by George Loveridge | 4,3 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 5 Minutes
Top 5 Drop C Riffs

Top 5 Drop C Riffs: From John Mayer to Drowning Pool

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Do you like your riffs fast and loud? Look no further! Our pick of the Top 5 Drop C riffs will satisfy that desire. But, not all of these riffs are what you’d expect. Let’s take a look… 

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Top 5 Drop C Riffs: From John Mayer to Drowning Pool

Now, we’ve looked at the Top 5 Drop D Riffs before. What’s different about the Top 5 Drop C Riffs? Here, the guitar is tuned C,A,D,G,B,E. C replaces the open 6th E note. Alternatively, you will also come across C,G,C,F,A,D. This is where every string has been tuned down a whole step, and then the 6th string has been lowered again to C. Effectively, drop D a whole step down.

Drop C is popular amongst the heaviest of guitar players. If drop D gives a dark sound, then drop C is sinister at best! Furthermore, a lower string tension makes fast playing much more achievable.

Blew – Nirvana

We’re kicking our pick of the top 5 Drop C riffs off with a slice of late 80s grunge. Taken from Nirvana‘s first album Bleach, Blew is a great starting point when looking at heavier riffs.

Following on from a shady bass intro, there’s a simple open-string riff spanning just a few frets. Incorporated with some slides, it sounds mega!

After 4-bars of open chords and slides, there’s a cool little riff with some bends and hammer-ons. This is a useful drop C riff as it introduces you to lots of effective technical devices!

Blew: Top 5 Drop C Riffs

Toxicity – System of a Down

Secondly, we have an entry from System of a Down. Arguably, one of the heaviest bands out there? Here we’re going to look at the opening riff from Toxicity.

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Similarly, there are some hulking drop C phrases with this tune, but right now we’re focusing on the riff in the first few bars. Nothing crazy, a deceptively quiet riff that differs from the rest of the song.

Watch out! This time we’ve got a compound, quadruple 12/8 time signature. Don’t worry though. In English, this just means that there are four strong beats in each bar, which can be divided into three eighth notes. It shouldn’t stop you from having a go at this drop C riff!

Toxicity: Top 5 Drop C Riffs

Neon – John Mayer

I bet you didn’t think we’d have an acoustic song in the list of the top 5 drop C riffs? Don’t get too confident though, here’s where things get challenging. Taken from John Mayer‘s debut album, Room for Squares.

Thus far, our riffs have been fairly reserved. However, with Neon, the techniques and skills required are a bit more sophisticated and demanding.

With this example, we just need to down-tune our 6th E string to a C. Therefore, we’re still in a form of Drop C but the rest of the strings are standardA,D,G,B,E.

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Frantic – Metallica: Top 5 Drop C Riffs

Metallica. A staple band when looking at guitar riffs. A lesser-known track, and not recorded in the 80s or 90s! Frantic by name, frantic by nature. This riff is played at 161 bpm.

If you have a listen, the opening bars have that typical James Hetfield chug. Plenty of palm muting and sixteenth notes on here.

There are a lot of open C notes. Despite this, you get a fast and mean drop C riff. There is also a call and response between the lead and rhythm guitars, so don’t worry if you can’t make this sound exactly like the record on your own.

Top 5 Drop C Riffs

Frantic: Top 5 Drop C Riffs

Bodies – Drowning Pool

Finally, we’re going to look at a song that was originally released in 2001. However, it resurfaced as a meme years later. Its riff, at least, is to be taken very seriously.

Despite the fast pace and heavy sound, this could be an ideal beginner riff when looking at drop C. Again, we’ve got lots of single-fret chords accompanied by some slides.

Check out this tutorial. It clearly shows the TAB that you’ll need for the opening riff and the rest of the song!

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Top 5 Drop C Riffs: Are they worth learning?

Chances are, you might have only heard of a few songs or artists on this list. Moreover, did you even know drop C existed? Songs played in Drop C are in quite a niche place between rock, metal and thrash genres. However, it’s always worth broadening your horizons when it comes to listening and playing. Why not give them a try? Who knows, you might just be a Drop C junkie.

Gear:

If you’re looking to play some heavy riffs, you’ll need a heavy tone to go with them. Here’s our handpicked selection of amps and pedals.

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Marshall MG15GR
Marshall MG15GR
Customer rating:
(137)
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Electro Harmonix Nano Metal Muff Distortion
Electro Harmonix Nano Metal Muff Distortion
Customer rating:
(26)
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Evh 5150 III Stealth 100W Head
Evh 5150 III Stealth 100W Head
Customer rating:
(2)

Further Information: 

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Top 5 Drop C Riffs

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