Drop c tuning is without a doubt, one of the most versatile alternate tunings out there. It is usually used in heavy metal due to its low-end sound.
Metal guitarists love this tuning since it has everything they need to produce those heavy-sounding, melodic, and darker guitar riffs. However, the use of this tuning is also seen in blues and country music.
Today in this post I am going to list down 12 of the best songs written in drop c tuning that are not only fun to play but also easy to learn.
But before we begin let’s first tune our guitars to Drop C.
Here’s how to tune to Drop C tuning
Tuning to drop c is as simple as tuning to drop d. You just have to tune down a whole step from drop d to make it drop c. Below is the step-by-step instruction you can follow.
- First, switch your 6th (low e) string to C.
- Then your 5th string to G
- 4th string to C
- 3rd string to F
- 2nd string to A
- Finally, tune down your 1st string to D.
That’s all. Now that we are in tuned let’s look at the songs.
Here are 12 Best Songs in Drop C Tuning
1. Through Struggle by As I Lay Dying
Many of you might know this song, in case you don’t, then it is probably one of the best songs in drop c tuning that you can learn today. The band members themselves have acknowledged the song to be one of their best from their entire discography. Released in 2005, ‘Through Struggle’ is the eighth track by ‘As I Lay Dying’ from their third album “Shadows Are Security”.
Filled with brilliantly arranged melodic and hard hitting riffs this track will definitely give you that strong, driving, and intense feeling throughout to the end. Not to forget the kick ass breakdown that comes exactly at 3:31 will simply blow you away.
No doubt, the whole song is great but the part, worth learning is the intro riff.
Here is the Tabs for the Intro Riff
As you can see how simple the riff looks but sounds so powerful when played. This is the power of drop c tuning. It makes things heavier. I highly recommend you to give it a listen if you haven’t yet.
Apart from this, there are some other great songs on the album like ‘The Darkest Nights’ and ‘Confined’ that you should check out.
Here is a great video lesson by MZ Guitar of this song that you can refer to.
2. Blew by Nirvana
Written by Kurt Cobain, this is another great song for guitarists who are new to drop c tuning. The reason is, it is a pretty straightforward track with a simple song structure and easy guitar riffs.
Unlike most Nirvana’s songs, ‘Blew’ starts with a bass line by Krist Novoselic which goes on for one bar until Kurt and Dave kick in with distorted guitars and a 4/4 groove respectively. To your surprise, they planned to record this song in drop d tuning but did it in drop c and that to by pure accident. Personally speaking, thank god it happened, here we have a not so complicated song in drop c tuning.
Here is a tab for Blew’s intro guitar riff by Kurt
You can notice that the riff consists of simple three strings power chords with some slides and hammer-ons here and there. This is the reason that makes this song perfect for beginners.
3. Bad Horsie by Steve Vai
A guitar in the hands of Steve Vai is without a doubt a tool of infinite creativity. He has created some of the most expressive, emotionally captivating and technically challenging sounds in the music history.
Bad Horsie is one of those Steve’s most popular, innovative, and complex guitar tracks in drop c tuning that will sweep any guitarist off their feet.
The composition begins with a lot of whammies followed by a riff which serves as the base for his memorable guitar solo that he plays later in the song.
Here is a video on Steve Vai’s official youtube channel where you watch him play this song.
4. Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow by Bullet For My Vallentine
Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow was released as the second single from the band’s debut album The Poison in 2005. It is one of the most popular metalcore songs in drop c tuning.
The composition is heavy, fast-paced, and technical with great screaming vocals by Matthew Tuck and an amazing melodic solo by Michael Paget.
This song is not just about the screams and the guitar solo. There are many other things like the rhythm, the bass line, the guitar harmonies, and the riffs that make this song a perfect tune for the ones who are new to playing metalcore in drop c tuning.
It’s been 16 years since the song has released but it still remains one of the most loved songs among metalheads. For sure you will get get goosebumps if you are going to listen to it for the first time.
5. So Cold by Breaking Benjamin
So Cold is the opening track from Breaking Benjamin’s second studio album “We Are Not Alone” which was released in 2004.
This song is a perfect example of how to make an emotional and heavy guitar track with beautiful vocal lines, amazing rhythm, and a melodic guitar solo in drop c tuning.
So Cold has undoubtedly become one of Breaking Benjamin’s most memorable songs. It’s often considered as the song that made Breaking Benjamin famous in the mainstream rock scene.
According to Benjamin Jackson Burnley ( band’s singer ), the inspiration to write this song came from the movie “28 Days Later“.
6. Isolation by Alter Bridge
Isolation is a song in Drop C tuning from Alter Bridge’s third studio album “AB III” which was released in 2010.
This song shows how amazing a band can be in terms of writing and composing heavy metal tracks that are both heart-touching and powerful.
Mark Tremonti is known for his amazing yet complex guitar riffs and Isolation is proof of his immensely graceful guitar playing abilities.
Not only that, Myles Kennedy ( the band’s vocalist ) has done full justice to this song with his paradisiacal vocals. His voice has simply taken the whole song to a different level altogether.
Overall, Isolation is a perfect example of how to make a great guitar-driven song in drop c tuning while keeping the rhythm and melody in mind.
7. Stricken by Disturbed
Stricken is probably one of the most unique and different songs in drop c tuning from Disturbed’s third studio album “Ten Thousand Fists”. The track is heavy, dark, and loud yet it has a deep sense of melody that you won’t be able to get over.
The song begins with a mid-paced riff by Dan Donegan and continues for two bars until David Draiman’s vocals kicks in.
From there on the composition becomes heavier as the song goes on. The guitar solo that comes after the breakdown is also a great highlight and is considered as one of the best metal solos ever recorded in drop c tuning.
Fun Fact – Stricken is one of the first songs by Disturbed to include a guitar solo.
8. Feed The Machine by Nickleback
Regardless of what your views are about the band Nickelback; no one can deny their immense talent in writing songs.
Feed The Machine is probably Nickelback’s most popular tracks in drop c tuning and one of the most classic songs in hard rock, alternative and industrial metal history.
Without a doubt, this song is heavy, aggressive, catchy, and infused with hard-hitting riffs, powerful vocals, and pretty melodic lines.
Besides all the memes and the hate this band gets, this song is considered a modern masterpiece.
9. Waking The Demon by BFMV
Released in 2007, “Waking The Demon” is the final single from Bullet For My Vallentine’s second album “Scream Aim Fire”.
The song does not fail to impress you in any way once you start listening to it. One can feel the angry vibe of the song from the very first few seconds and it gets heavier and heavier as you continue listening to it.
The heavy guitar riffs in drop c tuning, the brutal drumming, the intense vocals, and the catchy hook that goes along with them will win any metal head’s heart in no time.
According to Matthew Tuck, the lead singer of the band, this song is about standing up for what you think is right and not playing the victim.
The music video of this song is pretty interesting as well which is directed by Max Nichols, and I recommend you to look at it if you haven’t already.
10. Satellites by Periphery
Periphery is one of the pioneers of the djent and prog metal, and one can easily recognize that from their music.
They have always been experimenting with different sounds to create something new which is what helps them stand out among the crowd of similar bands.
This song is an example of that, as it has a very groovy rockish djent sound with some electronic elements added to it as well.
The drums and the paradisiacal guitar effects used in this song along with the vocals are the highlights of the track as they give you a very psychedelic vibe, while still managing to be catchy throughout the song.
Fun Fact – This song is 9 minutes and 26 seconds long but has an interesting edge to it which makes it worth listening to.
11. Chop Suey by System of A Down
Chop Suey is a song off System of a Down’s sixth studio album, “Toxicity” which was released in 2004. Over the years, the song has become an anthem for any hardcore metalhead.
This song is what every hardcore band wants to play. It has a very old-school feel to it that makes it a perfect choice for playing at really heavy shows in front of thousands of people.
Besides being a very heavy song, the song is extremely catchy. The fact that the band’s frontman Serj Tankian can do growling so beautifully makes this song a must listen for all ‘System of a Down’ fans.
Not only that, Daron Malakian has some of the most melodic riffs in this song which is another thing that makes it a go-to song among metalheads.
Chop Suey is by far the most popular song in heavy metal, and almost every listener has probably heard it at least once by now. The song is just that good.
12. Feuer Und Wasser by Rammstein
Undoubtedly, Rammstein is one of the most talented bands in the world when it comes to songwriting. Feuer Und Wasser is one of their best creations and deserves a spot on this list for sure.
If you haven’t listened to Rammstein before, then let me tell you that they are probably the fiercest band in the world. Once you hear Feuer Und Wasser; you simply won’t be able to get out of your state of mind.
Rammstein’s music is often considered as the music of rebellion and this song is no different.
If you are looking for drop c tuning songs with heavy riffs, great bass lines, and vocals mixed with some German lyrics then Feuer Und Wasser is a must-listen.
It will captivate you and you will be glad you picked it up and listened to it.
Bonus Songs in Drop C
1. Tears Don’t Fall by Bullet For My Vallentine – Tabs
2. Oblivion by Mastodon – Tabs
3. Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace – Tabs
4. The Bleeding by Five Finger Death Punch – Tabs
5. Happy Song by Bring Me the Horizon – Tabs
6. Your Guardian Angel by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – Tabs
7. Monster by Skillet – Tabs
8. Can’t Kick Up The Roots by Neck Deep – Tabs
9. My Curse by Killswitch Engage – Tabs
10. Becoming The Bull by Atreyu – Tabs
I hope you liked this post as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. If you did then don’t forget to comment down and let me know your favorite songs in drop c tuning.