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Old 01-13-2013, 02:33 PM   #1
TimmyGee
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Muddy chords

Hi all.

I'm playing 3 chords that I would like with overdrive but they sound really muddy and you cant hear the beauty of the chords.

They are cadd9, dsus2 and aminor 7. Can anyone advise me of alternate chords I could play with ovdrive/distortion that match these chords.

Any other suggestions are also welcome.

Cheers
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
HotspurJr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyGee
Hi all.

I'm playing 3 chords that I would like with overdrive but they sound really muddy and you cant hear the beauty of the chords.

They are cadd9, dsus2 and aminor 7. Can anyone advise me of alternate chords I could play with ovdrive/distortion that match these chords.

Any other suggestions are also welcome.


Wouldn't any chords that matched them have the same muddiness issue?

There's a reason a lot of people who play with heavy distortion play "power chords" - just root and fifth, or root-fifth-octave.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:49 PM   #3
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Do you want them to have an overdriven sound when you play them? I find that if you want to keep the drive just turning the volume knob down a tad helps clear up enough to let the chords ring out but keep the drive going. Then you can turn it back up afterwards. Really its not much of a turn needed to clear up so doing it mid-song should be relatively easy.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
Artemis Entreri
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Seems more like a problem with your gear, though heavy distortion tends to make complex chords incomprehensible.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:18 PM   #5
TimmyGee
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Yep i could try power chords but they dont have the feeling that im after for this particular song. I will try the volume control tip suggested as this may clear them up a bit.

I guess the sound i am after is like Oasis...I know for a fact that Noel often played these kinds of chords with overdrive and they sounded fine....ie Live Forever.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:20 PM   #6
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turn down the gain, turn up your mids. overdoing bass/gain is the death of a solid tone and will choke any chance of getting a pristine ring out of larger chords. you can get plenty heavy tone with 11 o'clock gain and proper technique. a solid tube amp will do wonders, as well (or of course a high quality modeler)

modern metal is full of large, specific chord voicings.

Last edited by Hail : 01-13-2013 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #7
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You can play heavy (and less heavy) music with less gain. Just turn it down. The sound will be similar but it won't be as buzzy and there will not be as much sustain. Also turn down your bass if it's boomy. Don't scoop your mids. You can cut them but don't turn them to zero, you don't really need to boost them (for example I have my mids at 3 or 4 because I prefer the sound, I used to keep them at 7-9). But don't cut them from what they are now. Also what amp and guitar are you using?
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:58 AM   #8
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particularly in a mix, i'd prefer to overdo the mids and work it down as your palate finds appropriate for your instrument/amp/pickup/speaker voicing.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:02 PM   #9
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Turn your distortion down
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:32 PM   #10
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It might be a less-is-more situation, where a little less distortion helps the clarity come through. Also remember that all distortion effects are not created equal, and some are going to give you more articulation than others. And this is part of where gear quality matters - the difference between a good amp and a mediocre one is really going to be evident in this sort of situation.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:30 AM   #11
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The add9 should not be a problem at all even with metal-hi-gain tones, they do it all the time, especially in the drop-D type tunings.

For 7th chords, I like playing around with shapes like these:
AM7 - 546xxx
Am7 - 535xxx
A7 - 545xxx
Essentially simple 7th chords omitting the 5th, preserves the tonal character and can be applied to any root note located on the E and A string.

And yes, like everyone wrote, put your distortion down when playing rhythm parts.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:36 AM   #12
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There is definetely too much gain.

I used to just cranck the gain up to 10, but now it's at 5 a lot. Finding the right gain amount is pretty hard if you want to play lead and rhtyhm without stomping on footswitches.

It might be considerable to buy an overdrive/boost pedal if you want to play lead and rhythm without fiddeling with your amp settings.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidSkies
The add9 should not be a problem at all even with metal-hi-gain tones, they do it all the time, especially in the drop-D type tunings.

For 7th chords, I like playing around with shapes like these:
AM7 - 546xxx
Am7 - 535xxx
A7 - 545xxx
Essentially simple 7th chords omitting the 5th, preserves the tonal character and can be applied to any root note located on the E and A string.

And yes, like everyone wrote, put your distortion down when playing rhythm parts.

I would advise to play the chords higher because the lower you play them, the muddier they sound. For example try to play a C major chord on the lowest piano keys and then play the same chord a couple of octaves higher. It will sound a lot clearer played a couple of octaves higher. Same goes with guitar and any other instrument. Try to play power chords on bass on the E and A strings and it will sound muddy. Then try to play them on D and G strings and they sound pretty clear. Thirds will sound really muddy when played lower, fifths sound pretty clear (that's why I play a G chord like this 3x0033, I remove the major third and it becomes a G5 but it sounds much clearer - the low third makes the chord sound muddy).
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 01-20-2013 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:49 PM   #14
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mids are where the heart is
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:10 AM   #15
LiquidSkies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
I would advise to play the chords higher because the lower you play them, the muddier they sound. For example try to play a C major chord on the lowest piano keys and then play the same chord a couple of octaves higher. It will sound a lot clearer played a couple of octaves higher. Same goes with guitar and any other instrument. Try to play power chords on bass on the E and A strings and it will sound muddy. Then try to play them on D and G strings and they sound pretty clear. Thirds will sound really muddy when played lower, fifths sound pretty clear (that's why I play a G chord like this 3x0033, I remove the major third and it becomes a G5 but it sounds much clearer - the low third makes the chord sound muddy).


I do the same with the G-chord, however every voicing DOES have it's specific sound an uses. And as an example for the voicings I stated I shall link you to this song's main riff:



It's almost entirely 7th(no5) shapes on the low strings over Em7 Bm7 CM7 Am7 and it sounds perfectly fine.
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