3rd in there, but in context it sounds like a G major. E is played 2-2-2-1-0-0; Em becomes 2-2-2-0-0-0. Other chords just omit/mute the 6th string.
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Old 01-26-2022, 11:03 PM
stanron stanron is offline
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Here are some simple six string Droped D shapes;
Code:
      E
         0 0
 ╒═╤═╤═╤═╤═╕	
 │ │ │ 0 │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 0 0 0 │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ │ │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
  

      A
   0       0
 ╒═╤═╤═╤═╤═╕	
 │ │ │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 0 │ 0 0 0 │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ │ │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤


      D
 0 0 0
 ╒═╤═╤═╤═╤═╕	
 │ │ │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ │ │ 0 │ 0
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ │ │ │ 0 │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤


      G 
       0 0 
 ╒═╤═╤═╤═╤═╕	
 │ │ │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ │ │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ │ │ │ │ 0
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ │ │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 0 0 0 │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤



      C
       0   0
 ╒═╤═╤═╤═╤═╕	
 │ │ │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ │ │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ 0 │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ │ │ │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 0 │ 0 │ 0 │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤


      F

 ╒═╤═╤═╤═╤═╕	
 │ │ │ │ 0 0
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 │ │ │ 0 │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
 0 0 0 │ │ │
 ├─┼─┼─┼─┼─┤
You'll see that E, A and F all simply have the raised 6th string. The minor versions of these chords will have the same change.

G and C are changed more to give full six string chords but can be simplified if you are using selective flat picking or fingerpicking.

Last edited by stanron; 01-26-2022 at 11:42 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2022, 06:54 AM
broy broy is offline
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instead of figuring it out for yourself you can search chord shapes for alternate tunings. just search drop d chord shapes in you tube or google and you'll get a bunch of explanations.

alternate tunings are very cool and discovering them is the bomb, enjoy!
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Old 01-27-2022, 06:55 AM
sstaylor58 sstaylor58 is offline
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Thank you all for your great replies! Now onto practicing! Thanks again!
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Old 01-27-2022, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sstaylor58 View Post
I am a newbie to alternate tunings, though I’ve played for over 30 years (guess I’m lazy and never bothered to learn other tunings).

But I’ve been playing around with drop D, and I have a stupid question…when in drop d and playing a song, what do you do about other chords in the song, like G for instance? If I play a normal G chord, it doesn’t sound right…what are you supposed to do about the low E (now D) string? Just don’t use / mute it?

I know, stupid question, but inquiring minds want to know! Thanks in advance for your wisdom!
[size=2]Hi sst58…
Dropped D is not just for strumming. Fingerstylers tend to love Dropped D.

Dropped D makes a great gateway to DADGAD. If you play in Dropped D for a week or two, then Double Dropped D for a couple weeks (both bass and treble strings dropped to D). All you have left is dropping the 'B' string to A and you are in DADGAD.

And then if you drop the G to F (DADFAD) you are in Open D minor. Or if you drop the G to F#, you are in Open D (DADF#AD is a D chord).

Here are a few samples, and then a link to my Flickr album for Dropped D fingerings (read the descriptions under the pictures in the album). There are 26 pictures in total (covering just over 20 chords in Dropped D)


Em7 (both bass strings pressed with one finger)…


Very full sounding D (treble e not played)…


D/F# (treble e not played)…


Very gutsy D playing only strings 6-5-4…


D5 (pinky on string 1 5th fret)…It's a D chord without the third…great chord for strumming that stands out in a group


GMaj7…Ring plays string 6, mutes string 5, and index plays String 4 fret 4 (leave out string 1). If you add string 1 then it's GM7 add 6


G barre (or any other barre if you move it around)…Form the barre, then press frets in relation to the barre:
2-2-m-1-0-0 (m=mute)


F#m barre (third finger floating…not pressing string)



In fact…here's my WHOLE album on Dropped D fingerings on Flickr with brief explanations under each title…
Dropped D album of pics…CliCk

Feel free to use them or share them (I'd appreciate credit me if you share them).

Hope this helps.




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Last edited by ljguitar; 01-27-2022 at 10:34 AM. Reason: couple corrections
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2022, 11:58 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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When Bob Dylan played in drop D, he often played G as 0-2-0-0-0-3 - with or without the 6th string: https://youtu.be/OeP4FFr88SQ?t=57

Most players, though, would play G as 5-x-0-0-0-3, or 5-5-0-0-0-3. Easy enough.
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Old 01-27-2022, 02:34 PM
DCCougar DCCougar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Most players, though, would play G as 5-x-0-0-0-3, or 5-5-0-0-0-3. Easy enough.
Yeah, I cheat a lot. I just go with 5-x-0-0-0-x
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Old 01-27-2022, 03:46 PM
Laughingboy68 Laughingboy68 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCougar View Post
Yeah, I cheat a lot. I just go with 5-x-0-0-0-x
That's not cheating. That's playing a nice G chord. It has all the required elements.
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Old 01-27-2022, 04:22 PM
SingingSparrow SingingSparrow is offline
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while it is obviously possible to grab triads (or just two notes of a chord or adding a fourth note, etc.) all around the neck in any tuning (just as one does outside of open positions in standard - altho, what else is an open position chord... ), i think it is important to remember the point - already made above - that alternate tunings are typically specific in their function. which is to say that one would choose drop-d because it suits the composition. if a g chord (in open position or elsewhere on the neck) is most important to the composition, it is perhaps possible that drop d is not the most, i dunno, let's say 'convenient environment' for the tune? of course that logic has limitations; just thought it was important to restate.

(typically, in drop d, when i need a g and am playing around open positions, i will just pluck the g (5th fret) on the 6th string and have a b, g and d available on open strings 2, 3, and 4, as many have already mentioned.

if i was noodling around in drop d and was wanting notes from the g chord often because i accidentally stumbled on a phrase i liked that used g as the 'anchor' (tonic?) and not d, i may get irritated if it was complicated enough and tune to open g and try to find the little phrase i was messing around with over there... the "math" does make my head hurt and i tend to want to avoid it for sure, but i think it would help me to understand music better to do it more often [easier said than done ]. - p.s. i suppose one could also tune to standard in that example, probably be a much easier transition actually, i am just more used to playing in open tunings)

(i would recommend figuring out the shapes for any tuning for yourself by the way, instead of relying on books and videos etc. again, easier said than done...

(thanks for all the cool fingering photos, Larry. i laughed out loud upon reading 'a very gutsy d' )

hope some of this is helpful. it is fun to experiment with new tunings. hope you are enjoying your experience.

Last edited by SingingSparrow; 01-28-2022 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 01-29-2022, 02:15 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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G chord in drop D I play it 5x0003. Try not to mute the high open B or you won’t have a third.
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