Man of Steel with Steel Panther's Satchel: Utilizing Drop-D Tuning, and How to Play “Glory Hole”
This month I’d like to talk about a song from our forthcoming album, which will most likely be out by the time you read this, called… well, I have no idea what it’ll be called.
But since it’s out now (I mean, by the time you are reading this) you will know the title, because you have it. I wish you could reach back from the future into the past and tell me the title, but I guess you can’t. Regardless of the title, it will no doubt be the all-time heaviest heavy metal album ever made…by us.
The song I’d like to focus on here is a little ditty I call “Glory Hole.” It’s played in drop-D tuning down one half step (low to high, Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb). If you are in standard tuning, simply tune your entire guitar down one half step, and then tune the sixth string down an additional whole step.
The song’s primarily lick, shown in FIGURE 1, is played almost entirely on the bottom three strings, the exception being the chromatically ascending (one fret at a time) root-fifth power chords that appear in bar 8.
The riff is based on the D minor pentatonic scale (D F G A C), and I begin with a double pull-off on the fourth string, from G at the fifth fret to F at the third fret, and then to the open D string. I then pull off from D to C on the fifth and third frets of the fifth string, followed by the last two notes, F and D, on the sixth string.
In bar 4 I play a tricky riff built from repeated pull-offs to the open fifth and fourth strings. Moving up chromatically, I begin by fretting a note on the fifth string, pull off to the open string and then repeat the process one fret higher as I gradually move up the fretboard. At the end of the bar, I move over to the fourth string to set up the return to G, the first note of the lick (bar 1).
During the verse section, I switch to a low D pedal tone under the vocal part and then move back into the main lick. This is shown in bars 1–8 of FIGURE 2. I then switch to the power-chord-driven pre-chorus, followed by the equally power-chord-fueled chorus. Good song!
This record sounds much better if you turn it up loud, have a couple of shots of Jack Daniels, and hang out in the hot tub with a few of your lady friends. I know that’s how most of you nine-year-olds out there are going to be listening to the new record, which I think is pretty badass!