What Is Special in Drop B 7-string tuning?

One tuning that has garnered considerable attention and reverence among guitarists is the enigmatic “Drop B 7-string tuning.” So what is it special? In this exploration, we will explore the intriguing aspects of drop B and reveal interesting information.

Drop b 7-string tuning explaining

Drop b 7-string tuning results in a pitch range that is exactly one perfect fourth higher compared to the standard 6-string guitar’s range. To achieve this tuning, all the other strings must be tuned up by a whole step (or one to five on the second fret of the B1 string), while the lowest B string remains a singular note.

Contrasting a 7-string tuning with a 9-string tuning, the latter anticipates a drop A instead of a drop B, causing the pitch range to expand both upward and downward. The act of tuning the strings and the instrument higher generates extra tension, which in turn increases the risk of string breakage. 

The strings on the 7-string guitar under this tuning will feel lighter and less slack compared to those on a standard 6-string guitar. You will require an adjustment period to become accustomed to this tuning before being able to effectively utilize it.

The way to tune drop B in 7-string guitar

Drop B 7-string tuning is a specific tuning for a 7-string guitar where the strings are adjusted to create a lower, heavier sound. In this tuning, the lowest string (usually the 7th string) is tuned down to a B note. This tuning is favored by guitarists who want to achieve a deep, powerful, and aggressive sound that’s well-suited for genres like metal, hard rock, and progressive music.

Here’s how the strings are typically tuned in Drop B from lowest to highest:

  • 7th String (Low B): Tuned down from the standard E to B. 
  • 6th String (E): Remains tuned to E. 
  • 5th String (A): Remains tuned to A. 
  • 4th String (D): Remains tuned to D
  • 3rd String (G): Remains tuned to G
  • 2nd String (B): Remains tuned to B
  • 1st String (High E): Remains tuned to E

The primary goal of 7-string drop B is to achieve a lower and more resonant sound by utilizing the lower B note on the 7th string. This makes it easier to play heavy riffs, power chords, and complex chord voicings that emphasize the deep, booming sound. The tuning’s versatility allows guitarists to explore a wide range of musical styles, from chugging riffs to melodic solos.

Guitarists often appreciate drop B 7-string tuning for its ability to create a bold and distinct sonic presence, making it a popular choice among those seeking to make a strong musical statement.

Ultimately, Drop B 7-string tuning offers guitarists a chance to explore new sonic territories and showcase their creativity in ways that differ from traditional guitar tunings.

The way to tune drop B in 7-string guitar
The way to tune drop B in 7-string guitar

What unique drop b tuning in 7-string?

When tuning upwards, additional tension is placed on both the instrument and its strings, which increases the likelihood of string breakage. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a solution to avoid this potential issue. By using a capo on the second fret of strings 1 to 5, you can alleviate some of this tension.

Interestingly, this tuning not only provides an extended lower range but also expands the range upwards. The highest string will now be F#. As a result, you’ll have the capability to reach notes one whole step higher than the standard tuning.

Conversely, this tuning offers distinct advantages when composing music in the key of B. It grants convenient access to power chords on the two lower strings. Furthermore, the string tension is notably tighter in comparison to the 6-string version, ensuring that the strings maintain a solid, taut feel.

How to choose string for drop b in 7string guitar 

Gauge Selection: The string gauge refers to the thickness of the strings. For Drop B 7-string tuning, you’ll generally want thicker strings to maintain proper tension. Medium to heavy gauge sets are commonly used. Look for sets like .010 – .059 or .011 – .065.

Material Options: Strings come in various materials, such as nickel-plated steel, stainless steel, and more. Different materials can affect the tone and feel of the strings. Experiment with different materials to find the one that aligns with your preferences and desired sound.

Set Composition: Look for string sets specifically designed for Drop B tuning or extended-range guitars. Some sets are tailored to handle the lower tunings and maintain proper tension.

Balanced Tension Sets: Some manufacturers offer balanced tension sets where the tension across all strings is more consistent. This can lead to better playability and intonation.

How to choose string in drop B
How to choose string in drop B

Exploring Drop B 7-string tuning can greatly enhance your guitar prowess, offering an alternative tuning worth experimenting with. Keep in mind the valuable insights we offer to simplify the process.