20 Easy Songs in Drop D Tuning
Drop D tuning is an alternate guitar tuning that is frequently used in metal genres. Drop D is essentially the low E string tuned down to D (one whole step) while all the other strings remain in standard guitar tuning. The result – D A D G B E.
Drop D is not a complex tuning to fathom as only one string is different from standard tuning. This comes around to the reason why it’s easy to implement and learn a song using Drop D tuning.
Many songs come to mind but I’ve selected 20 songs that are suitable for entry-level guitarists. Every one of these songs you are about to see is my own selection and therefore does not mean that there aren’t more songs in Drop D out there suitable for beginners.
- 1. Linkin Park – What I’ve Done
- 2. Hinder – Lips Of An Angel
- 3. Three Days Grace – Never Too Late
- 4. Foo Fighters – Everlong
- 5. The Beatles – Dear Prudence
- 6. Rage Against The Machine – Wake Up
- 7. Korn – Coming Undone
- 8. Pantera – Walk
- 9. Morgane & Chris Stapleton – You Are My Sunshine
- 10. Green Day – Whatsername
- 11. Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Goin Down
- 12. Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench
- 13. Nirvana – All Apologies
- 14. Arctic Monkeys – Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
- 15. Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name
- 16. Soundgarden – Pretty Noose
- 17. Jimmy Eat World – The Middle
- 18. Ratt – Lack Of Communication
- 19. Three Days Grace – I Hate Everything About You
- 20. Muse – Psycho
1. Linkin Park – What I’ve Done
Opening the Drop D list is none other than Linkin Park. Their song “What I’ve Done” is one of the many that has solidified its place in our hearts.
The song was released in 2007 as part of “Minutes to Midnight”, an album that was well received by both fans and critics, with Rolling Stone Magazine giving it four out of five stars. The album went on to be certified Platinum in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
With a moderate tempo, this song is perfectly suited for beginner guitarists, with a simple guitar riff and chord progression.
2. Hinder – Lips Of An Angel
Personally, I remember listening to this song way too much at the time. Hinder’s song “Lips Of An Angel” is an incredibly easy song in Drop D tuning to learn.
The song was released in 2006 on their debut album “Extreme Behavior”. This song was undoubtedly their major hit and the band managed to climb the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
With a slow tempo, simple riff, and musical simplicity, this song is more than worthy to make the list today.
3. Three Days Grace – Never Too Late
What better way to solidify #3 than with Three Days Grace. Their song “Never Too Late” is an incredibly popular song that was released in 2006 and is still played on the radio and in bars and clubs today.
“Never Too Late” is about a man struggling with addiction who wants to turn his life around, but can’t find it within himself to do so. The guitar in this song is indeed in Drop D tuning and is easy enough to follow along with and master.
4. Foo Fighters – Everlong
Foo Fighters’ song “Everlong” comes in at #4 on this list. The song was released on August 18th, 1997. This is another song that takes me back to my early days. Foo Fighters are known by many and that is a fact.
This song is a fan favorite by many, especially by beginner guitarists that love Drop D tuning. The guitar riff in this song is a quick and amazing tune. The intensity in which it presents itself is magnificent.
Learning this song will not be a hard task, as it’s pretty straightforward on the guitar.
5. The Beatles – Dear Prudence
The legendary Beatles make an entry with their song “Dear Prudence”. The song was released on 22 November 1968 and is on their double album The Beatles and became a hit on the UK and US singles charts due to its popularity among fans of psychedelic rock music.
The Drop D guitar in this song is pretty easy to play and learn for those who are new to this. Surely every beginner will have an easy time with this one.
6. Rage Against The Machine – Wake Up
Another Drop D classic that is beginner-friendly is “Wake Up” by Rage Against The Machine. This song was released back in 1992 and is not only an amazing song to play, but it’s a very easy song to play.
Guitarist Tom Morello mainly uses three different chords – Drop D, C, and F – throughout the entire album. Even if you’re new to playing guitar, you can work on transitioning between these three chords as well as some basic power chord progressions.
“Wake Up” also features a few shredding solos that are very easy to learn, even for beginners.
7. Korn – Coming Undone
Korn joins the list with their song “Coming Undone”. This song has an extremely slow tempo and is easy to follow. The song was released in 2006 and was on the band’s See You On The Other Side album.
With its heavy guitar riffs and Jonathan Davis’ vocals, this song has an almost hypnotic effect. An ideal specimen for Drop D tuning that most likely every guitarist will enjoy learning.
8. Pantera – Walk
Pantera joins the ranks on this Drop D tuning list with their song “Walk”. Another prime specimen of Drop D tuning with a really slow tempo. This song is a fan favorite when it comes to learning it on guitar. It was released in 1993.
“Walk” is simplistic by nature, so every beginner guitarist will be able to play this song with little practice. Also, the song features a few chords and all of them are easy to play as well.
9. Morgane & Chris Stapleton – You Are My Sunshine
A song to break away from the metal heavy nature of this list. Morgane and Chris Stapleton’s song “You Are My Sunshine” was released in 2016 but has recently gained popularity after appearing in the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”
The song has a surprisingly slow tempo and is a very beginner-friendly song to learn and master for any entry-level guitarist.
10. Green Day – Whatsername
Halfway through this list is Green Day. Their song “Whatsername” was released in 2004. The band’s previous record of fast-paced songs does not apply to this situation. The song is pretty mellow and is indeed in Drop D tuning.
Any beginner will have no trouble acquiring this song quickly. One day of practice is more than enough to solidify this song in your repertoire.
11. Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Goin Down
A maybe not-so-expected appearance on this list is Fall Out Boy. They have been a staple in music and also frequent users of Drop D tuning. Their song “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” was released as their lead single on the album From Under The Cork Tree in 2005.
The song is incredibly popular and considered an entry-level for guitarists to get into playing Drop D.
12. Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench
Foo Fighters are an incredibly well-known band and fan favorites to many. Their song “Monkey Wrench” was released as one of the very first singles from their album The Colour and the Shape, which was released in 1997.
With its fast tempo, most would think it would be a hard one to nail down, however, the riff is quite simple. There are two main riffs, one is played at the beginning of the song and one is played after each chorus. This one should be quick to master.
13. Nirvana – All Apologies
Nirvana makes an appearance on this Drop D tuning list. With their song “All Apologies” which was released posthumously after Kurt Cobain’s death, they have made an impact on grunge rock.
An incredibly easy song to play and learn, meaning that one day of practice should be more than enough for this one. As a Nirvana fan, I’m sure you will have fun with the song.
14. Arctic Monkeys – Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
Arctic Monkeys is one of the most successful Indie Rock bands of the last decade. Their song “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” was released in 2011.
Even though their early tunes had a more “punk” vibe, the new songs are surely getting more on the dark-pop side of things. This is why we can call them one of the first Indie bands that really made it big.
The song is pretty slow-paced and has a simplistic nature, a guitar riff that is not that hard to master.
15. Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name
The two-time nominee on this list is again Rage Against The Machine, this time with their song “Killing In The Name”. The song was released as a single alongside the protest album of the same name in 1992 and it quickly became a hit.
With an easy-to-follow tempo and simple guitar riff that is in Drop D, this song is a really easy one to play. Having this one under your belt will surely motivate each beginner guitarist even further into their musical journey.
16. Soundgarden – Pretty Noose
Another not-so-expected nominee on the Drop D list is Soundgarden. Their song “Pretty Noose” might not be recognizable by everyone. It was released in 1996 as part of the album Down On The Upside.
As many of you might not know this piece, it will surely be welcomed into your arsenal. The slow tempo and straightforward guitar riff are easy to learn and will become an asset.
17. Jimmy Eat World – The Middle
One of my favorites on this Drop D list is Jimmy Eat World with their song “The Middle”. Most of you might recollect this piece from the America Pie movie.
The song was released back in 2001 on the album “Bleed American”. It has since then become one of their most well-known songs. A surely fun one to learn and play, with its catchy chorus and simple rhythm.
18. Ratt – Lack Of Communication
A Drop D song that will surely grab anyone’s interest. Ratt’s song “Lack Of Communication” was released in 1984. It’s the title track to the band’s debut album, which was released in that same year. As soon as you hear it, you’ll recognize what song I’m talking about.
This simple-natured song is incredibly easy to pick up and play. A classic rock vibe that will make for a fun learning experience, no doubt.
19. Three Days Grace – I Hate Everything About You
Another Three Days Grace classic joins the ranks. “I Hate Everything About You” was released in 2003, and reached #1 on the Pop Songs chart. It debuted at number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, where it stayed for ten weeks.
“I Hate Everything About You” is Three Days Grace’s first single to be certified Platinum by the RIAA. I know I had fun learning this amazing song, surely any beginner who gives it a shot will feel the same way.
20. Muse – Psycho
Closing off the Drop D tuning list is Muse with their song “Psycho”. The song was released in 2015 as their promotional single. With a moderate tempo and classic rock vibe, this one is easy to learn for any beginner.
With the guitar riff being simple and the song using only three chords, all you need is a good rhythm to pull it off.
Drop D tuning is a type of guitar tuning where the first string is lowered by a whole tone, which makes it a D. Other than this, everything else remains untouched. For beginner guitarists that are still learning the ropes, this tuning is a pretty simple one to learn and try.
The songs on this list should give any beginner a great starting point to learn, master, and experiment with this tuning.
Remember that the main aspect to keep in mind while learning these songs is patience. Being patient enough to practice each song until you master it will make a great difference between a good player and an extraordinary one.
Learning the guitar takes time, anyone who tells you otherwise is not being truthful.