25 Easy Drop D Guitar Songs (With Tabs + Videos)

Easy Drop D Guitar Songs

If you’re still getting your feet wet with alternate guitar tuning, Drop D is the way to go.

The string adjustment itself is pretty straightforward; you only need to tone your bottom E string one step down to a D. Yet, this simple change opens the door for a lot of rock, grunge, and metal songs with heavy riffs and power cords.

Done with the tuning step and don’t know where to go from here? You’re in good company.

In this post, we’ll go over a list of 25 easy Drop D guitar songs (tabs included!) to help you get that practice session started.

“Everlong” by Foo Fighters

Have you ever wondered why “Everlong” is such an iconic song that ended up being a signature piece for Foo Fighters?

We can go on and on about the dreamlike elements in the video or the romantic backstory behind the lyrics. However, it’s still undeniable that the riffs played a huge role in making this song as successful as it is. The good news is that those unforgettable riffs aren’t hard to learn.

One catch here is that there are three guitar parts from Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, and Chris Shiflett. So, you won’t be able to play the whole thing exactly as it is on the record.

On the flip side, you can have fun trying to merge bits and pieces from each guitarist’s approach to find the picking patterns that work well for you!

Release Date1997
TabsEverlong Tab

“Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine

Next in line, we have the debut single that put RATM on the Euro Digital Song Sales billboard. Yes, that’s the fury-packed, “Killing the Name.”

Don’t let the heavy riffs intimidate you, though. They’re fairly easy to learn if you chop them into chunks. We’d recommend learning them one at a time and really acing each one before weaving them together.

There’s also a solo, but it’s more of an effect-based section. A whammy pedal would work well for that part, but you might want to leave that for later if you’re still a beginner.

All in all, we’d say that this is an intermediate Drop D guitar song.

Release Date1992
TabsKilling in the Name Tab

“Never Going Back Again” by Fleetwood Mac

“Never Going Back Again” was part of Fleetwood Mac’s studio album Rumours, and it has the kind of sad backstory that shines when the song is performed acoustically.

For this guitar lesson, dropping down your E string to a D isn’t enough. You also have to place your capo on the 4th Fret.

Keep in mind that this isn’t the easiest song on the list, and getting the tempo right will take some time. Plus, Lindsey’s fingerpicking is on the complex side, and he keeps this level throughout the song.

That said, it’s not far-fetched for an intermediate player to learn this one.

Release Date1977
GenreSoft Rock, Pop
TabsNever Going Back Again Tab

“Moby Dick” by Led Zeppelin

Although John Bonham’s crazy footwork in “Moby Dick” can be quite challenging for a beginner drummer, the guitar parts are not all that hard to master.

You’ll begin with a simple open strum on a regular Drop D tuning and make your way through Jimmy Page’s brilliant riffs. Just try to note the twelve-bar blue structure used in this drum-led song.

While you’re at it, you might even notice the similarity in the riffs used for “Moby Dick” and “The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair.” Some people also find the riffs a bit like the ones in “Watch Your Step” by Bobby Parker.

Release Date1969
GenreHard Rock/Blues Rock
TabsMoby Dick Tab

“Outshined” by Soundgarden

“Outshined” was the second single on Soundgarden’s third album, Badmotorfinger. It made quite the buzz in the grunge scene back in the early 90s. In fact, it was considered to be the second-best Soundgarden song by Kerrang! Magazine.

One of the best parts about it is that the Drop D tuning adds heaviness to the riff—so much so that All Music likened it to the “heavy murk of prime Black Sabbath.” Imagine that!

Overall, this one is a good fit if you want to practice your hammer-ons, slides, and riffs. It’ll work on acoustic or electric guitars, but keep in mind that your time signature here is going to be 7/4 for the main riff.

Release Date1991
TabsOutshined Tab

“Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen

If you’re a hard-core Queen fan, you’ll know that the band doesn’t use alternate tuning very often. Yet, when they do, and Brian May switches to Drop D, we get masterpieces like “Fat Bottomed Girls.”

For this one, you’ll need to work on your G and G over B chords. You’ll also need sliding techniques for the main riff, but none of that should be a tough feat if you put in some effort and time.

Release Date1978
GenrePop Rock
TabsFat Bottomed Girls Tab

“Joker and The Thief” by Wolfmother

From TV shows like The Blacklist to the Super Bowl video packages, the riff from this Wolfmother hit feels like it’s everywhere. You can even hear the song on the LEGO DC Super-Villains video game!

Despite its popularity, the song still sounds intimidating. That’s mostly because it’s high-pitched and fast. Some people even think that it’s way too complex for a beginner, but it isn’t.

The rhythm, left-hand muting, and riff variations aren’t unattainable. Even the “flicking” noises in the guitar solo look easy once you break them down.

Release Date2006
GenreHard Rock
TabsJoker and The Thief Tab

“Whatsername” by Green Day

Did you know that “Whatsername” was the song that made Billie Joe Armstrong cry when the band was recording the American Idiot album?

The song isn’t only the closing track on the list. It was actually the last one they recorded, and the footage from the session shows Billie tearing up near the end.

That isn’t a surprise when you see how the song wraps up all the emotions that rise in the album’s storyline. So, when you’re learning to play the guitar parts, make sure to reflect on the narrative behind all the somber melodies and aggressive bits!

Release Date2004
GenreAlternative Rock
TabsWhatsername Tab

“Spoonman” by Soundgarden

Yet another gem by Soundgarden that had to make it to the list is “Spoonman.” Much like “Outshined,” this one follows the unusual septuple meter in 7/4 time and is played on Drop D tuning.

However, this one is from the band’s fourth studio album, Superunknown, rather than Badmotorfinger.

Interestingly, “Spoonman” is one of two songs that helped Soundgarden bag Grammy awards. The other is “Black Hole Sun,” but we’ll get to the intricate tuning in that masterpiece in a minute!

Release Date1994
GenreGrunge/Hard Rock
TabsSpoonman Tab

“Schism” by Tool

“Schism” starts with a clear sound for the intro, but it also requires more aggressive sounds later on. So, it makes for an all-rounded lesson, but there’s one catch.

Trying to play the full thing in one go can be tricky because there’s so much going on. It’s not just the rhythm changes, either. There’s also the fluid hammer-on triplet riff technique to learn.

Don’t let that stop you from trying a simplified version of the guitar part, though.

Release Date2001
GenreHard Rock/Progressive Metal
TabsSchism Tab

“Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden

We’ve already covered two Soundgarden Drop D songs on the list, but we can’t leave behind the band’s biggest hit: “Black Hole Sun.” It was such a hit back in the day that it spent seven weeks topping the Mainstream Rock charts!

One important note here is that if you play “Black Hole Sun” on regular Drop D tuning, the sounds won’t be an exact match to the real thing.

That’s because the original recording from Soundgarden is in a teensy bit sharper tuning—nearly ¼ or ¾ of a note up on each string. The difference won’t be a major distraction if you’re just in it for the practice, anyway.

Release Date1994
GenreAlternative Rock/Grunge
TabsBlack Hole Sun Tab

“All Apologies” by Nirvana

One of the all-time hits from the In Utero album is “All Apologies.” Some magazines like NME even went as far as ranking it as one of the best 10 songs from Nirvana!

If you listen closely to the original record, you’ll probably notice that it’s not in regular Drop D tuning. Instead, it’s a Drop D with half a step down on all strings.

You don’t have to worry about that too much, though. For training purposes, you can go ahead and learn this one with a simple Dropped D tune on the lowest string and leave everything in standard tuning.

Release Date1993
TabsAll Apologies Tab

“Heart Shaped Box” by Nirvana

“Heart Shaped Box” is yet another unforgettable gem from Nirvana’s In Utero that topped the charts. It’s in G# minor and written in 4/4 at 100 BPM, but let’s move on to the tuning.

Remember the tuning situation in “All Apologies”? Well, the same deal applies here.

If you want to play the authentic tuning just like how it is on the record, you’d have to tune all strings down a semitone or half a step. Then, you’ll need to drop the thickest string one full step to a D flat. This would leave you with a tuning of D♭-A♭-D♭-G♭-B♭-E♭ to work with.

However, much like “All Apologies,” you can cut the hassle and play the song on a guitar with a regular Drop D (D-A-D-G-B-E) tuning—it’ll be a close enough match.

Release Date1993
TabsHeart Shaped Box Tabs

“B.Y.O.B” by System of a Down

Usually, you’d play SOAD’s “B.Y.O.B” with your guitar tunes all the way down to a Drop C or C#. However, you can still make things work with a Drop D alternate tuning. The whole song will sound a bit higher, but it’s a good place to start learning the guitar parts.

After all, you’ll probably want to focus on the fast pace, alternate picking, hammer-ons, and pull-offs more than the slight difference in the note heaviness.

Release Date2005
GenreThrash Metal
TabsB.Y.O.B Tab

“Your Body Is a Wonderland” by John Mayer

John Mayer is a seven-time Grammy winner, but his first win was all about his performance of “Your Body Is a Wonderland.” Thankfully, you can learn songs of this caliber, too.

Acing the guitar solo, verses, chorus, and pre-chorus parts isn’t hard, even if you’re a beginner. However, if you want to sing along, things will get a bit tricky. It would be more of an intermediate lesson in that case.

Fun fact: Contrary to popular belief, this song isn’t about Jennifer Love Hewitt. Years after the release date, Mayer revealed that it was actually about his first girlfriend back when he was 16.

Release Date2002
GenreSoft Rock
TabsYour Body Is a Wonderland Tab

“Last Resort” by Papa Roach

Before you dive into “Last Resort,” we have to give you a fair warning: “Last Resort” isn’t the easiest option on the list, and you might struggle to keep up at first. Even the power chord shapes are weirder than what most beginner players are used to.

However, it’s all doable with some patience. As a bonus, you’ll get to improve your dexterity as you go!

If you end up liking the riffs and melodies on “Last Resort,” we’d recommend checking out the new version that Papa Roach released in 2021 in collaboration with the TikTok star Jeris Johnson.

Release Date2000
GenreRock/Nu Metal
TabsLast Resort Tab

“Sugar, We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy

With poppy vocals and hard-hitting riffs, “Sugar, We’re Going Down” is a perfect pop-punk addition to this list of easy Drop D songs.

While it’s a certified 4x Multi-Platinum by the RIAA, it’s not a particularly tricky tune to master.

Overall, it’s a good pick if you’re looking to practice palm-muted single-note riffs and movable Drop D power chords. Plus, there are some interesting accents going on around the chorus section!

Release Date2005
GenreRock/Pop Punk
TabsSugar, We’re Going Down Tab

“I Might Be Wrong” by Radiohead

“I Might Be Wrong” from the Amnesiac album isn’t exactly the song that comes to mind when you think of Radiohead’s top hits, but we couldn’t leave it off this list.

After all, it makes a great introduction to Drop D tuning with a guitar riff that some would describe as “venomous.” Add to that some sliding techniques, and you get a great lesson for beginner guitarists, especially if you try your luck with Thom Yorke’s part first.

Release Date2001
GenreAlternative Rock
TabsI Might Be Wrong Tab

“The Pot” by Tool

“The Pot” was the promotional single for Tool’s fourth studio album, 10,000 Days, and it works like a charm with Drop D tuning.

Although the chords are simple, you need to watch out for slight variations and texture changes every time you repeat the riff sequence. Other than that, the song should be easy enough to learn.

That said, “The Pot” is one of those songs that work in more than one tuning. So don’t be surprised if you hear a version where Adam Jones uses Dropped C instead.

Release Date2006
GenreRock/Progressive Metal
TabsThe Pot Tab

“Dear Prudence” by The Beatles

Next on the list, we have a song that was inspired by none other than Mia Farrow’s sister, Prudence Farrow.

“Dear Prudence” from The White Album isn’t only a good way to practice your Drop D guitar tuning. It’s also a golden chance to work on your fingerpicking style.

As it happens, John Lenon learned that fingerpicking style from Donovan during his time in India and used it for “Dear Prudence.”

Donovan, in turn, studied under legendary musicians like Bert Jansch. So, you’re getting years of passed-on experience just by learning the guitar parts in this song!

Release Date1968
GenreRock, Pop
TabsDear Prudence Tab

“Sober” by Tool

Only two of Tool’s songs hit the sweet No.3 spot on the Hot Rock and Alternative charts. Those would be “Sober” and “Fear Inoculum,” and they remained on the chart for 2 and 20 weeks, respectively.

While it seems like the latter did better, we’re here to focus on the former’s guitar techniques for a second. One part that could be tricky when you’re learning to play “Sober” is mastering the bends and holds in the intro, but it’s nothing that a bit of practice won’t solve!

Release Date1993
GenreAlternative Rock
TabsSober Tab

“The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson

The iconic guitar parts in this Marilyn Mason song make a great practice session if you want to work on your single-finger power chords technique. However, you’ll also need to learn some muting strumming patterns along the way.

Still, the pre-chorus guitar part is pretty straightforward, which makes the overall difficulty level much lower and gives this song a well-deserved spot on our list.

Fun fact: The title “The Beautiful People” was inspired by a 1967 book by Marilyn Bender.

Release Date1996
TabsThe Beautiful People Tab

“Monkey Wrench” by Foo Fighters

When Foo Fighters released “Monkey Wrench” as a part of their second studio album, The Colour and the Shape, it topped the Rock and Metal charts in the UK right away, and it’s all for a good reason.

After all, it’s an up-tempo rock hit with a punk undertone that makes you feel ready to mosh like there’s no tomorrow. With this type of energy, we can only say that it’s a fantastic song to help you work on faster riffs in Drop D tuning.

Release Date1997
GenreAlternative Rock
TabsMonkey Wrench Tab

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is one of those iconic songs that was covered and recorded by many artists over the years, from Marvin Gaye to Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) in the Cosmo’s Factory album.

We’ll focus on CCR’s interpretation, though.

To play this song as CCR did on record, you’ll need to learn the intro riff in Drop D, the four-bar chord progression in the verse, and the pre-chorus (also four-bar progression) before digging into the chorus.

Yet, the key would be mastering John Fogerty’s percussive-like strumming pattern!

Release Date1970
TabsI Heard It Through the Grapevine Tab

“Slither” by Velvet Revolver

“Slither” from the debut album Contraband is, hands down, one of the best Velvet Revolver songs you’ll ever hear. Don’t just take out word for it; the song did top the Mainstream Rock Airplay charts for nine whole weeks.

Velvet Revolver also won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for the hit song back in 2005, but that’s not all.

As it happens, Slash’s lead guitar parts on “Slither” also make for a nice introduction to heavy Drop D riffs for beginner players. So, tune that thick string one step down and try to keep up with the open chords!

Release Date2004
GenreHard Rock
TabsSlither Tab

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