You may have already heard about Drop B tuning, especially if you’re into metal or hard rock music from iconic bands such as Slipknot, Machine Head, Lamb of God, and many others. Playing your guitar in Drop B tuning is an excellent way of drastically dropping the overall range of your guitar. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at Drop B tuning and take you through a step-by-step guide on how to tune your guitar to Drop B, some easy-to-play chords, as well as 57 awesome songs in Drop B tuning that you can learn right away.
What Is Drop B Tuning?
Drop B tuning involves you having to ‘drop’ the tuning of your 6th string from the low E, as it is in standard tuning, all the way to B which is a drop of two and a half steps. This tuning has two different variations. One in which only the tuning of your 6th string, with the rest of the strings still in standard tuning. However, in this article, we will focus on the 2nd and the more common variation in which all 6 strings are tuned down.
To refresh your memory, the following are the respective notes that each of the 6 strings is tuned to in a standard E tuning:
- 6th (fattest) string: E
- 5th string: A
- 4th string: D
- 3rd string: G
- 2nd string: B
- 1st (thinnest) string: E
However, once you tune your instrument from standard E to a Drop B tuning, the individual notes for each of the strings will look like the following:
- 6th (fattest) string: B
- 5th string: G♭
- 4th string: B
- 3rd string: E
- 2nd string: A♭
- 1st (thinnest) string: D♭
Who Uses Drop B Tuning?
Since Drop B lowers your instrument’s overall range by a whopping two and a half steps, it lends a dark and heavy sound to your guitar playing – making it ideal for metal and hard rock genres. It also lets you chug on the Drop B string for a sludge metal effect.
Drop B tuning is pretty easy for guitarists across skill levels to master. Another great advantage Drop B provides is the ability to play power chords with just a single finger barring. This tuning has a gritty, low-end sound that lends a nice rumble to your tone.
How Do I Tune My Guitar to Drop B Tuning?
If you’re starting out from a standard E tuning, then Drop B tuning requires you to lower your 6th string down by two and a half steps, and lower the rest of the 5 strings by one and a half steps. Want a step-by-step guide? You’ve got it below:
6th (E) string: Turn your 6th string’s tuning peg down slowly from E all the way till it reaches the B note. Keep plucking the string to ensure that it accurately matches the B note in your guitar tuner.
5th (A) string: Pluck your 5th string, and tune it down from an A by one and a half steps – till you reach the note G♭.
4th (D) string: Similarly, tune down the 4th string from the D note by one and a half steps – till it reaches the B note.
3rd (G) string: Do the same for the 3rd string – slowly tuning it down from G all the way to reach the E note.
2nd (B) string: Tune down your 2nd string from B till you reach A♭- one and a half steps down.
1st (E) string: Finally, tune down your 1st string from an E by one and a half steps to a D♭.
What To Keep In Mind When Tuning To Drop B
Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind while tuning your guitar to a Drop B:
Use A Tuner: While some alternate tunings require relatively minor tweaking from standard tuning and often only a few strings, Drop B will have you changing the tuning of all 6 of your guitar strings. To ensure that all 6 strings are perfectly in tune with their correct notes, using a physical or an online guitar tuner app can be of great help.
Tune Slow: When changing the tuning drastically, as is the case with Drop B, always turn the tuning pegs slowly – this will alter the tension of your strings slowly and not suddenly – preventing any damage to your guitar or strings. Also, make sure you’re turning the tuning peg in the direction that reduces the string tension, and NOT increase it. Increasing your string tension all of a sudden could damage your string or guitar.
Thicker Strings: Tuning your guitar strings down by two and a half steps can drastically lower the action of your strings and cause annoying fret buzz. This is why you should consider switching to thicker strings that will be easier to play in such low tunings, and also consider getting your guitar set up by a luthier to have a proper setup for Drop B tuning and for the thinker string should you choose.
List of Songs in Drop B Tuning
1. Punisher by Veil of Maya
|Tabs||See Punisher Tabs Here|
This song is a really heavy composition written by Veil of Maya, which is a metalcore band from the USA. The sound of it is really particular and interesting because it blends multiple genres and creates a signature style for the songs created by the band.
To play this song properly, you will need to stick to a very fast tempo of 150 BPM, so it might take you a little bit more time to explore the tab and practice. You also have to understand bends and how to do them properly in order to get to the note needed, instead of thinking about whether it will stick or not. The best way to get better at bending your strings is to do it more and stay consistent in practicing the guitar. That will sharpen this ability.
2. Dig by Mudvayne
|Tabs||See Dig Tabs Here|
Let’s get to some heavy metal tracks. This song is called Dig,” and it was written by Mudvayne right at the start of this century (2000). This one brought the band more attention and expanded the circle of people who are familiar with their discography.
A very interesting aspect you can think of while listening to the song is that it perfectly combines certain things from nu-metal and alternative music, making itself a unique representative of the general style and sound of the band. What plays right into the hands of the mood is the key of B Minor, bringing a huge presence of seriousness and sadness due to its particular sound, created by the mix of notes in this scale.
3. Boneyards by Parkway Drive
|Tabs||See Boneyards Tabs Here|
We continue our journey all over the world, and now I want you to meet Parkway Drive from Australia, which is a metalcore band that wrote the next song in 2007, a very interesting time in the field of music creation.
Aggressiveness can be truly felt in this composition; whether you’re listening to or playing it, you will feel the power that the track conveys; therefore, it’s a good example of how to write melodies in such a genre, especially ones that stick. The band’s interesting choice of key is really good here, because not only is it a sharp one, but it’s also in the minor mode, perfectly suiting the song. The tempo is 220 BPM, so be ready to get more experienced in playing such fast-paced songs.
4. All Hope is Gone by Slipknot
|Tabs||See All Hope is Gone Tabs Here|
The next band is very well-known not only by people who are into metal music but also by those who are familiar with the music industry and its big names in general, which has had a huge impact on how many people perceive music nowadays.
Slipknot’s song “All Hope Is Gone” was released in the 00s, and you can definitely hear the distinct sound of this time on this record, made in the best traditions of such music: aggressiveness and power, mixed with a fast tempo, the tuning of Drop B, and a heavily distorted guitar sound. There are also certain sections in the guitar part in general that require you to hold certain notes for a bit longer, so don’t neglect that in order not to get out of rhythm.
5. Outnumbered by The Devil Wears Prada
|Tabs||See Outnumbered Tabs Here|
Give it up for someone new and unique because our next stop is the song “Outnumbered” by The Devil Wears Prada. The track is famous for its alternative style of Metal, which is always really interesting, especially when you start separating each genre that you think might possibly influence the sound.
If you want to learn the song, be careful when playing the main riff because you’ll need to be really precise in picking certain strings without making others ring and disturb the sound, especially considering distortion that isn’t good to combine open strings with. As you can see, the song features a tempo of 135 BPM and is written in the key of G, which certainly reflects the general conception and mood of the song.
6. Baby One More Notch by Blind Witness
|Tabs||See Baby One More Notch Tabs Here|
The next band on the list is from Canada, and I really like the fact that music is spread all across the Earth, which gathers us together even when we’re far away.
In terms of the instrumental part, the song is generally pretty good, especially considering it features the most beloved classic elements of the genre it represents: a heavy guitar riff and fast-paced, aggressive drumming.
You’ll need to use open string sound many times throughout the composition, so be aware of that and be careful when picking certain strings in order not to disturb the sound and bring extra elements that don’t fit into the framework of the song because it is so easy to do if you don’t practice enough.
7. The Mountain by DevilDriver
|Tabs||See The Mountain Tabs Here|
DevilDriver is an American heavy metal band known for their hostile sound, which is full of power that can be felt by any listener. The band, though, is very interesting, mainly because it represents the style of 00s metal music (the band was formed in 2002), but does it in their own unique way.
The key choice is pretty unusual, because usually the key of B Major is associated with pop and soft rock, but that’s the most interesting thing about metal music – it can combine things that you might never think can even be together.
Compared to other songs on the list, this one is at some point easier (the tempo is reduced to 113), but also harder in certain aspects (it combines picking pressed strings with open ones).
8. The Martyr by August Burns Red
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The next piece of music is really complex; therefore, be prepared to spend a little bit more time practicing and exploring new techniques or just sharpening skills you’ve already acquired. It can be a good choice for you if you are already at the level of an intermediate guitarist.
If you look at the tab of the main guitar part, you can notice it sometimes requires you to be able to mute a string in the middle of a chord shape, which is used to avoid certain notes that don’t fit into a certain chord structure, making it clashy.
All the things said above represent the style of the songs this band plays; their complexity combined with their distinct sound is really what makes them stand out. This is one of my personal favorite songs in drop B tuning because I’m a big August Burns Red fan.
9. The Black by Asking Alexandria
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Not only does the song “The Black” feature a very dark sound created by the key of B Minori, but it can also make you a standout guitar player in terms of timing and not getting out of rhythm since it’s written in the tempo of 195 and also requires you to wait and not accentuate certain sections. Sight-reading skills will be really useful if you have them because there are certain pauses in the guitar part that are better written down in the form of sheet music, where they can be passed on to many other players, especially ones that are accustomed to more conventional music, where sight-reading can be regarded as something irreplaceable. You will also need to use your bass strings a lot throughout the whole track.
10. Praise by Seven Dust
|Tabs||See Praise Tabs Here|
This song was released in a very interesting and edgy era of the music industry – transition between two centuries, which are the 20th and the 21st ones. The song is very deep and obscure, featuring heavy guitar riffs (I suppose you had no doubt about it).
Its aggressive instrumentation seems to be something that cannot be framed into the key of F# Major; however, music theory and the notes of this particular scale show the opposite. As many songs like that do, it mainly uses low-pitched strings, which have a very interesting effect of explosion in the choruses, which this song is rich with. Probably, this combination of things represents that very edge I was talking about at the beginning.
11. Abigail by Motionless In White
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Captivating and very dynamic – these are terms I would definitely like to use to describe the next song on the list, which happens to be ‘’Abigail’’ by a known American band called Motionless in White. They wrote the composition in 2010.
This piece of music represents a very good example of the concept that music theory refers to as “metric modulation.” In other words, the song changes its time signature from 4/4 to 2/4, which you evidently hear by ear while listening to the track itself, but you can also see that in the actual tab, where such a change is noted, which is a very important aspect of counting rhythmic beats. This particular move represents the ability of the band to incorporate such an interesting and, at times, complex musical concept into their songs.
12. Toxic by Attila
|Tabs||See Toxic Tabs Here|
The next one can grab your attention with a very prominent and standout bassline that really makes the groove of the song memorable and distinct.
The “Toxic” song is relatively fresh due to its date of release, which is 2016.
Even though the track itself is filled with interesting instrumentation, multiple hooks, etc., the guitar riff is actually quite easy and can be learned by you even if you are a beginner or intermediate guitar player who really aspires to be a guitar player able to play something not only in the Standard tuning but also impress their friends or themselves by learning a piece of music in Drop B. You can also notice a very cool descending or ascending pattern on the tab, which slightly resembles a staircase, making it a little bit easier to remember.
13. Bad Company by Five Finger Death Punch
|Tabs||See Bad Company Tabs Here|
Our next pick is known for its interesting blend of classic rock music with metal, which are two really different things on the scale of aggressiveness and vibe. Also, it’s a cover song, originally recorded by the British band that goes by the same name as the track itself. Listen to both versions and decide which one you like more!
The main riff here is a bit more complex, containing different playing techniques such as, for example, full bends and slides; therefore, you have to dedicate enough time to actually practicing and playing along with the tune until you get a good grasp on how to combine these sounds into a cohesive and solid guitar part.
14. Bury Me in Smoke by Down
|Tabs||See Bury Me in Smoke Tabs Here|
“Bury Me in Smoke” represents a song that is really epic and groovy, having a driving heavy metal sound of the 90s, which is another topic for reflection itself. This composition includes most of the essential standard parts of Southern metal music, which is a good sign for a song to become really popular, especially considering the fact that it appeared on their debut album.
The thing that truly captured my attention is that it is not very often that tracks actually feature full bends of the 6th string, which sounds really unusual when heard for the first time, but really makes you want to retune your guitar and try to play the piece yourself, accentuating such details.
15. Carrion by Parkway Drive
|Tabs||See Carrion Tabs Here|
The next song is by the Australian band which name is mentioned above. They are generally known for their distinctive sound of blending punk music with heavy metal, which is something you might not have seen before, but believe me, it’s actually pretty interesting and cool.
This certain composition is a fast-paced one. It also features using strings of high and low pitches, so you’ll need to be confident in going all across the width of your fretboard in order to replicate the sound of the recording. The track also contains multiple choruses and a cool breakdown that won’t give you much trouble learning to play itself. The key of F# Minor perfectly fits into the mood and the idea of the song, in my opinion.
16. Only by Nine Inch Nails
|Tabs||See Only Tabs Here|
The next one is something fascinating from the world of Alternative Rock, which is known for being a very creative genre that explores things that common genres can’t get to because of certain limitations within their own framework.
Therefore, the “Only” song is a great example of something innovative and unusual that you may not hear in common or conventional music.
The guitar part is also not afraid of using bends and slides, making it diverse and captivating, perfectly blending with the synthesizers in the key of A Minor. You can also notice that there are multiple guitar sections featured on the track, so don’t be afraid to spend some time and learn them all; it’s certainly worth it!
17. Hell Above by Pierce The Veil
|Tabs||See Hell Above Tabs Here|
Do you still remember emo music? Well, the next example I want to talk about stems right from there and was released in 2012. All the things mentioned make the composition really emotionally charged and give it more soul.
Talking about the instrumental part of the song, there are certain things that are worth mentioning. For example, the guitar sections use two guitars (rhythm and lead ones) that are both tuned to Drop B, which is really fascinating. These parts also require you to mute certain strings while playing the chords so they can sound more prominent and clear. The second thing I’d like to note is that it features such an interesting move as the pickslide that you should definitely learn how to do if you are a constant player of such music.
18. The Vengeful One by Disturbed
|Tabs||See The Vengeful Tabs Here|
This particular song also blends some elements from alternative metal, hard rock, and even nu-metal; therefore, as you might have already guessed, the sound of it is really fascinating and unusual compared to ones within the classic, well-known genres.
The instrumentation itself is pretty heavy, even though the key of E Major might cause some confusion at first glance. The thing that makes the song stand out from many in such a genre is that it uses a tempo of 87 BPM, which is not very fast, so your foot can relax a little bit because it doesn’t have to count beats at a really fast speed. Also, in order to play this song, you’ll only need to stick around the bass strings of your guitar since the main riff targets them most of the time.
19. Jars by Chevelle
|Tabs||See Jars Tabs Here|
The next one is in the genre of Hard Rock, which is a little bit more unusual for a song in this list since mainly metal songs use such a tuning as the one we’re talking about. The band, which goes by the name of Chevelle, plays in the genres of alternative rock and hard rock, so you might also notice some elements of both of these in the track itself.
This song might be really difficult, especially for beginners and people who don’t know music theory well enough, because it features such a thing as metric modulation, causing massive confusion when played for the first time, especially at such a fast tempo as the one featured in the composition.
20. Smokahontas by Attack Attack!
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The song called “Smokahontas” is a very energetic one that has a very interesting sound due to the influence of electronicore music, which can truly be heard even when listening to the composition for the first time in your life.
The instrumentation is really dynamic and diverse, considering the fast tempo of 135 BPM, different playing techniques such as slides and full bends that might take you some time to sharpen the ability of playing thereof, and also the combination of open string notes with ones pressed all along the fretboard, immersing us into the wild spectrum of the sound that the song is trying to convey along with its atmosphere and mood, created by the mix of the lyrics and the melody.
21. Locust by Machine Head
|Tabs||See Locust Tabs Here|
It’s a nice example of a heavy metal song by the next band on the list, which calls themselves ‘’Machine Head.’’ Even though we have to consider its heaviness and some sort of obscureness, the key of the song is actually G major, and the instrumentation is really groovy and makes you want to hum along the whole track.
In order to play the song in the right way, you have to mute some of the middle strings when playing, for example, some chords in the verse as well as in some other sections, which makes it a little bit more difficult for beginners because they usually tend to play them by accident, even when they try hard not to do it, but it will vanish if you practice a lot.
22. These Colours Don’t Run by Architects
|Tabs||See These Colours Don’t Run Tabs Here|
The spelling of the name of the song might tell you enough to understand that it was made overseas. And indeed, the track is featured on the fifth album of the British band Architects.
There is one particular thing I’d like to mention when talking about the melody of the song: not only will you need to tune your guitar to drop B, but also drop the lowest string to G#, creating a stronger correlation between this exact string and the key of the song itself, which so happens to be G# Major. You will also need to do a lot of pull-off and hammer-on movements during the whole guitar section, but especially in the beginning, so don’t be surprised by that.
23. Maggie’s Farm by Rage Against The Machine
|Tabs||See Maggie’s Farm Tabs Here|
The next piece of music is written by a very famous American band called Rage Against The Machine, which gained their popularity by presenting their unique sound to the world. For example, this particular one blends genres of folk-rock as well as a very heavily distorted sound, which is always a really interesting transformation for any style.
This song might present some new techniques and moves for people who are new to the field of playing guitar, especially lead guitar. You will encounter slides, pull-offs, hammer-ons, and vibrato, which are pretty useful to learn due to their vast availability in modern and older music. Also practice muting different notes all along the fretboard, because this track also uses this trick from time to time.
24. Rocket Skates by Deftones
|Tabs||See Rocket Skates Tabs Here|
Let’s get our hands on something more alternative again since these songs can really show us something beyond the conventional perception of music and the different compositions we listen to within many genres.
This particular song mixes genres of shoegaze and pop-metal, which instantly makes it a little bit more groovy, in my opinion.
The guitar part here is very intricate and might even seem to be really complex, depending on what level of playing you are at. Anyway, don’t be discouraged if you stumble a lot while playing it for the first time; use it as good motivation to get better and improve the quality of your playing. The song will also require you to use the bass strings a lot, so be ready for that, too.
25. What Have You Done by Within Temptation
|Tabs||See What Have You Done Tabs Here|
Continuing our journey all across the planet we live on, our next stop will be the song created by the Dutch band Within Temptation, which they released in 2007.
The thing that I personally think makes it prominent enough to be regarded as something standout is including orchestra in the mix, which in most cases creates such a powerful and profound atmosphere that you really want the song to dwell in.
When first learning how to play the song, be aware that, as a guitar player, you have to hold on a little bit until your part comes into play. So, don’t rush and take your time with these 12 bars of silence, and after that, hit the first power chords of the section.
26. At The Left Hand Ov God by Behemoth
|Tabs||See At The Left Hand Ov God Tabs Here|
Let’s welcome the next song, which comes to us right from the Polish band called Behemoth and was released in 2007. The song is really dark and aggressive, so you can already guess that the instrumentation will contain some interesting moves and features that such songs share in common.
Firstly, you definitely need to get better at slides and the precision you play them with because the guitar section uses them a lot, so don’t hold yourself back from spending a little bit more time practicing this exact movement, because the compound effect will certainly get you to success and you’ll build up enough base to sound like the recording itself. You can also learn more than one part since the song features three guitar tracks. If you’re looking for songs in drop B tuning to learn on guitar, I highly recommend this one.
27. Prison Sex by Tool
|Tabs||See Prison Sex by Tool Tabs Here|
The next song carries a very extravagant meaning. Also, I think that you are already familiar with some of the creations of the band that goes by the name of Tool. Their intricate compositions will not leave you unimpressed, especially if you are a fan of such a genre.
The instrumental part is very interesting here due to the fact that it features many interesting moves, as well as including different techniques such as muting notes and also playing pull-offs arriving to the open string note, which creates a very wide and vivid spectrum of sounds, perfectly fitting into the idea of the melody and the guitar tone the band’s using throughout the track.
28. 30/30-150 by Stone Sour
|Tabs||See 30/30-150 Tabs Here|
You might have heard about this band due to one of their popular songs, “Through the Glass.” However, this one is certainly not what we’re going to be looking at.
”30/30-150” ‘s melodic part of the track represents genres of alternative rock and hard rock. Also, it features a pretty fast tempo that you should definitely be aware of. In addition, there’s another thing worth mentioning: there are many open note sounds, so be careful not to let them ring really loud and disturb the general sound with extra noise, which will certainly only make the quality of the played riff worse. There’s a certain reason why this melody doesn’t sound boring or really common: it is not afraid of climbing up the fretboard and reaching notes of a higher pitch
29. Take My Bones Away by Baroness
|Tabs||See Take My Bones Away Tabs Here|
The song “Take My Bones Away” is relatively fresh and new due to its date of release, which is 2012. Representing genres of alternative and progressive metal, the composition will leave a very cool impression on you.
The guitar riff is really heavy but at the same time melodic, due to the ability of the band to create such cohesive and solid parts with a distorted and loud tone.
The thing about playing this song you might want to know is that you’ll need to be precise with the strings you’re picking since there’s a part where you need to balance between the 6th and the 4th for some time. As you can see, you need to avoid the 5th string at the time of this particular part.
30. White Light by The Ghost Inside
|Tabs||See White Light Tabs Here|
“White Light” is a song that’s still very fresh because it was released in 2020, during the pandemic. This track made a huge impact on the band and their listeners, connecting them more and more and widening the discography in general.
The composition is really emotional and alternative-sounding. The technical part of the guitar part includes chords, played in a powerful and confident way, as well as arpeggiated sections, blended with the already mentioned chords in a very good and intricate way. So, you might want to learn to switch from playing whole chords to picking separate notes needed to create a good-sounding arpeggio if you still don’t feel comfortable enough to make the switch really fast.
31. Before I Forget by Slipknot
|Tabs||See Before I Forget Tabs Here|
The band Slipknot is a very good representative of nu metal music, being a very beloved choice among people who are into metal music. This is not an old release at all; it was put out in 2014, and therefore many of the musical aspects used there might correspond to the repertoire of such songs written in this era.
You may have already noticed that you’ll need to balance a lot between the sixth and fifth strings of your guitar pretty much all of the time. Therefore, my recommendation is to take a better grip on your pick so you can get more control over the notes you target with it in order to replicate the guitar part.
32. What You Want by Evanescence
|Tabs||See What You Want Tabs Here|
“What You Want” is a fascinating metal song by the band called “Evanescence.” It was released in the 10s, which is certainly the era of the rise of such songs in some shape or form. The band often incorporates the gothic metal style into their songs, so their craft seems to be really creative and feels authentic, especially when you see them performing live.
The guitar riff starts on the eleventh bar, giving you a little bit of time to breathe before you start hitting the first chord, which combines the open sixth string tuned to the note B and the fifth string tuned to the note F#, pressed on the fifth fret of the guitar, creating a very interesting sound due to the fact it is the same note but played on two different strings. If you’re an Evanescence fan then this is one fo those drop B songs you simply have to learn.
33. Moving On by Asking Alexandria
|Tabs||See Moving On Tabs Here|
“Moving On” is another good choice for you if you like something that was produced in the new era of metal music, leaving the old generation behind and looking at the unknown future, hence not being afraid of experimentation and trying to incorporate something new into the process of creation.
The key of the song is really dark-sounding due to its specific arrangement of the notes of the scale, which are then converted into chords. As a standard characteristic of such songs, we can notice a pretty fast tempo. I would also like to add that despite the tuning of the song, it is not afraid of going to some notes of higher pitches and playing in different parts of the fretboard, which only deserves much respect and admiration.
34. Wild Eyes by Parkway Drive
|Tabs||See Wild Eyes Tabs Here|
For me personally, blending genres is really exciting, even though you have to be very careful when doing that, especially when it comes to music that has a huge fan base around the world. That is why my next choice can be regarded as a very nice example of creating something interesting by careful mixing of music that already has something in common, such as death metal, hardcore punk music, etc.
The song is definitely not for beginners because it features hard arpeggiations that often include bends, especially 1/2-note bends that can cause some difficulties for people who are not yet able to not overbend the note and make the sound precise enough to save the original harmony of the riff.
35. Duality by Slipknot
Who better to kickstart the list than one of the bands that popularized this tuning in the metal genre! “Duality” by heavy metal giants Slipknot is just one of the many epic songs that the band has played in drop B. The track opens with frontman Corey Taylor’s surprisingly soft vocals and a melodic piano. Close on the heels of the mind-blowing intro is fast and adrenaline-pumping guitar work by Thomson and Jim Root.
Running just over 4 minutes, “Duality” has somewhat of a nu-metal vibe, especially with Taylor’s spoken, rhythmic verses. You do hear some of his signature screams, but they only show up before the chorus and in the breakdown. This 2004 release ended up becoming the band’s biggest hit on the charts and is crowned as their greatest work by the fans. If you want to play the edgy, down-tuned riffs like the ones in “Duality,” don’t forget to tune to drop B.
36. Whispers in the Dark by Skillet
Released in 2006 by the Christian Rock band Skillet, “Whispers in the Dark” is a drop B song that earned itself quite a bit of popularity on Christian radio, having being played 4,505 times in 2008. It did pretty well in the mainstream, too, becoming a platinum-certified that sold over a million copies.
Heavy riffs and an insane solo drive “Whispers in the Dark.” It’s played on guitars tuned to drop B with a capo on the 2nd fret. The track has some awesome guitar playing going on, paired with incredible, raspy vocals by John Cooper, who also happens to have written this song. According to Cooper, the lyrics revolve around affirming the presence of God around us even when we feel alone. As the solo in this song can be somewhat challenging for new learners, we suggest you start off with the main riff and go from there.
37. Don’t Need You by Bullet For My Valentine
Iconic heavy metal band, Bullet for My Valentine usually goes with drop C tuning. But we’ve come across a fantastic composition of theirs that’s been done in drop B. Part of their sixth album, Gravity, “Don’t Need You,” is a dark and incredibly fast-paced composition that showcases the band’s quintessential style. Matthew Tuck’s pained, angry screams are backed by heavy down-tuned riffs and hooks that keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!
As the title suggests, the lyrics fume at people who are fake and take advantage of the person they are in a relationship with. Tucks’ screamed vocals tell one such selfish individual that they are no longer needed in his life. To arrive at the tuning used in this song from the standard one, you’ll have to tune down the low E string two and a half steps to B and all remaining strings down one and a half steps. This is one of the more popular drop B tuning songs on this list!
38. Overcome by Creed
“Overcome” by the famous rock band Creed is an excellent song in drop B to add to your guitar repertoire. Powered by ripping guitars, not to mention a spectacular solo by the supremely talented Mark Tremonti and Scott Stapp’s dramatic, signature vocals, this track is old-school Creed all the way.
Lyrically, it gets dark and gritty, focusing on fighting one’s inner demons and moving forward by overcoming struggles in life. The song also happens to be Creed’s first release in eight years. After splitting in 2004, the band reunited for their 2009 album Full Circle, of which “Overcome” is a part. The single debuted at number 8 but managed to breezily climb its way up to number 4 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart.
39. I Worship Chaos by Children of Bodom
Most of the ninth album by Finnish melodic death metal band Children of Bodom features drop B tuning, so explore it to get more familiar with how this unusual tuning is used in metal songs. Released in 2015, “I Worship Chaos” became the band’s first album after the departure of their guitarist Roope Latvala. The group played as a four-piece band, with the frontman Alexi Laiho doubling up as both a vocalist as well as guitarist in Latvala’s absence.
All tracks are pretty good, but the one we are going to talk about is the album opener. Being heavier than what the band usually plays, “I Worship Chaos” truly stands out. It’s intense, teeming with super speedy guitar and brilliant keyboard riffs. The strong guitar action and prominent keyboard are backed by explosive vocals by Laiho. We quite liked the song’s catchy chorus. All in all, it’s not a track to be missed.
40. Don’t Stay by Linkin Park
Phenomenally successful rock band Linkin Park’s second album Meteora was a massive hit! With over 16 million copies sold across the world, it became one of the biggest selling albums of the 21st century. The thirteen tracks chart-topping collection had one track that stood out in terms of tuning. “Don’t Stay” was one of the very few songs by the band that was not tuned to their favorite drop D; instead, they played it in drop B.
“Don’t stay” on the whole mirrors Linkin Park’s iconic rapped verses, angry lyrics, and bouncy chorus. Together with the 13-second foreword, the song made for a perfect starter to the ground-breaking Meteora. We loved the energetic and catchy opening riff that’ll have you reaching for your guitar before you know it! Just remember to tune your guitar to B-F#-B-E-G#-C# before you get started.
41. Straight For The Sun by Lamb of God
Powerful, slow, and sludgy best describes the opening track from heavy metal band Lamb of God’s sixth album, Resolution. “Straight For The Sun” is perhaps the doomiest sounding track by the revered metal band. The way it rolls in with lead vocalist Randy Blythe’s hard-to-miss gasp that’s followed by him unleashing a long and terrifying scream is simply astounding!
Sludgy, heavy guitar riffs and aggressive drum work dominate “Straight for The Sun” along with Blythe’s insanely awesome growls. The frenzied guitar riffs and muted power chords that show up in verse are all played on guitars down-tuned to Drop B.
42. Warriors by Papa Roach
Fans of the nu-metal genre will love this track! “Warriors” by popular American band Papa Roach is an upbeat composition with mind-blowing riffs a hefty dose of hip hop thrown into the mix. The single was included in their eighth studio album F.E.A.R. that managed to extend the band’s reach in several countries where it charted for the very first time. In most of F.E.A.R, Papa Roach can be heard experimenting with electronica, but there are some tracks that take you back to the band’s rap-rock roots like “Warrior.”
The opening bit might seem a tad EDM-esque but then comes a roaring riff that simply knocks your socks off! “Warriors” features well-known rapper Royce Da 5’9 from supergroup Slaughterhouse. The cameo adds snazziness to the single, given rise to a hard-hitting combination of heavy riffs and catchy hip hop. Played in the alternate tuning of drop B, “Warriors” is a great song for those who are just getting familiar with the tuning. It’s beginner-friendly and heaps of fun to play.
43. Before I Forget by Slipknot
One of the biggest metal bands of all time, Slipknot’s has received Grammy nominations ten times but has only once. Incidentally, the track that fetched them their only Grammy win is a drop B marvel. The third single from their 2004 album Vol.3: (The Subliminal Verses), “Before I Forget,” is a raw and powerful gem that is often touted as one of their best creations to date.
The intro riff has some genius-level guitar playing in the unusually low tuning of drop B. Interestingly, the guitar riffs were reworked from an old track out of an unreleased demo of theirs. In “Before I Forget,” Slipknot manages to strike a perfect balance between aggressive and melodic quotient, giving it a wider reach than their other singles. This is one of my favorite drop B tuning songs.
44. Imperium by Machine Head
Heavy metal giants Machine Head have been highly influential in the American metal scene since the ‘90s. They experimented with a variety of sub-metal genres, including groove metal, thrash, and nu-metal, selling over three million records all over the globe. In Machine Head’s 2003 album Through the Ashes of Empires, you’ll hear them going back to their groove and thrash metal roots.
Most of the band’s guitar work, as well as this album, features alternate tuning. But let’s talk about the brilliant album opener “Imperium” which is six minutes of pure riff-fest in drop B tuning. The track is heavy, brimming with thrash riffs, fiery vocals, and ample ideas to keep the listeners thoroughly engaged. To play “Imperium,” some basic knowledge of techniques such as palm muting, natural harmonics, and pinch harmonics would go a long way.
45. Side Of A Bullet by Nickelback
“Side of A Bullet” is an emotionally intense tribute by rock band Nickelback to the legendary heavy metal guitarist Dimebag Darell. Part of their fifth album, All the Right Reasons, the single was only released to U.S. rock stations, peaking at number seven on Billboard US Mainstream Rock. The lyrics have been penned from an enraged fan’s point of view, struggling to cope with the ghastly murder of the iconic Pantera and Damageplan guitarist during a stage performance. An unfortunate event that left the entire music community shell shocked.
One of the heavier songs by the band, “Side Of A Bullet,” features aggressive riffs in drop B tuning and frontman Chad Kroeger’s heartwrenching, roaring vocals. For the solo, Nickelback was lucky enough to source an unreleased riff by Dimebag, which they gladly pieced together and used in the song.
46. Gasoline by Audioslave
American rock supergroup Audioslave’s debut album was also their most successful album release to date that charted at number seven US Billboard 200 and sold more than three million copies. Their self-titled album also made it to Rock Hard magazine’s book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time. To play the third track “Gasoline,” Audioslave tuned their guitars unusually low all the way to drop B. And that’s why the groovy track deserves mention on our list.
“Gasoline” is powered by former Soundgarden’s frontman Chris Cornell’s smashing vocals. The guitar work is also pretty incredible, featuring Led Zeppelin-style down-tuned riffs, energetic chorus, and an infectious rhythm. If you haven’t heard the track, check it out, for it will make a great pick to add to your drop B repertoire.
47. Vitamin R by Chevelle
This well-liked alt-rock band of three brothers loves low tunings as many of their songs feature drop B tuning. We’ve picked Chevelle’s “Vitamin R” as it is one of the easier ones to play. This chart-topping track from the band’s third studio album, This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In), embodies quintessential Chevelle style. Angry lyrics, desperate and passionate grunge-like vocals by Pete Loeffler backed by exciting guitar licks all amp up the tense quotient of the song.
Overall the song manages to strike the right balance between melody, rhythm, and heavy, distorted riffs. Lyrics-wise, it captures a friend’s battle with a botched-up ADHD diagnosis that in turn got him addicted to Ritalin. In “Vitamin R,” you’ll hear infectious distorted palm-muted riffs and a chorus that’s driven by power chords as well as some cool licks. You can play this song by tuning your guitar from low to high: B-F#-B-E-G#-C#.
48. Blunt Force Trauma by Damageplan
Joining the likes of drop-B-favoring bands like Machine Head and Slipknot is ace metal guitarist Dimebag Darell’s former group Damageplan. The heavy metal supergroup was formed in 2003 with a musical style that had elements of groove metal, nu-metal, and thrash metal. Their debut album New Found Power was also sadly their only album. Damageplan’s journey was cut short when Dimebag was killed by a deranged fan during their Ohio concert.
Released in 2004, “Blunt Force Trauma” features a memorable and blazing riff by Dime. It’s pretty different from what he used to play during his Pantera days. It’s jangly. Most of the songs in the album are in drop B tuning. We recommend checking the album out as it will give you a glimpse of all Damageplan could have conquered if Dimebag Darell was still around and the band had a chance to grow.
49. Halo by Machine Head
Next up is a complex ballad from Machine Head’s critically acclaimed sixth album, The Blackening. The only track of the album that was jointly written by all four members of Machine Head, “Halo,” centers around organized religion and its repercussions. A rough version of this song was a part of the band’s 2005 demo. It took them six months to rework the composition, with it going through a ton of lyrical and instrumental changes. The final result was nine minutes of blistering masterpiece featuring epic guitar playing by Robert Flynn and Phil Demmel.
The main solo is a hard-hitting, hypnotic marvel that mirrors textbook Machine Head style. With dueling guitars, intricate dynamics, and melodic chorus, it’s no surprise that “Halo” has become a fan favorite. Played entirely in drop B, the track features a host of challenging guitar techniques that makes it more suited for intermediate-level players than beginners.
50. The Death Of Me by Asking Alexandria
Galloping guitars and explosive screams propel this hit single by British rock band Asking Alexandria. “ The Death of Me” is heavy as a boulder that gets straight to the point! The lyrics are profound and seem quite personal to the band. Guitar riffs are solid, and the chorus is pretty melodic with clean vocals.
You can hear this smashing composition in three different styles! Two of them feature in Asking Alexandria’s third studio album, From Death to Destiny. There’s the classic metal screamed-out heavy version, and then there’s the bonus track that’s a rock mix. In 2014, the band also released an acoustic version of the single via YouTube. Be sure to check out all three and pick the version you want to learn, and use drop B tuning while you’re at it. It’s interesting to note that the band went with a rock and roll version to shoot their music video as well as their stage acts.
51. The Vengeful One by Disturbed
After a hiatus of four years from 2011-15, heavy metal band Disturbed thrilled their fans by releasing a fiery single, “The Vengeful One.” The track became an instant hit, peaking at number one on Billboard US Mainstream Rock and coming in on 8th on Loudwire’s 20 Best Rock Songs of 2015. Even as one of the slower ones on the album, the song keeps the heaviness quotient intact.
Heavy active pickup riffs in low-tuned guitars, pounding drum work, and David Draiman’s intense vocals made “The Vengeful One” well worth the 4-year wait. Lyrically, the song is about the End of Days where the world has become a destructive mess. There’s an entity or a dark messiah that shows up to clean up our acts. This track seems to be the only one played by Disturbed in drop B tuning and, therefore, a great addition to your repertoire.
52. Pray For Plagues by Bring Me The Horizon
British alt-rock band Bring Me The Horizon does not shy away from experimenting with eclectic musical styles. While their earlier work was drenched in deathcore, they gradually started transitioning to more mainstream styles like metalcore and alternative rock. The band also adopted electronica and hip hop in some of their recent releases. You might be familiar with what they sound like now, so let’s take you back to their nascent phase when deathcore was their signature style.
“Pray For Plagues” from their 2006 debut album Count Your Blessings is a fiery track in drop B that’s also one of their heaviest compositions. Full of fast guitar riffs, fantastic breakdowns, and vocalist Sykes’ growling vocals, this track showcases the band’s epic versatility. Many of Bring Me The Horizon’s songs are in alternate tunings. “Traitors Never Play Hangman,” “What You Need,” and “Obey” have all been played in drop B.
53. Romance Is Dead by Parkway Drive
Australia’s biggest metalcore band Parkway Drive’s hit single “Romance is Dead” is a mosh fest that catapulted the band’s popularity the instant it dropped. This timeless track is also touted by many Australians as the song that pulled them into the heavy metal scene.
Featuring distorted palm-muted riffs, adrenaline-pumping breakdowns, and one of the most phenomenal mosh calls ever, it’s no surprise that this track has become a live staple for Parkway Drive. Every time they play the song, it whips up the crowd into a frenzy! The track was released in 2005 as a part of their debut album Killing with a Smile. Like most of their compositions, “Romance is Dead” is played in the band’s favorite drop B tuning. If you are looking for a band that almost always plays in this tuning, be sure to check out Parkway Drive’s repertoire.
54. The Truth by Limp Bizkit
While scrolling down this list, you may have already noticed that metal bands favor drop B for its heavier, darker sound. But there are exceptions where some mainstream bands have picked this unusually low tuning to experiment with their sound. Prominent American rap rock band Limp Bizkit is one such group. Their 2005 EP The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) has the band in a heavier and more innovative avatar and features an impressive track in drop B tuning.
Their second track from the album is an interesting blend of banging riffs, epic basslines, and industrial sonics. This album also marks the return of the band’s guitarist Wes Borland who can be heard using extreme distortion throughout on a guitar that’s tuned to B-F#-B-E-G-C#.
55. Invisible Enemy by August Burns Red
The song that fetched metalcore band August Burns Red, their second Grammy nomination, is an intense, dark composition that’s fueled by chugging riffs, dynamic drum work, and ferociously harsh vocals. From ABR’s eighth studio album Phantom Anthem, “Invisible Enemy” is a brilliant song in drop B tuning.
The entire album is an eleven-track classic metalcore fest. Released in 2017, it opened to raving reviews from fans and critics alike, peaking at number 19 on Billboard 200. In this Grammy-nominated track, you’ll experience a culmination of all the elements that make August burns Red such a revered band in the metal scene. With their trademark colossal build-up, blistering lead parts, and an insane breakdown, this track is bound to blow your mind.
56. Denial by Sevendust
American alt-metal band Sevendust’s most recognizable song is an absolute gem in drop B tuning! Part of the band’s second album, Home, “Denial,” is an excellent4 mix of powerful vocals, hard-hitting riffs, pounding drums, and great basslines. Lyrically, the track’s about relationships that go awry when people outrightly deny certain events and never share their feelings with the other person. Interestingly, the songwriting credit for “Denial” is shared by all five members of Sevendust.
The track showcases Lajon Witherspoon’s vocal prowess that’s an attention-grabbing mix of aggressive screams and a soulful chorus. In terms of guitar playing, both the lead John Connolly and rhythm guitarist Clint Lowery knock it right out of the park! The crunchy riffing and the stellar bridge is a masterclass in drop B tuning.
57. Nomadic by Slipknot
We’ve dug out a great track in drop B tuning from Slipknot’s 2015 album.5: The Gray Chapter. “Nomadic” is an underrated gem that features arguably one of the sickest solo by Jim Root. Otherwise a classic fast and heavy Slipknot fare, what really stands out in “Nomadic” is the awesome solo.
The band is not really known for their guitar solos, but when they play one, it is quite something, and this track has not one but two ripping solos! The one played by Mick shows up first with a sweep pick arpeggio pattern that might need a certain level of proficiency to learn. Jim’s part on the other hand is relatively easier to tackle, so you might want to start with that one first. Tune your guitar to B F# B E G# C# to play “Nomadic” in the same tuning as Slipknot.
Drop B Tuning Chords
Now that you know how to tune your guitar to Drop B, here is an easy and handy chord chart to help you play several different chords in this tuning – the numbers in each cell denote the fret you have to press, while ‘X’ refers to skipping/muting that string. As you will see, Drop B lets you play plenty of power chords with just a single-finger barring.
Playing with alternate tunings is a fabulous way to expand your guitar playing abilities and source of inspiration as well. We hope this article gives you everything you need to enjoy the heavy gritty awesomeness of the Drop B tuning!
My name is Chris and I’ve had a passion for music and guitars for as long as I can remember. I started this website with some of my friends who are musicians, music teachers, gear heads, and music enthusiasts so we could provide high-quality guitar and music-related content.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 years old and am an avid collector. Amps, pedals, guitars, bass, drums, microphones, studio, and recording gear, I love it all.
I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. My background is in Electrical Engineering, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University. With my engineering experience, I’ve developed as a designer of guitar amplifiers and effects. A true passion of mine, I’ve designed, built, and repaired a wide range of guitar amps and electronics. Here at the Guitar Lobby, our aim is to share our passion for Music and gear with the rest of the music community.