"The Chain" and Double-Drop D tuning
Lesson #168 • Aug 6, 2018
Let’s play around with Double-drop D tuning!
A recent request came in for “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac. I decided to check it out, and learned it requires double-drop D tuning - which is something I’ve never played with before. Fresh off of watching a fantastic video about “The Chain” by Polyphonic (an excellent YouTube channel I recommend greatly), I decided to give it a whirl. Here’s the notes from my practice session… follow along to have some fun with double-drop D and the opening bars of “The Chain”
Here’s my video lesson where I demonstrate and share some of what I learned:
Instructional PDF 2 pages
Follow along with the print-friendly PDF! It includes all of my notes for this lesson, allowing you to follow along at your own pace. You're free to download, print, and share the PDF across your devices.
Thanks for being a Premium member of Song Notes! Your support makes these lessons possible.Download PDF
First, tune to double-drop D
That means your thickest string and thinnest string (both “E” in standard tuning) will need to be tuned one whole step down to a “D”.
Standard tuning = E A D G B E Double Drop D tuning = D A D G B D
A good way to make sure you’re all tuned up and ready is to rock a D-major chord in double-drop D. It should sound nice and full, given 3 of the 6 strings are tuned to the same note.
D ––0–– B ––3–– G ––2–– D ––0–– A ––0–– D ––0––
Optional next step: add a capo
If you want to play along with Fleetwood Mac’s version of The Chain, add a capo on the 2nd fret and follow everything I show below. In my video lesson, I don’t bother with a capo. Just a heads up there.
Chord shapes needed in “The Chain” intro riff:
Before diving into “The Chain” riff, get familiar with these two chords. You’ll need to use your left pinky on the 3rd fret of the B string when playing the second chord - which allows you to switch back to the first chord by simply lifting your finger.
D ––2–– <-- left ring D ––2–– B ––1–– <-- left index B ––3–– <-- use left pinky for 3rd fret note, G ––2–– <-- left middle G ––2–– (and keep left index on 1st fret) D ––0–– D ––0–– A ––0–– A ––0–– D ––0–– D ––0––
Intro phrases from “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac
Here are the three main phrases heard in the opening part of this song. These are very fun to play around with in double-drop-d tuning. Start off without the pulsing bass note (master the treble notes first). Then, when you’re ready, add the bass note to add some rhythmic pulse.
D ––––––––––––––2––––––––––––––––––– B ––––––––1––––––––––––––––––––––––– G ––––––2–––––2––––––––––––––––––––– D –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– D ––0–––––––0–––––––0–––––––0––––––– 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B ––––––––1–––––1h3––––––––––––––––– G ––––––2–––––2––––––––––––––––––––– D –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– D ––0–––––––0–––––––0–––––––0––––––– 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B ––––––––1–––––1–––1h3––––––––––––– G ––––––2–––––2––––––––––––––––––––– D –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– D ––0–––––––0–––––––0–––––––0––––––– 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
Turnaround & walkdown
Here’s a good way to “end” a series of these phrases, as to either stop the song or just start over again from the top. This isn’t really from The Chain per se, though it’s a bit inspired. See my video lesson for reference.
D ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|––––– B ––––––––3–––––3–––––––––3–––––3–––––––––3–––––3–––––––––––––––––––|––––– G ––––––0–––––0–––––––––0–––––0–––––––––0–––––0–––––––––––––––––––––|––––– D ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–0–––––––––|––––– A ––3–––––––––––––––2–––––––––––––––1–––––––––––––––0–––––––3–0–––––|––––– D ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3~~–|––0–– 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1
“The Chain” outro bass line
Here’s the tab for the bassline heard at the end of “The Chain”. It’s another fun one to practice, though a bit tricky to work out smoothly. To practice this, I suggest breaking these notes into two sequences: the first moving between 5-7-8; and the second moving between 3-5-7.
D –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– G –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– D –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– D ––5–––––––––––5–7–8–––––7–5–3–5–7–0––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!
November 28, 2022
November 22, 2022
November 10, 2022
November 2, 2022
October 23, 2022
October 15, 2022
Browse my all lessons
By lesson type
- Strumming & Rhythm
- Walk-Ups & Walk-Downs
- Learning Barre Chords
- Travis Picking
- Learning Chords
By musical genre
By musical key
By popular artist
- Johnny Cash
- Tyler Childers
- Tom Petty
- Neil Young
- Chris Stapleton
- Willie Nelson
- Guy Clark
- John Prine