Drop C Tuning – How to Guide

If you’re into hard rock music or metal, you seriously need to know about drop C tuning.

You’ll have heard it used by bands like Bullet for my Valentine, Sleep, Kyuss, Electric Wizard, and Black Sabbath. ‘My Curse’ by Killswitch Engage is a great example of a metalcore band using it, and Bring Me The Horizon made good use of it in their ‘Happy Song’.

In this article, we show you how to apply this alternate tuning method.

Why use Drop C Tuning?

The reason drop C tuning is so freakin’ good, and so many bands use it, is because it gives your guitar a much heavier sound than standard tuning. You can get a really heavy sound because you gain lower tones.

Power chords sound great too and are much easier to play, as you can play them with just two fingers.

How to Tune to Drop C?

Every note is tuned one whole tone down (two frets) except the low E string, which is tuned two whole steps down to C. 

If you’re using a chromatic tuner, simply tune the strings as so:

  • Low E string to C
  • A string to G
  • D string to C
  • G string to F
  • B string to A
  • High E string to D
Drop C Tuning

If you’re still confused, just follow this tutorial:


Easy wasn’t it!

Here’s a quick tip: If your strings are too loose, use thicker gauge strings (for example, a set of 11 – 52).

Good luck!

Further reading:

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About Ged Richardson

Ged Richardson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ZingInstruments.com. He has been featured in Entrepreneur, PremierGuitar, Hallmark, Wanderlust, CreativeLive, and other major publications. As an avid music fan, he spends his time researching and writing about new and old music, as well as testing and reviewing music-related products. He's played guitar in various bands, from rock to gypsy jazz. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel, where he geeks out about his favorite bands.

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