Many solo artists and amazing bands prefer Drop C# Tuning (C#, G#, C#, F#, A#, D#) as an alternative tuning setup. It has provided a unique and magical tone for various genres for years.
When you go a half step down from the Drop D setup, it is called Drop C Sharp. It is very fun and comfortable to play in this setup. And it allows singers from different ranges to sing easier.
Amazing bands like Lamb of God, Black Veil Brides, Evanescence, Avenged Sevenfold, and Linkin Park are just a few examples of the bands using this alternate tuning. It is not a coincidence that the greatest bands of all time are writing riffs, licks, and solos with it.
You might find the heaviest riffs or mellow arpeggios combined with beautiful vocals on this list. So, take your pick, tune your guitar, and meet with the world of Drop C# Sharp!
Byob – System Of A Down
Here is one of the most popular tunes of the heavy metal band SOAD. This song was released in 2005 and appeared on the album Mesmerize. Like most of the band’s songs, this also has a political message supported by heavy guitars.
The song starts with a fast legato melody. Then proceeds with heavy riffs, including palm mute picking and its variations. The riffs have classic thrash metal structures.
My Demons – Starset
This band has a unique style of combining alternative electronic rock music with cinematic elements. They released their famous tune in 2013. You can find it on the album Transmissions.
The guitar parts of this song are very easy to play. It includes one-string picking patterns and simple chord riffs. Set up a mild distortion that fits into this cinematic sound, and give it a go!
Hero – Skillet
The successful Christian rock band Skillet released this tune in 2009. It is a famous single from the band’s album Awake. The song appeared in a 2010 WWE video game and the movie The Lightning Thief.
The guitar composition starts with an intro riff that every beginner can play. It then proceeds with an easy verse chord progression. The chorus is the intro riff again, and a rhythm guitar plays distorted progressions in the background.
Misery Business – Paramore
Paramore was one of the biggest pop-punk bands back in the day. This tune is from their second album, Riot!, released in 2007. David Bendeth was on the producer’s desk. I can’t believe that so many years have passed.
The song starts with an intro riff. This riff is played palm-muted in every verse part. And the chorus sections go with a much simpler riff. You’ll need a mildly fuzzed distortion to play this one—a beginner tune to play.
Heart Shaped Box – Nirvana
One of the greatest Nirvana tunes ever, Heart Shaped Box, was released in 1993. Their final album, In Utero, covers the track. With the support of Steve Albini as a producer, this tune became a very popular Kurt Cobain creation.
The tune begins with a clean guitar chord progression. Kurt plays the chords as arpeggios. And when the chorus comes, the sound of the guitars gets heavier. There is a little guitar solo in the bridge part you can easily play.
Country Boy – Aaron Lewis
This guy’s music is a great example of combining rock and country music. He released this track in 2010 with other country legends, George Jones and Charlie Daniels. You can find it on his album Town Line. It is also known as the walkout tune for the American fighter Chad Mendes.
Country Boy starts with an acoustic chord progression with emotional slide guitar solos. This composition proceeds till the end of the song. Only the feeling and the slide solos get heavier and elevated.
Down With The Sickness – Disturbed
The famous nu-metal band recorded this track in 2009. The band released it a year later with its debut album, The Sickness. This band uses tribal elements very well and knows how to combine them with metal music.
After hitting the muffled strings several times, the guitar goes into aggressive riffs. There is a natural harmonic detail when you come to the main riff. Pay attention to that. These riffs feel somehow threatening. Try to get the best amp tone to fit this sound.
The Less I Know The Better – Tame Impala
This tune is the most famous track of the band from 2015. The band reached a big audience through its unique psychedelic pop style. And it became one of the top artists in the genre. The album Current includes the very tune.
There are two guitars in this song. One is playing the main bassy riffs throughout the song. The other guitar plays simple melodic arpeggios on it and easy chord progressions. The guitars have a very stylish tone, like in every Tame Impala track.
All Apologies – Nirvana
Here is another Nirvana song you can play in Drop C# Tuning. This track is again from the album In Utero from 1993. Due to this single, the band received many awards and reached higher in famous charts. Also, check the unplugged version of it.
The song begins with an intro riff. This riff is the basis of the guitar composition, and the other instruments follow this progression. Kurt presses the distortion pedal when the chorus section comes and heavily strums the simple chord progressions. Then comes into the base melody in distortion.
What If I Was Nothing – All That Remains
This amazing metalcore band released this song in 2013. Their album A War You Cannot Win covers it. Adam Dutkiewicz produced the album. You might know him as the lead guitarist of the great band Killswitch Engage.
An arpeggio chord progression opens the song. The guitar composition later goes into heavier riffs with power chords. And for the chorus part, there is another progression with simple triads and more gain.
No More Tears – Ozzy Osbourne
The song was released in 1991 with the same-titled album. It might be the most successful solo album of Ozzy Osbourne. He always found ways to elevate his career and music for a long time. And this album is a great example of this.
Ozzy always had the craziest guitarists in the band. Here we see Zakk Wylde playing amazing heavy metal riffs and guitar solos. It contains classic heavy metal techniques like vibrato, fret hand muting, pinch harmonic, trills, etc. -A big tune to play on drop C#!
Remedy – Seether
This South African band is another alternative nu-metal band with alternate tuning setups. Remedy was released in 2005 and appeared on the band’s album Karma and Effect. The band worked with Bob Marlette on this record. He is another big shot in the industry.
There is a rhythm and lead guitar composition for this tune. One plays the distorted triad progressions, while the other plays licks and melodies in front. All of this is easy, and you can play this even if you are a beginner. So, don’t hesitate to dig in!
Shine – Collective Soul
Here is an excellent post-grunge band! You can find their 1993 release, Shine, in the album Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid. This song peaked at 11 in the biggest chart of the world back in the day.
There is an opening riff that two guitars beautifully play together. And a simple riff for the bridge part comes later. Besides, an easy chord progression is the base of the composition. You’ll need a dreamy and mildly distorted electric guitar tone for this. Pay attention to the crazy guitar solo later!
Bulls In The Bronx – Pierce The Veil
Here is a post-hardcore emo tune you can play in Drop C# Tuning. This tune is the 5th song of the band’s 2012 album. The band is still active and launching amazing music.
This tune is for intermediate players. The main riff includes dead notes, bends, slides, and hammer-on pull-offs. And you have to be used to fast-picking techniques. If you are into post-hardcore stuff, don’t hesitate to try!
My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
Everybody knows this pop song as the soundtrack of the famous movie Titanic. This 1997 release of Dion is still listened to widely for nostalgia. She has an amazing and timeless voice!
So, you can play this one easily with a Drop C# Tuning Setup and a clean guitar tone. There are two simple chord progressions. And the guitar in the song goes with arpeggios and minimal strummings.
Almost Easy – Avenged Sevenfold
This song is a single from the band’s fourth album from 2007. The deceased drummer of the band, The Rev, was the songwriter on this one. And they worked with Warner Bros. on this one as a huge success for a neo-thrash metal band.
The song is based on simple palm muted but fast thrash metal rhythms. And the brilliant guitarist Synyster Gates is playing his authentic solos.
The Kind Of Love We Make – Luke Combs
This guy is a successful country singer, and he first released his album in 2017. And this strictly American country pop tune is from 2022.
Simple chord progressions are the base of the tune. It sounds great, either with an acoustic or a clean electric guitar. It is such fun to sing with it also cause Combs has a great vocal sound.
Rebel Love Song – Black Veil Brides
Here is a glam metal hard rock tune from BVB. The band released this song in 2011 with the Set the World on Fire album.
The rhythm guitar parts are easy on this one. You can feel like a band member with a high gained, great amp tone. The lead guitar compositions can be trickier, though. It plays many licks and melodic solos throughout the song.
Hanging By A Moment – Lifehouse
This band is a great American post-grunge alternative rock group. They released the tune in 2000 through the album No Name Face.
The song has the classic post-grunge vibe and composition: A simple guitar riff that goes with beautiful bass walks also catchy chord progressions. Some parts are played with a clean tone, and the chorus and the bridge parts require a distorted sound.
My Own Summer Shove It – Deftones
Here is a 1997 release of the amazing alternative metal band. This tune is a milestone in nu-metal music. You can find it on the band’s album Around the Fur.
The main guitar riff goes almost the whole song and creates the base ground. There is also the post-chorus rhythm part. The song is very easy to play, yet feels very good!
On My Way To You – Cody Johnson
Johnson is one of the important musicians of neotraditional country music today. He released this tune with the 2018 album Ain’t Nothin’ to It. The song became his first collaboration with a big label.
You only have to play the simple chord progression throughout the song. There is also the acoustic guitar intro melody and the electric guitar solos.
America – Motionless In White
This band is a gothic, industrial metalcore band. The band has been working with big labels like Roadrunner and releasing amazing music. The 2012 album Infamous includes this tune.
The guitar composition on this one is relatively easy to play. Set up the right distortion tone and take your pick. Try learning the rhythms first, then go into the lead guitar melodies and licks.
No More Sorrow – Linkin Park
This song is one of the best tracks of LP’s 2007 album Minutes to Midnight. We see Mike Shinoda collaborating with Rick Rubin to produce this great record. And it just sounds amazing.
So, tune your guitar to Drop C# and start learning the intro melody. The guitar composition is very simple in terms of technique on this one: Simple rhythmic patterns and a heavy tone are all you need.
Minerva – Deftones
Here is another Deftones song to play. This song is from the band’s self-titled fourth album. It was released in 2003.
The guitar tone is brilliant on this album. And you can get more shoegaze vibes from this record, especially. With a heavy mid-boosted guitar tone, you can play this one in no time. Don’t miss the open string on the outro.
Viva La Vida – Boyce Avenue
Here is a popular acoustic cover of the Coldplay tune. And you can play it in Drop C# Tuning. The band was formed in 2004, and they have been famous for making covers since then.
A chord progression goes throughout the tune. But how you play it differs in certain sections: Sometimes with arpeggiated melodies and sometimes with simple strummings. An acoustic guitar would suit the best for this one.
I Only Lie When I Love You – Royal Blood
This tune is a Warner Bros. release from 2017. The band’s hard rock album How Did We Get So Dark? includes the song.
The song has no guitar in the record. But it has stoner hard rock-style bass riffs that you’ll like to play on your electric guitar. It is a fun tune to play or add guitar layers because the band has only a bassist and a drummer.
Glory Hole – Steel Panther
This band is a famous glam metal comedy rock band and has been making music since 2000. This tune is their 2014 album All You Can Eat’s third track.
The song has a classic glam metal structure: Glam-infused heavy metal riffs, solos, and licks are all over the place. The riffs are easy to play, and the solos are fast and include difficult slide, bend, and hammer-on pull-off techniques.
Bubbles – Biffy Clyro
This band is one of the most original alternative rock bands of the 2000s. They released this song with their album 2010 album Only Revolutions. Josh Homme from Kyuss is playing the lead solos on the record.
This tune has a beautiful electric guitar composition. It is like an ornament to the song with great melodies, dreamy triads, and simple strumming patterns. And the tone setup is worth checking.
Different Round Here – Riley Green
This guy is another new country singer. He released this tune in 2019. His same-titled debut album peaked at 11 on Top Country Albums Chart in the United States. He has an amazing voice.
There is an acoustic intro at the beginning of the song. It then goes into chord progressions with the electric guitar. A slide guitar accompanies the main structure with a beautiful tone.
No Care – Daughter
Check out this band if you are into the indie folk shoegaze genre. The band is an amazing trio and works with great independent labels like 4AD and Glassnote. This tune was released in 2016.
The guitar composition on this one is really fun to play. It is based on cool triad arpeggios with a cool electric guitar sound. This main riff goes the whole song.
Built To Fall – Trivium
These guys have been making brilliant melodic metalcore music! Under the wings of the big metal label Roadrunner Records, they released this tune in 2011. The name of the album is In Waves.
This tune is an advanced song to play. There are two guitar layers to this tune. They share rhythm and lead parts and play melodic, technical solos, licks, and riffs.
Absolute Zero – Stone Sour
You probably know this band as a side project of Slipknot’s Corey Taylor. Here is a 2012 release from this great band. The fourth Stone Sour album House of Gold & Bones Part 1, covers this tune.
The song has a beautiful metal guitar composition, including amazing riffs and licks. The guitarist looks humble, but the guitar solo will blow your mind.
Homeboy – Eric Church
This track was released in 2011 and appeared on Church’s album Chief. He worked with one of the biggest labels for country music EMI Nashville and Jay Joyce as the producer.
This tune is another country rock song for you to play. It contains only 3 chords as a progression and a lick-a-like acoustic riff. The guitar tones provide both country and aggressive rock elements brilliantly.
It’s Complicated – A Day to Remember
This band is a pop-punk band from Florida. It’s 2011 album What Separates Me from You includes this tune.
The guitarist plays mostly triads and dyads with a bright electric guitar sound on this one. Basic picking techniques and a little energy will be enough to play this song easily.
5150 – Van Halen
Here is a glam metal synth-pop release from one of the greatest heavy metal guitarists ever. The song was out in 1986 with the same-titled album.
Every instrument and the vocals do amazing stuff in this record, but the guitars are especially great. VH plays crazy technical stuff here. First, learn the signature riff, and then go into the licks and solos.
Rain Wizard – Black Stone Cherry
This band is an excellent hard rock band with Southern elements. They always elevated their music with every new issue. This tune is a 2007 release from their self-titled album.
This song has a couple of riffs and a great lead solo. Don’t miss this one if you are into classic rock music with no compromise.
Savannah – Relient K
Here is a 2009 release from the famous alternative pop-rock band. The band has been releasing music since 1998.
This song is played in triplets, so pay attention to the beats first. After getting used to the rhythmic structure, it is so simple and fun!
3005 – Daron Malakian And Scars On Broadway
This band is an experimental rock band and has been around since 2006. You might know the band founder from System of a Down. He is also actively playing and singing in this group.
The song contains an arpeggio progression and a slide guitar melody as a base. Also, there is a brilliant chorus riff you might enjoy.
Sleep Apnea – Chevelle
Here is a 2009 release from the amazing alternative metal band. Everything sounds just great with this record.
The guitars are based on a couple of heavy riffs. And they are evolving into more melodic and complex expressions throughout the song.
Peaches – The Presidents Of The United States of America
This 1996 release of the famous post-grunge punk band was a big hit back in the year. It even was nominated for the Grammys.
The track is a combination of punk, grunge, and psychedelic elements. The song has two basic chord progressions and a guitar melody when the chorus part comes.
Some of your favorite songs are written in Drop C# Tuning. This tuning setup is widely used by many genres like heavy metal, metalcore, nu-metal, pop-punk, or even country and pop music.
If you are not used to this setup, it might take a little time to be comfortable with the tension of the strings. But once you feel better about it, I’m sure you will love to play in Drop C# Sharp. So I suggest being patient and persistent.
Also, the vocal range and capabilities of this tuning are very remarkable. If you pay attention to the singers when you listen to the songs again, you will see how they sing in creative ways.
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