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> Are Dropped Tunings Necessary For Heavy Riffs ?, Can standard tuning also sound heavy ??
Opetholic
post Nov 9 2012, 07:50 AM
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Once in a concert Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth (in a joking tone) said "Dropped tuning is a cheap trick for metal players to sound heavy." I think there is some truth in it.. Can you guys think of songs that you like that sound very heavy yet are played with standard tuning ?? Check this one out



One idea is to create contrast of low notes with high ones in a riff. Played in combination with high notes in a phrase I think even the standard E sounds very low..

I see nowadays some trend with players to have crazy dropped tunings. I don't personally think that a dropped Z tuning is necessary for sounding very heavy and tight with lots of balls unsure.gif What do you think ?


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 9 2012, 11:19 AM
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There is truth in what Mikael is saying but only when applied to the context in which is true wink.gif

In the case of players who do use drop tuning as a way to compensate for heaviness then yes, Mikael speaks the truth. In cases where players just do it because it's the sound they like, then it's not necessarily true. So, the statement is only true sometimes depending on the context smile.gif

I used to look at how distorted the guitars were as a sign of heaviness. Thankfully I grew out of that phase. Nowadays I feel heaviness as an overall weight in terms of tonality of the recording, the depth and muscle of the rhythm section and how they work together. A rhythm section where the bass and drums don't really react to to each other or compliment each other isn't as heavy to me. Guitars can be low or standard, massively saturated or not.. if the riffs are chunky though with plenty of percussive muting allied to tight drums and 'thunk'ing bass then it's plenty heavy smile.gif



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Slavenko Erazer
post Nov 9 2012, 12:02 PM
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I could wrote the 66 pages of songs heaviness in standard tunnings

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SpaseMoonkey
post Nov 9 2012, 12:53 PM
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Lots of heavier bands back in the day didn't tune unnecessarily low.

I believe Cannibal Corpse was Eb. Lamb of God tends to play in Drop D, as does Vital Remains.

I have noticed a lot of bands are playing in B lately. But in the long run that is standard tuning on a 7 string.


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 9 2012, 01:16 PM
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QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Nov 9 2012, 11:53 AM) *
Lots of heavier bands back in the day didn't tune unnecessarily low.

I believe Cannibal Corpse was Eb. Lamb of God tends to play in Drop D, as does Vital Remains.

I have noticed a lot of bands are playing in B lately. But in the long run that is standard tuning on a 7 string.


Wouldn't it be funny to buck the trend and tune even higher ???

"I'm playing in F# !!!!" laugh.gif laugh.gif


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Opetholic
post Nov 9 2012, 01:22 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Nov 9 2012, 01:16 PM) *
Wouldn't it be funny to buck the trend and tune even higher ???

"I'm playing in F# !!!!" laugh.gif laugh.gif

biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif lol.. That's a brilliant idea tongue.gif


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SpaseMoonkey
post Nov 9 2012, 01:34 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Nov 9 2012, 07:16 AM) *
Wouldn't it be funny to buck the trend and tune even higher ???

"I'm playing in F# !!!!" laugh.gif laugh.gif





Curtis Mayfield: He taught himself how to play guitar, tuning it to the black keys of the piano, thus giving him an open F-sharp tuning—F#, A#, C#, F#, A#, F#---that he used throughout his career. laugh.gif


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PosterBoy
post Nov 9 2012, 01:51 PM
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Just make sure the bass player has a distortion stomp box and a lot of the heaviness will come from them


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Yash
post Nov 9 2012, 02:53 PM
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QUOTE (Slavenko Erazer @ Nov 9 2012, 03:02 PM) *
I could wrote the 66 pages of songs heaviness in standard tunnings



Oh please. Go ahead then Slav tongue.gif biggrin.gif laugh.gif


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mroberts70
post Nov 9 2012, 03:13 PM
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I stay in F... Like when I F'n drop something F'n heavy on my F'n toe! There's a lot of F... usually throughout the entire show...

Seriously... What about Metallica, Megadeth, etc.... I'm no expert, but I don't they they drop tuned back in the day did they?


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TeoWulf
post Nov 9 2012, 03:20 PM
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This.Is.Heavy.

D# if I know well

This post has been edited by TeoWulf: Nov 9 2012, 03:22 PM
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Slavenko Erazer
post Nov 9 2012, 03:27 PM
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This is heavier biggrin.gif

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SpaseMoonkey
post Nov 9 2012, 03:58 PM
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QUOTE (mroberts70 @ Nov 9 2012, 09:13 AM) *
I stay in F... Like when I F'n drop something F'n heavy on my F'n toe! There's a lot of F... usually throughout the entire show...

Seriously... What about Metallica, Megadeth, etc.... I'm no expert, but I don't they they drop tuned back in the day did they?

That's correct I'm not sure what the first song that is lower by them but off hand the earliest I can think of is Sad But True.


QUOTE (Slavenko Erazer @ Nov 9 2012, 09:27 AM) *
This is heavier biggrin.gif



GAH! Thanks "I Am the Dog".. For this I am now stuck reading...


These!


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korblitz
post Nov 9 2012, 04:44 PM
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QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Nov 9 2012, 03:58 PM) *
That's correct I'm not sure what the first song that is lower by them but off hand the earliest I can think of is Sad But True.




GAH! Thanks "I Am the Dog".. For this I am now stuck reading...


These!


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 9 2012, 06:44 PM
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QUOTE (Yash @ Nov 9 2012, 01:53 PM) *
Oh please. Go ahead then Slav tongue.gif biggrin.gif laugh.gif


Yes. And Slav, surely you meant 666 pages.. cool.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 10 2012, 01:32 AM
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He nailed it smile.gif It's a quick and dirty way to make standard E Minor riffs sound heavy and fresh/new. Often even basic, semi boring riffs can sound quite chunky and spiff in B or C.

As far as heavy riffs in standard key, how about FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS? At about 1:00 minute in there is that BRUTAL chromatic riff. That tone is what inspired me to seek out heavy/chunky/metalic/grinding tone.




QUOTE (Opetholic @ Nov 9 2012, 01:50 AM) *
Once in a concert Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth (in a joking tone) said "Dropped tuning is a cheap trick for metal players to sound heavy." I think there is some truth in it.. Can you guys think of songs that you like that sound very heavy yet are played with standard tuning ?? Check this one out



One idea is to create contrast of low notes with high ones in a riff. Played in combination with high notes in a phrase I think even the standard E sounds very low..

I see nowadays some trend with players to have crazy dropped tunings. I don't personally think that a dropped Z tuning is necessary for sounding very heavy and tight with lots of balls unsure.gif What do you think ?



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Alex Feather
post Nov 10 2012, 02:43 AM
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Not really a lot of your sound is coming from your attack you can also compensate with the low bass notes there is a lot of bands that don't use drop tunings and still sound heavy


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enlo22
post Nov 10 2012, 03:51 AM
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In my opinion dropped tunnings just give it "fatness" idk how else to describe it, example Amon Amarth etc.. but the riffing itself can be heavy no matter what tuning.. this is one of my favorite bands and they use standard tuning and this is pretty heavy.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-uM6oDkw8c&feature=fvst


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SirJamsalot
post Nov 10 2012, 08:34 AM
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You guys are missing a key consideration for drop tuning that has nothing to do with sounding heavy - some singers' range (mine included) are strongest in the lower registers. Arron Lewis, Layne Staley, Curt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, ...

While they can all certainly sing in higher keys, their "pocket" is in the lower registers. I'm finding that's my comfort range too and am getting my band to dune down 1/2 a step with me. It's not so much the overall heaviness for us, but more along the lines of comfortable/relaxed singing. I'm finding my strongest vibrato is in lower registers.

cheers!

oh, the title is riff - not overall sound. Anyways - I like the heavy sound of anything in the D range - it seems to resonate really well in 12" speakers. when you get below C# on a non-baritone guitar, at least what I've heard live, seems a bit thin/flubby on guitar - but the bass usually covers for it well.

This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: Nov 10 2012, 08:42 AM


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 10 2012, 11:43 AM
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Yes, good point about attack. I have a heavy pick attack when playing riffs and I've had people pick up my gear and they sound nowhere near as heavy as me.. it's also related to exactly how you hold the pick, where your hand is etc..

Another good point from Jams about down tuning for the singer's best range smile.gif



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