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 »
- 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
- Copperhead Road by Steve Earle
Feb 7, 2019
- Guantanamera by Pete Seeger
Jan 31, 2019
- "Blue on Black" grooving on D5-Cadd9-G (Warm Up #13)
Jan 26, 2019
- Adding fills to the "Wild Horses" intro (Practice Log #9)
Jan 24, 2019
- Light On by Maggie Rogers
Jan 19, 2019
- Improvised pickin' on The Gambler (Practice Log #8)
Jan 17, 2019
- Faking open chords in key of A
Jan 12, 2019
- My Top Lessons of 2018
Jan 8, 2019
- Heart of Gold by Neil Young
Jan 5, 2019
- Auld Lang Syne (traditional)
Dec 31, 2018
- Faking open chords in key of E
Dec 27, 2018
- Last Christmas by Wham!
Dec 24, 2018
- Please Come Home for Christmas by The Eagles
Dec 17, 2018
- Guitar chords on a ukulele
Dec 13, 2018
- Slap strumming basics (percussive rhythm technique)
Dec 8, 2018
- How to practice with a backing track, feat. Tennessee Whiskey (Practice Log #7)
Dec 1, 2018
- Playing A-major with big fingers or a small fretboard
Nov 27, 2018
- E-major backyard groove (feat. Posters by Jack Johnson)
Nov 21, 2018
- How to play F#m (F sharp minor)
Nov 18, 2018
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.