#1
First Post:

I am currently trying to figure out how to play some Converge songs off the Jane Doe album. By my understanding (a.k.a what the internet says...) the tuning is drop C.

More specifically, I was trying to figure out what the hell the kid was doing in this video (in case anyone was curious...) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEEJ6yJTbJE

I have only been playing guitar for about a month, so I am still trying to wrap my head around the fret board, and I am having a difficult time with figuring out what effect this alternative tuning has on how the instrument is played.

I understand that the my low E is tuned down a 2 whole steps, and the rest are tuned down a full step. But what does this MEAN? What do chords look like with this tuning? How can I use the new tuning to create different chord shapes? etc. By my understanding, I can't just play my regular bar chords in this tuning, right?

If anyone can provide me with some insight on maybe why musicians play in drop c, and how it can be properly used, i'd greatly appreciate it.
#2
All power chords with their root note on the E string turn into barres. For example, you would play 3 on the E string, and 5 on the A string to make a G5 in standard. In drop C, you would play a 7 on both the E and A strings. Simply play all the notes on the E string 2 frets higher to make them be in a regular tuning (or 4 frets higher for them to be in standard.) The main reasons musicians would use drop C are reduced string tension, and lower, heavier notes, to make heavier music.
Last edited by ChamsRock at Jun 19, 2011,
#3
basically the whole idea behind drop c (or drop anything really) is that you can make power chords with one finger. also it makes it a lot easier to do pedal tones. and it also opens up a whole new world when it comes to chord construction. i'd recommend just spending some time playing in it, messing around, seeing how you can do different things than you can in standard tuning.
my stuff:
schecter c-1+
ibanez rg3exfm1
schecter avenger 7-string with emgs
esp/ltd mh-50
peavey 6505+ 112 combo
tc electronic polytune
way huge green rhino
mxr micro flange
mxr smart gate
dunlop crybaby
#4
HA. Why do musicians tune down...hmmm...that's an odd question. They want a lower tone, would be the short answer. The rest of the questions you're asking are basically the first questions that are answered by most guitar teachers...they are the fundamentals to music theory. So the best answer I can give is not to try and answer all those, but more refer you to either a guitar teacher or any number of youtube video hits you can get when you type in "guitar for beginners."

By now you've probably also figured out that a lot of rock songs (a lot of unimaginative rock songs, mind you) are based around power chords, or your basic three note (013300, 133000, etc.) chord. When you go into drop tuning, your lower power chords (along your low E string) can be made by holding down the low three strings (EAD) with just one finger. So, 133000 in regular tuning becomes 333000 in drop; this makes it easier to play low power chords in rapid succession, a staple of many, many (unimaginative) rock songs. Hope this helps a little.
#5
With Drop C most of your chord shapes are the same, but they are on a different spot on the fretboard. For example, if youre in drop D (DADGBE, so only the low e string is dropped a step) your open chord is a D, where as in drop C your D chord (technically a power/bar chord i guess) is on 2nd fret of the 3 low strings.

The only thing playing in drop C really does is gives you two more chords on the low end (C# and C) so you can get a lower (and with that usually a heavier/darker sound)
I would say the main reason drop C is used is to get a darker/heavier sound for hard rock and metal. Some bands, such as Breaking Benjamin and Five Finger Death Punch will go even lower than drop C, down to Bb tunings. It's all basically to get a heavier sound.

Hope this helps! its kind of hard for me to explain without being able to tab stuff out or show you on a guitar.
#6
Bleh, insert X's where are the 0's are for the chords (should be mutes, not open).
#7
Quote by tbanas2
First Post:

I am currently trying to figure out how to play some Converge songs off the Jane Doe album. By my understanding (a.k.a what the internet says...) the tuning is drop C.

More specifically, I was trying to figure out what the hell the kid was doing in this video (in case anyone was curious...) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEEJ6yJTbJE

I have only been playing guitar for about a month, so I am still trying to wrap my head around the fret board, and I am having a difficult time with figuring out what effect this alternative tuning has on how the instrument is played.

I understand that the my low E is tuned down a 2 whole steps, and the rest are tuned down a full step. But what does this MEAN? What do chords look like with this tuning? How can I use the new tuning to create different chord shapes? etc. By my understanding, I can't just play my regular bar chords in this tuning, right?

If anyone can provide me with some insight on maybe why musicians play in drop c, and how it can be properly used, i'd greatly appreciate it.

Drop C is used for a number of reasons.

One of the most common reasons is because it's lower. That alone makes it sound heavier to people. The lower pitches sound darker to the ear, so it is commonly used in metal and hardcore music for that reason alone.

Another common reason is because of the relationship between the bottom three strings. A normal E powerchord looks like this:
e--- 
B--- 
G--- 
D-2- 
A-2- 
E-0-

In drop C, that chord looks like this:
D--- 
A---
F--- 
C-4- 
G-4- 
C-4-

That is because of the relationship between the bottom three strings. The bottom string, C, is a fifth below the next string, G. The G string is a fourth below the next string, the D string. That allows you to play a powerchord with a single finger.

This in turn opens up a lot of different options. As you've seen, a simple powerchord becomes even simpler because of the fifth between the bottom two strings. That fifth allows you to create larger intervals with your bottom two strings alone, which opens a number of different options up in terms of what you can play and how you can play it.
#8
Because its lower pitched, making it more "Metal", and you can construct different chords on the lower strings when the lowest string is a step lower than the others.
I love stretching like this in Drop C.

|
|
|
|
|9------9---12---13---9~
|4------5----0----0-12---


Basically. Epic.

You can have the loooow of C standard while preserving the HIGH of D standard.
METAL!
#9
Cool stuff, thanks everyone for contributing. The whole power chord thing definitely makes sense. I'm going to play around with it.