Practice Log #2
"The Chain" and Double-Drop D tuning
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:
Print-friendly version of this lesson
For a print-ready PDF of this lesson, become a supporter on my Patreon page. For a few bucks a month, you get access to PDFs of all my new lessons.
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 this lesson? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider donating to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it). Thanks!
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!
Recent video lessons:
📝 Print-friendly PDFs now available for all new lessons I make, including all those listed below. Get a free sample »
- How I change my acoustic guitar strings
May 19, 2019
- "My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight" (fingerstyle intro) by John Prine
May 17, 2019
- Outlaw fingerstyle warmup ("Sleeping on the Blacktop") by Colter Wall
May 11, 2019
- First Call (horse racing / military bugle wake-up call)
May 4, 2019
- Imagine by John Lennon
May 2, 2019
- Jenny of Oldstones from Game of Thrones
Apr 23, 2019
- Wildflowers by Tom Petty
Apr 20, 2019
- Breezy strumming on E-Bsus4-Asus2 (Warm Up #18)
Apr 18, 2019
- How I composed a fingerstyle guitar arrangement (Practice Log #12)
Apr 13, 2019
- If I Had a Boat by Lyle Lovett
Apr 10, 2019
- Triad exercises w/ A, D, & E (Warm Up #17)
Mar 30, 2019
- Travis picking finger technique (Practice Log #11)
Mar 22, 2019
- Let Him Roll by Guy Clark
Mar 17, 2019
- Plush by Stone Temple Pilots
Mar 15, 2019
- Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mar 9, 2019
- Adding flourish to C-F-G-Am
Mar 7, 2019
- The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
Mar 3, 2019
- Always Remember Us This Way from A Star is Born
Feb 28, 2019
- Cowboy chords & walking bass lines (Warm Up #16)
Feb 23, 2019
- Improv blues guitar in A-minor
Feb 21, 2019
- St James Infirmary Blues
Feb 16, 2019
- Barre chord strength & Smells Like Teen Spirit (Warm Up #15)
Feb 14, 2019
- Faking open chords in key of D w/ major & minor triads (Warm Up #14)
Feb 10, 2019
Monthly email updates
If you want to keep posted of new lessons over email, sign up for my newsletter. I'll email once a month with a digest of all my new videos. I promise: no spam.