Drop D tuning
The Drop D tuning is very often used in hard rock styles and one of the advantages is the possible to play power chords by placing only one finger over the same fret. (Not to be confused with Open D tuning.)
Here is how you tune the guitar: D A D G B E. If standard tuning is used as a reference the only difference is that you tune down the lowest (thickest) string one whole step, from E to D. When you have a guitar that delivers some more bass in the sound; perfect for some rock styles as already mention, but there are also other possibilities as we will see.
There are two alternatives for playing power chords in this tuning. Here are examples of chords with both shapes, that obviously are movable.
The popularity of this tuning depends much of the many cool riffs that can be easily created by using chords with the same bass note. A video that demonstrates this well.
Power chords with alternative bass note
These power chords are also very useful and also used together with the regular power chords.
The song "Everlong" by Foo Fighters uses three of the above chords in the verses: F#5/D - F#5/B - D5/G - F#5/B.
Since only the lowest string differs from standard tuning many open chords could be played just as normal. Concerning chords using the sixth string, such as E and G, there are some new conditions.
Common open chords that are played differently:
E: 222100 / XX2100
Em: 222000 /XX2000
G: 5X0003 / 550003
The conditions for the barre chord changes when the lowest string is included.
Common barre chords that are played differently:
This was an introduction about chords and playing ideas in Drop D tuning, see also Drop C tuning.