Axe of Creation: Exploring the Harmonic Realm of Dropped D Part 2

What’s going on everyone!? Welcome to another installment of Axe of Creation here at the wonderful Gear Snobs. This week we will be returning to our regularly scheduled lessons with Part 2 of our Dropped D Tuning! In Part 1 we explored Power Chord shapes as well as turning them into Sus and Maj/min chords. This week, we’ll explore Dm triads and chords all over the fretboard.

Exploring the D (That’s what she said)

Let’s start with looking at a multitude of Open Position D chords. The first measure contains a D5 (power chord) and a couple Dsus chords, both sus4 and sus2. Then we move to simple D and Dm chords. Finally and most importantly, in the third measure, we have Dm triads in different inversions. I find these to be fantastic tools to explore and create ideas anywhere your imagination takes you. PRO TIP: Let’s the open D power ring out is a great way to explore different modes!


The Grand Finale

I’m going to share with you guys and gals some of my favorite Drop D Chord Voicings! Right in measure 3 we have three of my favorite chord voicings. First is a Dm9 voicing, which I love because the dissonance (tension) between the F and open E is beautiful. Next is a lovely Bb chord that works extremally well with Dm. Lastly is another m9 chord with I love. For all you Periphery fans out there, this last one is for you. Following those is a lovely string of Sus chords, which also work well in just about any “rock” context.


We finish our example we some great sounding open string chords. Useful and fun!


That wraps up our exploration into Drop D. It’s a great tuning to play and write in and used by many, many artists. I hope that you’ll find several bits of inspiration in this month’s lessons. As always, let me know what you come up with!


Gregory Arthur is Axe of Creation, a Gear Snob, and a Father of Two. He challenges you to become uncomfortable with yourself in attempts to gain a new perspective. Never give your energy away to what you’re not. Focus on what resonates within you and bring forth in creation. 

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