Death metal bands that play in dropped tuning on 6 strings


30 y/o metal zooner
May 14, 2011
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Brewster, OH
I think ulcerate is drop b so they can do all that fucked up intervalic stuff


Dec 7, 2005
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St. Johnsbury, VT USA
lol Lamb of God is pretty much always in Drop D.
Right, but a lot of their riffs are equally easy/awkward whether you try to play them in the proper tuning or in D standard, so how does anyone know without either seeing a performance or reading an interview.

For example, the lead toward the opening of Laid to Rest has a bunch of hammer on and pull off notes, with A3 in between. If you tune D standard, those can be easily played as open strings. It doesn't even sound as different as one would expect from the recording. The main riff of the song has less repositioning in D standard, and the second guitar part with octaves is more linear. The chorus, which is almost all on the lowest string, doesn't really matter, so, overall, the song is more straightforward to play in D standard.

Since the vast majority of more extreme metal bands in the 90's used D standard, Db standard, C standard, etc., learning by ear, my starting point was to start with standard and run with that until something was obviously too awkward or impossible. At the time, I was associating drop tunings more with alternative rock and early core genres.

Honestly, if I didn't have it written down, I'd forget which tuning my own songs were played in, if I walked away from them for a couple months. Unless you make clever use of open strings, it really doesn't matter nearly as much as people tend to think it does.