drop D tuning in modern rock

Do bass players in bands where the guitar player plays a drop D also drop that bottom string?

Do some and not the others?

I have played only in a drop down mode since the 1980s. But it’s drop down the low E to a D and then drop down the two high notes the same steps. I have no clue where I picked it up, and I’ve heard it attributed to Jimmy Page, and called an A tuning.

But it’s neither here nor there the origin, what I like is how well it goes with standard as a kind of harmony.

But then I started watching some young guys play to today and I started wondering that–I was trying to watch the bass player’s fingers to figure it out but could never get a decent view and then I left.

So you young 'uns out there (or old ones who happen to know) who are familiar with drop D tuning and new rock, tell me about it how the rest of the band changes their tuning, if at all.

thanks, ahead of time, for your responses

In bands I’ve played in, the bass would generally drop the D, too. As to the quoted part, are you saying DADGAD? You can read about it here. I’ve never heard of it referred to as an A tuning, but I’m not really a guitarist. However, it doesn’t really outline an A chord of any kind. I’d call it an open D sus 4 tuning, but it looks like it goes by the name “D modal” or “Celtic” tuning.

It’s kind of a G add 2 as well. That’s a nice tuning on an acoustic guitar, you can do some nice stuff with it.

I suppose you could call it A7 sus 4.

Thanks guys.

and yes, I think its probably the DADGAD because the two high strings come down two frets (can you tell I forgot how to read music?)

I figured the bass would tune down too just so they could follow each other. One time I’m in that tuning and capo’d up two frets and jamming with a guy in standard and no capo. We sounded good, but when we tried to tune some new strings up on his guitar, we managed to break two strings because we couldn’t do the math in our heads to compensate for our tunings.

DADGAD is a popular non-standard tuning; can’t really call it an open tuning, since it doesn’t form an easy major like many slide tunings - Open E, G, A, etc…

Jimmy Page popularized it - playing Kashmir in DADGAD is such a revelation; I mean, it’s actually playable AND, you know - sounds right. Do I sound like a self-taught weenie who tried to figure it out pre-Internet chord charts?

As for dropped D - don’t know; I mess around with it when I play on my own but not much with the band. I do use it - we do a punk/industrial version of You Spin Me Right Round where the low-end growl gives it a nice edge - but everyone else remains in standard tuning…

I called it an open tuning since the unfretted strings spelled out a D sus4 chord (or, as noted, a G sus2, although along with the bass and doubled As, I’m more likely to hear D as the root of the chord rather than G). The Wikipedia page lists the DADGAD tuning under “Open Tunings” under “Modal Tunings.” That said, you’re right. I’ve never heard a guitarist refer to anything but a major open tuning explicitly as an “Open [insert chord]” tuning. With my logic, I suppose you could call standard tuning “Open Em11 tuning.” :wink:

Years ago I played keyboards in a band, and I would, because I could, change my pitch off relative to the rest–just play with other chords than they used. I know just enough music theory to stay away from the circle of keys, but I always experiment with that and just wondered how folks out there were doing it these days. Thanks again for the input.

And I would agree that it should be called a D tuning and that D is the root. Hell there’s three of them open.

Too late for the edit button: And playing that tuning led me to the banjo. I remember they were similar, but I haven’t touched a banjo in 15 years, and I couldn’t tune one to save my life now. Ya’ll know that one?

I should also add, this is why you don’t let keyboardists name guitar chords and tunings.
Otherwise, you’d be referring to “power intervals” instead of “power chords,” and that doesn’t quite have the same macho ring to it, does it?

**puly **- to be clear: when I said I didn’t think of it as an Open Tuning, I wasn’t trying to be Mr. Official Guitar Lingo Guy™, I was merely stating that I don’t think of it as an open tuning because I can’t play one-finger stuff on it. I was just making a distinction from a player’s standpoint. Some folk dudes have the most intricate alternate tunings, and Robert Fripp has his “new standard tuning” - I think of them as “alternate” tunings vs. “open” tunings for the same reasons…none really pass the “barre one finger up and down the neck and you’re in business” test…if you can’t pull off Elmore James’ version of Dust My Broom on it, it ain’t an Open tuning to this unschooled ear…

It is a very cool tuning either way. :wink: