Top 7 Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Guitar Tunings

There are many different guitar tunings that are used in Rock and Metal music besides standard tuning. Guitar players in these genres like to use these tunings because they give a heavier and darker sound to their music.

Some of the more popular tunings used are Dropped D, Dropped C, Dropped B, E Flat, D, C and open G. Here are the descriptions of how the strings should be tuned and some of the bands that use them.

Dropped D tuning:

E ----------1st string

B ----------2nd string

G ----------3rd string

D ----------4th string

A ----------5th string

D ----------6th string (thickest)

This tuning enables power chords to be played with a single finger on the lowest three strings and produces a dark sound with it. If you're music doesn't fit together with this dark sound, you can place a capo on the 2nd fret and can still easily play power chords.

Some bands that use Dropped D tuning are:

Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, Godsmack, Led Zepplin, Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Silverchair, Soundgarden and Velvet Revolver.

Dropped C tuning:

D ----------1st string

A ----------2nd string

F ----------3rd string

C ----------4th string

G ----------5th string

C ----------6th string (thickest)

Dropped C tuning is the Dropped D with each string lowered one whole step. Dropped C tuning produces a very low and heavy sound and is used by many of the new Heavy Metal bands.

Some bands that use Dropped C tuning are:

30 Seconds to Mars, Atreyu, Buckethead, Bullet for My Valentine, Children of Bodom, Godsmack, Bad Religion, Metallica, Mudvayne, P.O.D., Papa Roach, Rammstein, Shadows Fall, System of a Down, Three Days Grace and Ozzy Osbourne.

Dropped B tuning:

C# ----------1st string

G# ----------2nd string

E ----------3rd string

B ----------4th string

F# ---------5th string

B ----------6th string (thickest)

This tuning will need heavier gauge strings to be effective. Also you might have to widen the string grooves as well as adjust the tension in the neck of your guitar.

Some bands that use Dropped B tuning are:

Audioslave, Limp Bizkit, Machine Head, Mudvayne, Slipknot and Stone Sour.

Eb tuning:

Eb ---------1st string

Bb ---------2nd string

Gb ---------3rd string

Db ---------4th string

Ab ---------5th string

Eb ---------6th string (thickest)

This tuning is Standard tuning turned down a half step. There are a few reasons that bands use this tuning instead of Standard tuning. One reason is to sound heavier by using heavy gauge strings. By tuning down a half step it is easier to bend these heavy gauged strings. Another reason why some bands use this tuning is to compliment the lead singers voice.

Bands that use Eb tuning are:

Alice in Chains, Anthrax, Dream Theater, Guns N' Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, Megadeth, Metallica, Motorhead, Nirvana, Poison, Slayer, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stone Sour, Van Halen, Weezer and Yngwie Malmsteen.

D tuning:

D ----------1st string

A ----------2nd string

F ----------3rd string

C ----------4th string

G ----------5th string

D ----------6th string (thickest)

D tuning is also known as whole step down tuning and as you have probably already guessed, it's Standard tuning tuned down a whole step. D tuning has been used mainly in Heavy Metal music.

Bands that have used D tuning are:

Alice in Chains, The Beatles, Bullet For My Valentine, Bob Dylan, Children of Bodom, Dream Theater, Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Racer X and Soundgarden.

C tuning:

C ----------1st string

G ----------2nd string

Eb ---------3rd string

Bb ---------4th string

F ----------5th string

C ----------6th string (thickest)

C tuning also produces a low sound that is mostly used by Hard Rock and Metal bands. The tuning is 2 whole steps below Standard tuning, which gives it a heavy sound but still maintains the same intervals as Standard tuning.

Bands that have used C tuning are:

Atreyu, Black Sabbath, Bullet For My Valentine, Deftones, Dream Theater, Jimi Hendrix, P.O.D., Queens of the Stone Age, Slipknot, Steve Vai and The Who.

G tuning:

D ----------1st string

B ----------2nd string

G ----------3rd string

D ----------4th string

G ----------5th string

D ----------6th string (thickest)

Other than the Drop D tuning, G Tuning is one of the most popular alternate guitar tunings.

Some bands that have used G tuning are:

The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam.

These are just some of the alternate guitar tunings that are available to you to experiment with. Play around with them and see which tunings fit your style of music.

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