Drop C Tuning Guitar: Tuning And Chords

If standard tuning just doesn’t pack the punch you’re looking for, consider embracing Drop C tuning guitar. It is an immensely popular alternative tuning for guitarists. It offers a fantastic avenue to deepen your instrument’s range and approach chord progressions from a fresh angle. In this comprehensive guide, we’re set to provide you with a complete understanding of the intricacies of Drop C tuning.

Overview of drop C tuning guitar

Drop C tuning guitar is a widely embraced choice within the realm of heavier music genres, including hardcore, metal, and similar styles. This tuning technique lowers the guitar’s pitch by two whole steps beneath the standard E tuning. Notably, the most prominent adjustment involves the top string. It is tuned down an extra tone, creating a harmonic octave separation between the first and third strings.

Engaging in hardcore music becomes notably more accessible with this tuning approach. The convenience of producing full bar chords is striking, accomplished by simply laying your finger across multiple strings on a particular fret. 

Chances are, you’ve dabbled in the Drop D tuning, a relatively more prevalent alternative that’s conveniently achieved from the standard EADGBE tuning. In contrast, Drop C offers a broader tonal spectrum, enriching your musical arsenal with a lower register and a notably weightier sonic texture

How to tune drop C tuning

The good news is that drop C tuning guitar is straightforward to grasp and tune to. If you’ve ventured into drop D territory previously, transitioning to drop C should be a breeze. Essentially, drop C is an extension of drop D, with the added nuance of being tuned down an entire step

The tuning for drop C is as follows: C-G-C-F-A-D.

Regarding your guitar’s setup, it’s advisable to optimize it for drop C. Given the one-step tuning shift (or potentially more for the lowest string), using a guitar tailored for standard tuning might lead to certain challenges. Notably, the string tension will diminish, causing the strings to feel somewhat slack. 

Furthermore, variations in tension might give rise to fret buzz or string rattle issues due to the altered tension equilibrium. For drop C, it’s recommended to equip your guitar with a heavier set of strings. A popular choice is our .011 – .058 Drop Tune Medium gauge, which proves fitting for most players entering the drop C realm. 

Others opt for our .012 – .056 or even .012 – .064 for an extra punchy and resonant sound. If you seek precise control over each string’s gauge, custom string sets are an option, allowing you to tailor the tension to your preferences.

How to tune your guitar
How to tune your guitar

Chords in drop c tuning guitar

Power Chords

Power chords are a simple type of chord commonly used in heavy music genres like rock, metal, and other related styles. In addition, it typically consist of just two notes, the root note and the fifth note of the chord’s scale. 

Power chords are usually represented by the root note’s name followed by the number “5” to indicate that it’s a power chord. For example, a power chord based on the note C is written as “C5.”

Power chords in drop C tuning
Power chords in drop C tuning

Barre Chords

Barre chords, also known as bar chords, are a type of guitar chord where you use one finger to press down multiple strings across the same fret. In a barre chord, you typically use your index finger to press down all the strings on a specific fret, creating a “bar” across the fret. 

This finger acts like a movable nut, allowing you to change the pitch of the chord by changing its position along the neck. You then use your other fingers to press down specific strings and frets to create the desired chord shape.

Open Chords

Open chords are chords that include open strings (strings played without any fingers pressing down on the frets). In Drop C tuning guitar, the lowered pitch of the strings affects the positions of open chords compared to standard tuning. Here are a few examples of open chords in Drop C guitar:

Some Open Chords
Some Open Chords

C major

  • Place your fingers on the fifth string (A string) at the third fret
  • The fourth string (D string) at the second fret.
  • Strum from the fifth string down.
  • This creates a C major chord.

G major

  • Place your fingers on the sixth string (low C string) at the fifth fret,
  • The fifth string (A string) at the fifth fret, and the first string (high E string) at the third fret.
  • Strum from the sixth string down.
  • This creates a G major chord.

In conclusion, it’s time to infuse your music with a fresh perspective and revel in the rich possibilities this tuning has to offer. Exploring drop C tuning is an endeavor well worth embarking upon. Don’t forget to download Guitar Tunio app to make your tuning more precise and simple.