27 Best Drop-C Songs – With Tabs

If you’re planning on playing heavy music on the guitar, it might be best to play in the Drop-C tuning. This tuning is identical to Drop-D, with the exception that all of the strings are tuned down one full step. 

It’s never a bad idea to learn some Drop-C songs, especially if you’ll be regularly playing in that specific tuning. You’ll be able to bust out some surprising covers that could potentially please any audience you play in front of.

All of the following songs feature guitars tuned down to Drop-C and are ideal for anybody to learn. Whether you like metal or indie-rock, there is something here for you to add to your repertoire. 

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“Aerials” by System Of A Down

Tab

If you’re looking for a workout on playing one note across several different strings, give Aerials a try. This track’s brooding intro features a continuing sequence of triplets across the guitar’s 3 lowest strings. 

Fortunately, the actual note fingering played during this part is relatively easy. The only note that moves is on the 6th string which follows a typical minor scale pattern. 

This means that you’ll leave the 4th and 5th strings open, though you’ll want to take care to pick cleanly. From there, you’ll be employing basic 1-finger power chords to deliver some of the heavier musical moments. 

“Hearts Burst Into Fire” by Bullet For My Valentine

Tab

If you’re seeking a metal ballad that provokes tears and showcases godly guitar skills, check out Hearts Burst Into Fire. This song has it all, from elevating melodic passages to memorable anthemic lines.

Like so many of the songs that came out around its release, this track opens with a clean, chorus-affected guitar. A soaring guitar solo kicks in, where things will get interesting if you lack the capable skills. 

Hearts Burst Into Fire will give you a taste of everything you need as a modern metal guitar player. Plus, it’ll teach you how to use tapping and give you a masterclass in melodic soloing. 

“My Curse” by Killswitch Engage

Tab

Killswitch Engage has that unique blend of hardcore mixed with elements of emo that can satiate anyone’s tastes. Though the band has had a tenuous career, their hit track, My Curse, still slaps after almost 20 years.

The beginning of the song really pulls from the Midwest emo roots, incorporating a clean guitar with some delay. You’ll want to employ a delay pedal that has a tap-tempo function to emulate the song properly. 

For the most part, this melodic section (which repeats at times throughout) is probably the most difficult passage. The rest of the song consists of barre chords and palm-mute chugging on the lowest string.

“Animal I Have Become” by Three Days Grace

Tab

In the early 2000s, it was a challenge to escape the reach of Three Days Grace’s music.  If you didn’t like them, it was guaranteed that you had at least 1 friend who did like them.

Even then, Three Days Grace found widespread radio play, especially between 2003 and 2007. The track, Animal I Have Become, comes from this time period, off of the group’s 2nd album. 

Animal I Have Become features some of the hallmark aspects of why Three Days Grace was so popular. The song’s catchy foundation makes it accessible and appealing to just about anybody with ears. 

“Free” by Zac Brown Band

Tab

Drop-C is mostly used in heavier styles of music, but it can also be used in just about any situation. For instance, the Zac Brown Band (usually considered “country”) uses the tuning on the track, Free.

Sure, the song might have a capo on the 1st fret (making it Drop-C#), but the mechanics are the same. Like any song in standard tuning, Free utilizes open chord shapes you’re probably familiar with. 

Songs like Free are especially ideal if you feel like singing songs in regular E standard tuning is too high. This, in turn, illustrates the fact that Drop-C could be incredibly useful for any songwriter.

“Holy Diver” by Killswitch Engage

“Holy Diver” by Killswitch Engage

Tab

DIO’s famous track, Holy Diver, has become a sort of anthem that all metal fans enjoy to no limit. Killswitch Engage’s cover version is an excellent modern rendition of this classic metal track that anyone can appreciate.

Musically, the way Killswitch Engage played the track would be fitting for any episode of Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse. Aside from the screaming vocals in the song’s break, even Howard Jones pulls off a fantastic and respectable Dio emulation. 

The original is great, no doubt, but Killswitch Engage gives the song the energy it has always been lacking. 

“I Stand Alone” by Godsmack

Tab

If you were a regular MTV viewer in 2000, you witnessed things that would stay with you for a lifetime. The channel was still known for breaking groups into the mainstream, with Godsmack being just one example.

For the times, Godsmack was an interesting group to be seen in the mainstream spotlight. Just the name alone was enough to make some people feel uneasy, let alone their flavor of trance metal. 

Their song, I Stand Alone, is a popular song to play in Drop-C. A majority of the song’s structure relies on just 2 strings.

“Roman Bird Dog” by Melvins

Tab

Melvins is one of those groups that has always been a presence but is unknown to most. That is, unless you have a propensity for a uniquely weird brand of sludge metal, which Melvins serves up non-stop. 

The trio has a massive list of official releases ranging the length of their 40-year career. Their track, Roman Bird Dog, comes from their 1992 release, Lysol, just before they made their major label debut.

If you’re playing this, make sure you also have a bassist and drummer who are locked in with you. 

“Toxicity” by System Of A Down

Tab

When System Of A Down floated into the mainstream with Toxicity, the world was never the same. The 2001 album is generally considered one of the greatest albums ever made and it still holds up today. 

While every track on the album is a banger, the album’s title track is especially potent. Musically, it has everything you could want, from simple melodicism to intensely difficult rhythmic patterns. 

Consider the fact that 9/11 took place just shortly after this album, along with everything that’s happened since. It goes to show that things beyond our control will forever keep this album relevant to any modern time.

“Fight This Generation” by Pavement

Tab

Pavement might be the most random addition to a list that primarily features bands from heavier genres. However, while Pavement might be a little more “soft,” they were still full of plenty of angsty moments. 

Their track, Fight This Generation, for instance, traverses an unusual landscape of emotions not generally touched upon. What starts out as daydreamy and lackadaisical turns into an anthem worthy of any punk band. 

Of course, the dissonance present between the guitars in the mix helps to convey all the tension that is needed. Perhaps it is a symbol of the disagreements commonly experienced between every generation coexisting at any one time. 

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