Drop C Tuning

Hello everyone! My name is Evan, and I have been playing guitar not very long now, but I’m good friends with very good players, and have asked them about the topic I would like to talk about today. Drop C tuning.

If you ever look at tab from tab databases, people often use a tuning they state as “one step down from drop D.” Drop D tuning is taking the thickest string and tuning it down one step. An easy way to do this is make the 7th fret of the thick string sound the same as the second thickest plucked open. You just tuned your guitar in Drop D. Drop D is popular in Metal. But to get to Drop C, you need to bring all the strings down one step. Now you are in Drop C.


E A D G B E — Standard


D A D G B E – Drop D


C G C F A D — Drop-C

Drop C and Drop D tunings help make power chords easier. Traditional power chords require you split your fingers by two frets, which is extremely hard for small people like me. Tuning into Drop C or Drop D will allow you to play power chords on the biggest three strings by playing the same fret on all three strings.

Power Chords in Standard Tuning
Power Chords in Drop C Tuning

In the Drop tunings you can take that Metal or Rock song that you couldn’t play fast enough and speed it up, since it’s easy to change power chords.

System of a Down is one of the easiest bands to learn in drop C. Their second album, Toxicity, was their first huge success, with three songs good enough for the radio. The title track, Toxicity, is the easiest to play (in my eyes). It may seem fast at first, but that’s because the songs on the album are perfected and sped up. You can find Toxicity in almost all tab databases. Just make sure the tab is in Drop C tuning (sometimes authors of tab say 1 step down of Drop D).


The easiest way to learn any new tuning is to play around. Try playing different notes. Play old songs you knew in this tuning by listening and finding the notes. This can sometimes end up making that song easier to play, which may be why some bands play in Drop C a lot.

So all of you rockers, or just regular guitarists, try drop C tuning. It makes lots of popular songs easy to play, and makes beautiful chords that are easy to play, since barring is used much in Drop C. Until next time, bye.