Although drop D tuning has been around for a long time, the Seattle grunge movement in the early 1990's brought about it's popularity. Drop D tuning was used extensively by bands like Nirvana, partly because it made playing power chords with one finger possible.
Drop D Tuning Tips
- Tune your sixth string down a tone to D. Check the tuning with the fourth (D) string.
Tab of Songs in This Tuning...
Optimistic - This Radiohead track from 2000's Kid A< uses all open strings, including the lowered sixth, to great effect.
Higher - This Creed song in the key of D takes advantage of the detuned open sixth string to make the guitar sound very big and full.
Moby Dick - This Led Zeppelin tune is based on a single note riff that uses the lowered sixth string in drop D tuning.
Heart Shaped Box - One of the many tunes written by Nirvana (and dozens of other grunge bands) that use drop D tuning.
Spoonman - This Soundgarden tune illustrates how you can use one finger to play power chords in drop D tuning.
Chords in Drop D - Dansm's guitar site offers explanations on how to play many common chords in drop D tuning.
Drop D Lesson - A simple page that explains a little more about drop D tuning, and provides audio for a riff to play in drop D.
YouTube: Drop D Video Lesson - Dustin Barber walks viewers through tuning to drop D, and shows you how to play some basic riffs using the tuning.