12 Best Songs in Drop A Tuning for Guitarists w/ Tabs & Lessons

Songs in Drop A Tuning

Dropped guitar tunings shine well where there is a need for producing those heavy and low-end sounding riffs.

Drop A Tuning is one of those incredibly versatile alternate tunings that a lot of guitarists count upon to do the same.

While I was looking for the next lesson to post, I thought why not give you some songs in drop a tuning to keep you engaged at home.

So, today in this lesson I have put together 12 songs in drop a tuning that are not only fun to play but also easy to learn.

To make your work, even more, easier I have linked each song with a video lesson that you can refer to learn them step by step.

But, before we start let us tune our guitars to drop a tuning.

How to tune your guitar to Drop A?

Tuning the guitar from standard tuning to drop a is quite simple. All you have to do is tune all the six-string down a 4th with tuning the low E string down an additional step. If this sounds confusing then simply follow the steps below.

Note: Before you tune to drop a, make sure that your guitar is tuned to standard tuning ( E-B-G-D-A-E ).

  1. Firstly tune your low e string ( 6th string ) down a 4th then one additional step down to A.
  2. Then tune your 5th string down a 4th to E.
  3. Next tune your 4th string down a 4th to A.
  4. 3rd string to D.
  5. 2nd string to F#/Gb.
  6. Finally tune your 1st string down a 4th to B.

You are all tuned up now.

So, here are 12 popular songs in Drop A tuning with Lessons

1. Psychosocial by Slipknot

The band ( Slipknot ) that has inspired numerous musicians has a lot of songs under their belt when it comes to dropped tunings.

‘Psychosocial’ is one of them, which is probably the most fun, popular, and successful song ever written by the band.

It is in Drop A tuning and released as the second single from their fourth studio album, “All Hope Is Gone”.

They usually play in Drop B tuning but for this and some of the other songs like ‘Devil In I’, they chose to tune their guitar a whole step lower to the rare Drop A tuning.

The structure of this song is quite simple. It is in the key of A and starts with a powerful riff on the 6th string, followed by three more riffs for the verse, chorus, and a killer breakdown.

The song also features a mind-blowing shred solo by Jim Root and Joey Jordison that you can work upon. If you ask me, then this song has everything from speed to melody and overall musicianship by the band.

Here is a detailed video lesson by Andy James of this song that you can refer to.

2. You Only Live Once by Suicide Silence

One more awesome groove metal song in drop a tuning by ‘Suicide Silence’ that you may want to consider adding to your repertoire.

Released in 2011, this song serves as the fourth track from the band’s third studio album ‘The Black Crown’.

This is the final album to feature Mitch Lucker (the band’s vocalist ), who later died in 2012 due to several injuries from a motorcycle accident.

The most interesting thing about this song is that the band really tried to experiment with multiple and complex time signatures throughout the song which is pleasing to the ears and fun to play on guitar.

No, doubt the whole song is great but the part, worth learning is the intro riff and the guitar solo which also acts as a great exercise for both the picking and the fretting hand.

Lesson

3. Utterances of the Crawling Dead by Nile

Almost all songs by the technical death metal band, Nile, are in drop a tuning and this one is no exception.

Released in 2009, ‘Utterances of the Crawling Dead’ is the third track from their sixth studio album “Those Whom the Gods Detest”.

This album is considered the band’s best album to date by many critics and music fans around the world.

Like most of their tracks, this song is also filled with complex, fast, and heavy guitar riffs which are a little difficult to learn but fun to play. One can listen to the best and inimitable drumming by George Kollias in this and the rest of the songs in this album.

Besides this, it is one of the best songs in drop a tuning you can learn today. Here is a great video lesson of this song by Drew’s Metal Shed that you can refer.

4. Citizen Erased by Muse

Citizen Erased is one of those songs in drop a tuning that will instantly hook you in till the end and in fact, it is easy to play as well.

Released in 2001, this song serves as the seventh track from the band’s second studio album ‘Origin of Symmetry’.

Although it is a 7 string guitar song, you can easily learn and play it on 6 string guitar by referring to this video lesson by JMan0160.

The intro of the song uses a lot of natural harmonics which is definitely ear-pleasing and can be a little tricky to play it right but is worth learning.

It also has a short guitar solo that adds a lot to the overall track and most importantly is easy to play.

Lesson

5. Bleed Like You by Ill Nino

Ill Nino is known for producing good music and this song perfectly describes their style.

This track is a perfect blend of melody, heaviness, and harmony. Most importantly it has a simple song structure which is one of the reasons why it is a great song for beginners who are new to drop a tuning.

Everything about this song is so good that you can’t help but add it to your playlist.

If you are looking for massive chugging riffs, growling vocals, great melodic choruses, and some incredible drumming then you surely need to check this album out. Without a doubt, you are going to love it.

Tabs

6. Wormholes by Volumes

Released in 2011, Wormholes is a djent classic by ‘Volumes’ from their debut full-length album ‘Via’.

It is in drop a tuning and along with the rest of the songs, this album is considered as one of the important contributors to djent music.

The composition is groovy, heavy, and has more than everything that you would expect from a djent song. The one thing that will grab your attention and hook you throughout the song is its iconic intro riff which is easy to play.

Besides this, the track has one of the sickest breakdowns that you can’t help but break your neck headbanging to it.

Although Diego Farias ( guitarist and one of the founding members of the band ) is no more with us but he left some of the sickest guitar music to live by.

Tabs

7. Devil in I by Slipknot

With over 315 million views on YouTube, ‘Devil in I’ is one more popular Slipknot song in drop a tuning that you should check out if you have not yet already.

Released as the second single from their fifth studio album ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’ this track is a perfect example of how to produce a groove metal song in drop a tuning without missing out on the melody.

It has a regular song structure but is packed with ear-pleasing chugging riffs, dirge-loaded bass, and empathetic swills from Corey Taylor,

Here is a tutorial video where you can watch Jimm Root ( band’s guitarist ) himself teaching how to play this song from start to finish. It’s a full-length video where he briefly explains each part of the song and how to play them.

8. I Just Feel Hate by Shields

Without a doubt, Shields was the greatest progressive metalcore band of their time, and this song is proof of their immense talent and versatility.

Self-released in 2013, this track is filled with catchy, face-melting, and infectious riffs that will become your instant favorite for sure.

As said by the band, this song is about coming to terms with immediate death through denial and ultimate defiance. More specifically, this song is about how Sam ( band’s guitarist/vocalist ) reacted to his mother’s passing.

I won’t say much about this song but will recommend you to check out this track once, I am sure it will be in your repeat.

9. I Speak Astronomy by Jinjer

If you like a blend of pop, clean, and growl vocals with some complicated and djenty guitar riffs then this song is for you. Released in 2016, this is the fifth track from the band’s second studio album ‘King of Everything’ and it is in drop a tuning.

‘I Speak Astronomy’ is the highlight of this album and is a catchy mix of metalcore, djent, hardcore, and groove metal.

Apart from the phenomenal vocals by Tatiana Shmailyuks, the band has really played with some complex time signatures that will take more than one listen to figure out what actually is going on in this composite piece of music.

Besides this, there are more songs in this album that are worth checking out like ‘Pisces’ and ‘Beggar’s Dance’.

Tabs

10. Widower by Make Them Suffer

‘Make Them Suffer’ is one of those metalcore bands that is respected globally for their poetic lyrics and this song, ‘Widower’, from their debut is a perfect example of that.

Released in 2012, this is one of the tracks from their debut and highly successful album ‘Neverbloom’ which charted at No. 56 on the ARIA Album charts.

If you want to experience some brilliant lyrics infused with hard growls, djentilicious riffs, and an easy-going relaxing creepy piano then wait no more and check this song out. You will thank me later.

Tabs

11. Gravity’s Union by Coheed and Cambria

The word ‘power’, best resembles with this evocative and progressive track ‘Gravity’s Union’ by the American band Coheed and Cambria.

It serves as the fifth track from their seventh studio album The Afterman: Descension that was released in the year 2013.

Coheed and Cambria use more common tunings but for this song, they needed something heavy and this directed them towards the mighty Drop A tuning.

Not for a second, you will feel bored listening to this track which is filled with rugged vocals, dirty guitar riffs, a stunning chorus, and a touch of musicianship by the band. The great thing is this is an easy-to-play song that you can play both on a 6 and 7 string guitar.

This album has 12 tracks in total including this one and the bonus tracks which are worth checking out.

Apart from this, the album charted No. 9 on the Billboard 200 albums and No.3 on both the Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts selling over 91,600 copies in the United States.

Tabs

12. Sacrifice Unto Sebek by Nile

Backed by George Kollias’s godly drumming, this song is a masterpiece in drop a tuning by the American death metal band ‘Nile’.

Released in 2005, ‘Sacrifice Unto Sebek’ is the third track from their fourth studio album ‘Annihilation of the Wicked‘. This is also the band’s first album to feature George Kollias on drums, replacing Tony Laureano.

Apart from the insane drum work, one can hear some of the most brutal riffing and harmonies by Karl Sanders and Dallas-Toller Wade in this song. There is also a breakdown at exactly 1:30 and the riff that they play here will simply blow you away.

Here is a video lesson by Karl Sanders himself explaining all the guitar parts from start to end.

More Songs in Drop A Tuning

  • A Voice From Below by Emmure
  • Reincarnate by Motionless In White
  • The Relic by Rings of Saturn
  • Possession by Whitechapel
  • A For Andrew by Attack Attack
  • Resist by Tesseract
  • Supernova by The Devils Wears Prada
  • Recreant by Chelsea Grin
  • Suffer in Silence by Coal Chamber
  • Alone In A Room by Asking Alexandria
  • Pupet Master by The Art Is Murder
  • Gravity by Novelists
  • Martyrs by Betraying The Martyrs
  • Story Of a Stranger by Breakdown of Sanity
  • Man Made Disaster by Betraying The Martyrs