20 Best Drop C Songs: Tuning and Tabs Included

Most guitar players into metal know that there are many alternate tunings being used. Normally to get thicker, heavier sounds. Drop C is one of the more popular tunings because it’s not far from a simple Drop-D arrangement but has a heavier tone.

In this article, we are going to look at the best drop C songs and how you can play them once your guitar is tuned properly.

What is Drop C?

If you have any experience with drop D tuning, then this one will make a ton of sense. With drop D, the 6th string is tuned down from E. You simply tune down the 6th string to D, it’s that easy. 

With drop C, every string would be tuned down one whole step. This is assuming you are already in drop D. If you are, then you’re ready to rock!

If your guitar’s tuning is standard, then every string will need to be dropped a whole step. But the low E string will need to be tuned down 2 whole steps. This will take it from E all the way down to C. Your strings will then be tuned to CGCFAD.

Drop C Tuning diagram.

When you’re done with Drop C, here are some other great tunings to learn:

Drop C Songs

We have selected these songs because they are some of the more popular and fun to play on the guitar. Tuning your electric guitar down to C? Then you are probably looking for some heavier-sounding songs. But we have a good selection here for you to choose from.

Skillet – Monster

The song has crossed over 390 million views on YouTube. The narrator is fighting his inner demons in this song. Also known as the monster inside of him. Although he’s trying to keep it a secret, it seems to be consuming his life. This song was the second from the album Awake. 

Monster is quite easy to play. Once your guitar is tuned to drop C. The riffs are 3 note power chords played with high-gain distortion. This is a must to get the right tone.

Escape The Fate – This War Is Ours

The perfect song for anyone who loves a good adrenaline rush. This War Is Ours by Escape the Fate is an instant classic. With its driving beats and catchy chorus, the song is sure to get your heart racing and leave you wanting more. It’s one of their most popular tracks for a reason, and is a must-have for any fan of the genre. 

Deftones – Change (In The House Of Flies)

With its sleek guitar work and sultry vocals, Change is a Deftones classic. The darkness of the lyrics is offset by the song’s catchy chorus. This makes Change an instant Deftones classic. Still, Change remains one of the most popular Deftones songs on Spotify. It currently has millions of streams. 

This is probably one of the easier songs to play in Drop C as it’s simply a combination of three-note power chords.

As I Lay Dying – Through Struggle

Drop-C tuning is usually associated with dark songs. It’s no surprise that Through Struggle by As I Lay Dying is one of the best examples of this. The song is about the struggles we all face in life, and how we can overcome them.

It’s played with a lot of open-note chords and some djent riffs. You will also find some power chords throughout the aggressive electric guitar tone.

Nickelback – Savin’ Me

Creating the list of best Nickelback songs is a difficult task, but Savin’ Me has to be included. It’s a beautiful and emotional track that stands out among the rest of their songs. The lyrics are meaningful, and the guitar work is simply outstanding. It’s a great example of how Nickelback can create a truly memorable song.

Bring Me The Horizon – It Never Ends

There are deep and angry vocals in It Never Ends by Bring Me The Horizon. They perfectly reflect the intense emotions of the song. It’s a song about the never-ending cycle of addiction, and how it can destroy your life. The song is an immediate classic and will speak to anyone who has battled addiction.

This song features a lot of melodic harmonies between the guitar parts. All with plenty of huge-sounding open notes.

System Of A Down – Chop Suey!

This song got System of a Down their first Grammy nomination, and it’s easy to see why. Chop Suey is an instant classic, with its catchy chorus and heavy instrumentation. Perfectly showcasing the band’s unique sound, Chop Suey is a must-have for any fan of the genre. Without a doubt, this song helped put System of a Down on the map.

This song is quite easy to play using 2 fingers to bar power chords. It’s really only the fast tempo that will be a hurdle when getting started. At least until you memorize the parts.

Three Days Grace – Animal I Have Become

All from the personal experience of frontman Adam Gontier’s addiction to OxyContin. Then came one of the band’s most successful songs. It was a searing look at how addiction can take over someone’s life, and how difficult it is to break free from that cycle. It’s a powerful track that continues to resonate with fans who may be struggling with similar issues. 

This song is great for beginners, as it’s not very technical. It primarily utilizes the lower C power chord and a few other chords that are easy to play.

Godsmack – I Stand Alone

The strong and driving opening riff in I Stand Alone by Godsmack is sure to grab your attention. Not only that, but the chorus is catchy and will stay in your head long after the song is over. This song is a perfect example of how drop-C tuning can be used to create a powerful and emotive track.

Children Of Bodom – Are You Dead Yet

Are you dead yet is a phrase that was jokingly said to frontman Alexi Laiho after he got badly injured. The phrase stuck with him, and he decided to use it as the title for this song (and the album). It’s a dark track, but its catchy melodies and memorable chorus make it one of the Children of Bodom’s best. 

August Burns Red – Back Burner

The excellent musicianship and catchy hooks in Back Burner are what make it one of August Burns Red’s best songs. The song begins with a high-energy guitar riff that sets the tone for the rest of the tune. The guitars and drums work together to create an exciting, driving beat. It’s what carries the song from beginning to end. The song is about anyone who values their possessions above important things in life.

Disturbed – Stricken

In 2005, Disturbed released Stricken. The lead single from their third album, Ten Thousand Fists. The song quickly became a hit, due to its catchy chorus and heavy instrumentation. Not only that, but the song has managed to stand the test of time, and is still one of Disturbed’s most popular tracks.

It’s a very fun song to play, with some great chugging and easily barred power chords.

Disturbed – Inside The Fire

Inside The Fire was released in 2008. It’s the lead single from Disturbed’s album, Indestructible. The song’s popularity exploded due to its memorable chorus and dismal lyrics. This song is candid about the darkness of depression and suicidal thoughts. Inside The Fire is a song that anyone can relate to. It’s one of the reasons why Disturbed is such a popular metal band today.

The song starts out with a barred power chord at the 7th fret. It then requires some technical single notes and intricate picking techniques. It’s not overly difficult, but will need to be memorized.

Killswitch Engage – Holy Diver

The cover of Dio’s Holy Diver by Killswitch Engage is one of the best examples. It shows how drop-C tuning can be used to create a heavier sound. The guitar riff that opens the song is sure to get your attention, and the rest of it does not disappoint. 

The song is played with two-finger power chords with a tempo that is easy to get pretty quickly.

Beartooth – In Between

The extreme energy and power of In Between by Beartooth is what makes it one of the band’s best songs. The total raw emotion in the song is perfectly balanced. It features a catchy chorus and head-banging riffs. It’s an excellent example of how hardcore music can be both heavy and dynamic. 

You will find that the song is played with barred power chords with a few bends to get the right pitch at the second fret. There is a lot of work all over the fretboard to get this fast-paced song.

System Of A Down–Toxicity

You knew they’d be back on this list. It’s a perfect example of how the band can turn complex topics into catchy and memorable tracks. Over 705 million people have watched the music video for this song on YouTube. This makes it one of the most popular metal songs of all time. 

The song is quite easy to play, with a tempo in 6/8 that moves fast but is primarily single notes. Then it’s just a matter of working on the parts.

Nickelback – Feed The Machine

The title track from Nickelback’s 2017 album is a perfect example of how the band has evolved over the years. The song is a heavier and more aggressive track than their previous hits. But it still has the same catchy hooks and melodies that fans know and love. This is one of the band’s freshest sounds, and possibly their best song to date.

Bullet For My Valentine – Hearts Burst Into Fire

The drop C tuning in Hearts Burst Into Fire gives the song a heavier sound. Perfectly matching the dark lyrics. The proper balance of light and heavy elements makes the song an enjoyable listen. Right from start to finish. Only a band like Bullet For My Valentine could make a love song this dark and still have it be so catchy. 

While the song does have some easy to play 2 finger power chords, it’s still considered difficult.

Sleeping With Sirens – If You Can’t Hang

An amazing example of how versatile drop C tuning can be. If You Can’t Hang by Sleeping With Sirens is a perfect song for those who are getting into the genre of post-hardcore. The band uses a variety of techniques in this song that are common in post-hardcore music. It was released in 2011, and it’s a great example of how the genre has progressed over the years. 

A Day To Remember – All I Want

The song from A Day To Remember’s album, “What Separates Me From You”. All I Want, is a perfect example of how to use drop C tuning to create an anthemic and catchy tune. The song was released in 2010, and it has since become one of the band’s most popular tracks.


Tuning to drop C is a great way to get a heavier tone, but can sometimes cause issues with your guitar. If you find that your guitar has new buzz or noises, try a heavier gauge string set. You might also need to have it set up for the new tuning, but once it’s playing well, you will enjoy the new tones.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!