Drop A Tuning: Ultimate Guide

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Drop A Tuning
Drop A Tuning

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Drop A Tuning

Drop A guitar tuning offers a new, vibrant and diverse sound from your instrument. Alternative tunings, in general, are a brilliant way to transform an instrument that you know inside out, into a fresh and exciting animal. In addition, they can offer a new way of looking at a guitar and give new creative ideas which are unattainable in standard tuning.

What does tuning mean?

Players must always check that an instrument is in tune before playing to ensure that it sounds at the correct pitch. Tuning makes sure that all instruments in a band work harmoniously together.

That is to say, tuning a guitar into a different tuning can transform the instrument into a whole other beast. Alternative tunings give chords and solos new life, allowing the player to experiment with unusual tones and form a unique character. 

How Do You Tune A Guitar To Drop A?

Guitars that are in standard tuning are (from the thickest string to the thinnest) E, A, D, G, B, E. When players change to a drop A tuning, the bottom E string is lowered from E to A making the strings read A, A, D, G, B, E.

Moreover, this produces a super low bass which gives extra weight in the low end. Unusual and beautiful, it’ll give your guitar a characterful edge. 

Importantly, Drop A is not to be confused with the Open A guitar tuning. Open A would see the guitar be tuned to, E A E A C# E.

Tuning to Drop A Easily

Most importantly, the best way to achieve an accurate Drop A (or Open A) tuning is to use a chromatic guitar tuner. This specific type of guitar tuner shows the notes to the nearest semitone, which is what we need when tuning to an alternative tuning. 

Above all, we recommend the Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal. It is an accurate tuner over a wide range, and the super-bright LED meter makes it perfect for any setting. 

Drop A Tuning - Chromatic Tuner
Drop A Tuning Chromatic Tuner

Get the Lowest Price Boss TU-3S Chromatic Tuner Pedal here!

What Is The Lowest Drop Tuning?

The lowest drop tuning on a standard six-string guitar is Drop C. It is a beauty! Likewise, to Drop A, the rich bass notes harmoniously balance, and it creates a sound unparalleled to anything else! 

Drop A Tuning – 7 String Guitar

Firstly, 7 string guitars are new and exciting creatures. A standard 7 string guitar comes in the standard tuning, B, E, A, D, G, B, E. Secondly, to tune to a to this, the guitar needs to be tuned to, A, E, A, D, G, B, E.

Get The ULTIMATE 7 String Guitar Here

Drop A Tuning Bands and Songs

There are a number of songs in Drop A which we recommend giving a go; it’ll transform your playing and work new parts of your brain!

For example, these include Muse – ‘Citizen Erased’, Slipknot – ‘Psychosocial’, Coheed And Cambria – ‘Gravity’s Union’, Jinjer – ‘Pisces’, Dragonforce – ‘Three Hammers’, Volumes – ‘Wormholes’, Bloodbath – ‘Eaten’, Nile – ‘Sacrifice Unto Sebek, and Infant Annihilator – ‘Soil The Stillborn’.

Slipknot, Whitechapel, Carnifex, Suicide Silence, The Acacia Strain, Nile, and Salt The Wound are all notorious for using the this awesome variant. 

Drop A Tuning
Drop A Tuning

Best Drop A Tuning – 6 String Guage

It is hard to find the right balance of string gauge for a Drop A tuned guitar. Heavier gauge strings will give enough tension, so the strings get a good sound without feeling floppy.

For an electric guitar, we recommend the medium-heavy D’Addario EXL158 XL.

Get The Lowest Price D’Addario EXL158 XL Here

We adore elixir strings for an acoustic guitar and recommend Elixir Phosphor Bronze Nanoweb Acoustic Guitar Strings.

Get The Lowest Price Elixir Phosphor Bronze Nanoweb Acoustic Guitar Strings Here

Drop a Tuning For Bass

Alternate tunings for bass allows the player to get a heavier weight in the sound and also to use notes that usually wouldn’t be utilised. 

Moreover, with the bass guitar, the most practised approach is to tune the 4 stringed bass to that of a 5 string basses (B, E, A, D, G) and from there you can drop the B to an A easily (A, E, A, D) and get those rich and warm lower tones of the drop A tuning.

Drop A Tuning Chords

In addition, For drop A tuning chords we thoroughly recommend checking out the guys at singtive, they give the ultimate list for all chords in the tuning. 

Tuning to E Flat (Eb)

E flat (Eb) is a great tuning to use to create a new and exciting tone to your instrument. It can be used for many reasons. For example, to find a suitable key for singers, or in the case of artists like Stevie Ray Vaughn, to make the guitar’s strings easier to bend. Check out our Eb blog

In conclusion, we hope you have enjoyed our free guide, any questions or comments, get in contact, we are looking forward to hearing from you.

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5 responses to “Drop A Tuning: Ultimate Guide”

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