20 of the Best Songs in Drop C Tuning

Drop C tuning is an alternate guitar tuning that is commonly used in various different songs and genres. As opposed to Drop D tuning (where just one string is drop-tuned), Drop C tuning necessitates all strings to be lowered. Drop C tuning is C G C F A D.

Drop C tuning has brought about some of the most intriguing products in music history, in my opinion. The list of compiled songs in Drop C that you will see today are some of the catchiest and fun-sounding songs that you will most likely know or have heard of at least once.

Due to the fact Drop C guitar tuning produces more low-sounding notes, it is most commonly seen in hard-rock and metal styles of music.

Let’s get down to it.

1. System Of A Down – Chop Suey!

Starting off the list and coming out the gate pretty strong is the ever famous System Of A Down. Their song “Chop Suey!” was released in August 2001 and is probably the band’s most memorable song – seeing as it brought the band’s first Grammy nomination.

Another notable mention is that the song was featured on the ‘The Best Hard Rock Songs Of The 21st Century’ as #1. Being such a massive hit, it’s hard not to accredit the fame to the cool-sounding Drop C tuning as well as the band’s signature style of music.

2. Three Days Grace – Animal I Have Become

Started strong and now continuing to do so with Three Days Grace. Who doesn’t remember TDG and their song “Animal I Have Become”? The song was released in 2006 and has stood the test of time.

Even today, this Drop C song is still frequently played and subsides in most people’s playlists. This song has such an energy to it, it motivates you and pumps you up, leaving you with a lasting feeling of an energy boost no doubt.

3. Disturbed – Stricken

This list just keeps getting better, doesn’t it? Next is the always powerful Disturbed, with their song “Stricken”. The song was released in 2005, and it’s the second single off their third album entitled Ten Thousand Fists.

It is one of Disturbed’s most successful songs to date, reaching the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for five weeks.

Taking a step back to the song being in Drop C guitar tuning, the song itself is really powerful and will surely get anyone’s juices flowing and filled with energy.

4. Skillet – Monster

The next one on the line is the always fun and explosive Skillet. Their song “Monster” was released in 2009 as part of their album Awake. This Drop C track brought the band immense success in music and is regarded as the band’s most memorable and important song.

Even without considering the achievements, the song is really powerful and masterfully written. Imagine having the opportunity to listen to this song live; it will be a memorable night, to say the least.

5. Nickelback – Feed The Machine

With the list’s past record, I’m betting you weren’t expecting to see Nickelback. Their song “Feed The Machine” was released in 2017 and exposed the band to a newfound success in a way. A very different page, considering the band’s past song repertoire and nature.

This Drop C song, along with the signature vocals just makes for an interesting experience to listen to and see the band in a whole new light. Personally, I have a newfound appreciation for Nickelback.

6. Bullet For My Valentine – Tears Don’t Fall

Another one on my personal playlist for getting pumped up is Bullet For My Valentine. Their song “Tears Don’t Fall” was released in 2006 as part of the band’s first full-length album The Poison.

The song is without a doubt the band’s most successful hit which happens to be in Drop C guitar tuning. I think that most hard-rock or even metal enthusiasts will recognize this one instantly and may be taken back a little with this classic.

7. A Day To Remember – All I Want

I’m already feeling super pumped after just seven songs. A Day To Remember’s song “All I Want” was released in 2010 as part of their fourth studio album. The song reached Gold status and brought great success to the band.

The Drop C tuning is a sight to behold in this one, with the fast tempo and masterful vocals, this just makes an incredibly powerful and fun song to listen to.

8. Nickelback – Savin’ Me

Let’s slow down a bit and catch a breath. Nickelback returns, this time with their song “Savin’ Me”. The song was released in 2006 as the first single of their upcoming fifth studio album.

With Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott providing main vocals on the chorus, this song was written by Nickelback for their friend who almost committed suicide.

With being a good example of Drop C, it takes a relatively more emotional approach, but nevertheless, a great song that everyone knows and enjoys.

9. Godsmack – I Stand Alone

No surprise that we’re taking off again, this time with the help of Godsmack. Their song “I Stand Alone” was released as a single in 2002 and eventually became their first #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

While it’s not as well-known as the singles from the 1997 album “Awake”, it continues to live as one of Godsmack’s biggest hits to date. Taking a moment to appreciate the Drop C tuning, we can all agree that this song is pure energy and power.

10. Disturbed – Inside The Fire

Disturbed makes an appearance once again, this time with “Inside The Fire”. The song was released in 2008 as the first single from their album Indestructible. Early versions of the music video for “Inside The Fire” were recalled by MTV due to the suicidal themes associated with the band.

This Drop C track is probably known by most listeners. Rarely any band can get you as hyped as Disturbed with their sheer power chords and strong vocals.

11. Bring Me The Horizon – Avalanche

Well, we passed the halfway point but we are not slowing down. Bring Me The Horizon’s song “Avalanche” was released in 2016 as the band’s newfound passion for music.

|Bringing a whole new feeling and sensation going forward, with the incorporated Drop C tuning, the band has certainly caught a second wind and continues to surprise many of us.

12. System Of A Down – Toxicity

I guess you were expecting SOAD again seeing the first track on the list. No surprise that they are back, this time with “Toxicity”. The song was released in 2002 on their album of the same name, “Toxicity”.

The song was written by Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian, and is in Drop C guitar tuning. What should be said about this track that we don’t already know or heard of? An incredibly popular song that every SOAD enthusiast knows 100%.

13. Bullet For My Valentine – Hearts Burst Into Fire

You see the pattern I presume? Every good band usually makes a second appearance on the list. Bullet For My Valentine’s song “Hearts Burst Into Fire” was released in 2008.

It’s an amazing song with a riff that really shows how great Bullet For My Valentine is at writing songs that are both heavy and melodic. It’s really an intriguing example of a Drop C tuning that makes for an incredible music experience.

14. Killswitch Engage – Holy Diver

We all know Holy Diver by Dio, but what some might not know is this cover version from Killswitch Engage. The reason behind this Drop C guitar tuning cover is due to the more heavy and powerful nature of the song.

Not taking away anything from Dio but the song is sheer energy emitting from the speakers. The cover version even reached a good amount of success and was featured on the mainstream rock charts.

15. Drowning Pool – Bodies

Now let’s take a second and first state that almost everybody knows this one. Drowning Pool’s song “Bodies” was released in 2001 and was the unofficial theme song for WWE’s ECW brand, which launched that same year.

This brings us back some memories and some of the earliest experiences with more hardcore genres of music. This Drop C classic has a place in all of our lives in certain periods. No further comment is necessary here.

16. Miss May I – Relentless Chaos

It seems that the higher the list goes the more power we get. Miss May I joins the ranks with their song “Relentless Chaos”. The song is a much darker approach to Drop C guitar tuning that most metalheads are sure to enjoy.

This song reminds me of the band’s album “Shadows Inside” which was released back in 2009. Nevertheless, the song is incredibly powerful and these guys keep getting better with their music.

17. August Burns Red – Composure

Continuing with the same energy we have August Burns Red with their song “Composure”. The song was released in 2007 and makes for a powerful song from start to finish. The lyrics appear to be about overcoming something life-changing and putting yourself back together.

The Drop C guitar is simply amazing, the bass behind it follows the guitars perfectly and keeps a nice groove that is easy to nod your head to. The drums are fast-paced but not too much; which they seem to stand out more than anything in this song.

18. Breaking Benjamin – So Cold

One of my all-time favorites on the list is certainly Breaking Benjamin. Their song “So Cold” was released in 2004 and is one of their most well-known songs to date. “So Cold” is the first single from their second full-length album We Are Not Alone, which was released in 2004, too.

The incorporation of Drop C tuning is a sight to behold. It was a really refreshing take on the whole concept of “alternative metal” and a great song to boot.

19. Beartooth – In Between

If you want something with a good kick to it and an absolutely incredible chorus, then listen to Beartooth’s “In Between”. The song is simply sheer energy and power that lasts throughout the whole song.

The riffs and choruses are enough to make it a hit, but the speed of the song is what makes it one of their best songs yet. No doubt that most people would get a kick out of this song.

20. Sleeping With Sirens – If You Can’t Hang

What better way to close off the list than with something powerful and mesmerizing. Sleeping With Sirens’ song “If You Can’t Hang” was released in 2011 and is a prime example of this genre at its finest.

With the band starting out their career at small music gatherings, they have come a long way from playing in front of family and friends to selling out venues worldwide.

With Drop C tuning, this song is not one to sleep on. The beginning of the song combines ambient guitar work with heavy, palm-muted riffs which set the tone for the rest of the track.


Drop C guitar tuning is responsible for some of the most powerful songs out there. There are a lot of amazing bands that play genres as diverse as alternative metal, post-hardcore, and deathcore.

The mix of Drop C guitar tuning and the savagely fast drums combined with catchy guitar riffs makes for a great combination. The lyrics vary from song to song, but they all encapsulate what each band is trying to say (or not say).

Each song on this list is an anthem in its own way and each band deserves credit for their work. Just because most are not mainstream doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to be heard just as much.

Milan Trajkovikj

Milan Trajkovikj

I’m the Deputy Editor for Musician Wave and a touring and recording bass guitarist. I love to share my passion for all things music. I’ve been playing music for over ten years and I love exploring it further through writing. You'll also find me on the Musician Wave YouTube channel.

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