Practice Log

"The Chain" and Double-Drop D tuning

Lesson #168

Let’s play around with Double-drop D tuning!

A recent request came in for β€œThe 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 β€œThe 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 β€œThe Chain”

Here’s my video lesson where I demonstrate and share some of what I learned:

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First, tune to double-drop D

That means your thickest string and thinnest string (both β€œE” in standard tuning) will need to be tuned one whole step down to a β€œD”.

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 β€œThe Chain” intro riff:

Before diving into β€œThe 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 β€œThe 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.

Phrase 1:

D ––––––––––––––2–––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––––1–––––––––––––––––––––––––
G ––––––2–––––2–––––––––––––––––––––
D ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
A ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
D ––0–––––––0–––––––0–––––––0–––––––
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Phrase 2:

D ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B ––––––––1–––––1h3–––––––––––––––––
G ––––––2–––––2–––––––––––––––––––––
D ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
A ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
D ––0–––––––0–––––––0–––––––0–––––––
    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

Phrase 3:

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 β€œend” 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

β€œThe Chain” outro bass line

Here’s the tab for the bassline heard at the end of β€œThe 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 +

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