Drop D - Basic Scales And Exercises

author: Lowkin date: 01/04/2013 category: for beginners

Sign up to get weekly digest with top stories from UG. Ads free, only news.

Thanks for subscribing! Check your email soon for some great stories from UG

rating: 3.1
votes: 28
views: 45,409
vote for this lesson:
Drop D - Basic Scales And Exercises
A continuation from Drop D - Tuning and Basic Chords where I will go over some scales and exercises I found very useful when I first started playing Drop tunings.


In Drop D Tuning all your scales will still sounds and play just fine the only difference is when starting on the 6th string you will need to move two frets up from the starting place of the scale in Standard tuning. I'll go over a Minor Pentatonic scale, a Minor scale and a Major scale. Here is the A Minor Pentatonic Scale in Standard Tuning:
e ----------------5-8--
B -------------5-8-----
G ----------5-7--------
D -------5-7-----------
A ----5-7--------------
E -5-8-----------------
Here is the same scale in Drop D Tuning:
e -----------------5-8--
B --------------5-8-----
G - ---------5-7--------
D --------5-7-----------
A -----5-7--------------
D -7-10-----------------
As you can see all you have to do is move up two frets on the 6th string to keep the same scale. This method of translation will work for all the scales you know in Standard Tuning. Instead of showing you all the scales in Standard tuning then translating them to Drop D I'll just show the Drop D scales and if you need them in Standard you can just translate to standard by moving back two frets. Here is the A Minor Scale In Drop D Tuning:
e -------------------------5-7-9--
B --------------------5-6-8-------
G ---------------4-5-7------------
D ------------5-7-----------------
A -------5-7-8--------------------
D -7-9-10-------------------------
Here is the A Major Scale In Drop D Tuning:
e ---------------------------5-7-9--
B ----------------------5-7-9-------
G -----------------6-7-9------------
D ------------6-7-9-----------------
A -------5-7-9----------------------
D -7-9-11---------------------------
Now that you know those three scales in Drop D play with them and get used to how they feel. There are a lot of different exercises out there for learning scales so look those up and practice them. I recommend practicing scales for about 30 minutes to an hour each day. Try to play each scale faster than the previous time and eventually you will be moving through them pretty swiftly. Remember to always use your fingertips and never be afraid to use your pinky finger to hit frets as it needs to have its strength built up.


The first exercise is really simple; all you need to do is play each scale from 6th to 1st string then back. When you do that move up one fret on the sixth string then play the scale again. Do this until you get to the 12th fret for each scale you know. The next exercise will work on your speed. For this next exercise you'll want to palm mute your strings enough to make it easy to move on the, but not too much to where you get rid of the tone you're playing.
e ------------------------------------------------------------------------
B ------------------------------------------------------------------------
G ------------------------------------------------------------------------
D ------1-----------2-----------3-----------4-----------5-----------6-----
A -1-3-4-4-3-1-2-4-5-5-4-2-3-5-6-6-5-3-4-6-7-7-6-4-5-7-8-8-7-5-6-8-9-9-8-6
D ------------------------------------------------------------------------
You'll want to keep this pattern till you reach the twelfth fret. Try to play it faster each time you play it. Play it slowly at first to get your fingers used to the pattern and eventually work into moving faster. Try to play it three to five times in a row and you should see an improvement pretty soon. That's all I have for this lesson. Leave comments letting me know what I messed up on or got wrong. I'll try to get these up once a week or so. Also feel free to let me know what you want to see next. Thank you for reading.
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear