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Old 02-05-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
infraredz
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Stoner metal/ stoner rock- tunings, scales

I have a few questions...

In c-standard tuning (C F A# D# G C), how do you apply various scales to this tuning? I've learned a few blues scales in E (standard?), and am wondering if they apply to C or do they move due to the different tuning.

Also, what are sweeping patterns? What do the roman numerals mean (I, II, III, IV, V)? What mode is most commonly used in this genre? What key are most songs in? How do power chords relate to this tuning since I have heard of 'one-finger power chords'?

Sorry if this is all elementary stuff...
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:51 PM   #2
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Oh wow....

Everything you've learned in E standard is moved up 4 frets because you've tuned down 4 semitones. For example, E is now the 16th fret of the C string as opposed to the 12th fret of the E string.

Sweeping patterns are essentially chord progressions that have been arpeggiated and are played using sweep picking.

The roman numerals reference different intervals, usually as they apply to chords within a progession. For instance, a I-IV-V-IV progression in G is a chord progression that begins on a G major chord, moves to a C major chord, then a D major chord, then back to a C major chord.

Don't worry about modes right now. Anything you've "learned" by now is probably incorrectly named. Modes are not something you encounter within rock and metal frequently and most references you see to them name them erroneously.

Most songs in stoner rock/metal tend to be in minor keys, often in the key of the lowest string, though that is hardly a rule. You could write something in B major and still write stoner rock if your phrasing is right.

Power chords are the same shape in this tuning since the relationship between the strings is the same (4ths except for the major 3rd between D# and G). One finger power chords are encountered in drop tunings. In a drop tuning, one string is a fifth below the next one, so in order to play a power chord, you only need one finger, since your first, fifth, and octave are on the same fret on their respective strings.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:40 AM   #3
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Just one thing to add to Geldin's post about the roman numerals. If they are lower case letters (ii v iv instead of II V IV) it means it's a minor chord instead of a major. And you may also see some with a * or something beside it. That usually implies it's a m7b5 or diminished chord.
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Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:36 AM   #4
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Good catch, man. I totally forgot that in my original post.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:13 AM   #5
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Thanks. As you probably realized, I know next to nothing so this is all incredibly helpful...

As far as keys are concerned, is it true that lower keys are therefore 'heavier' sounding? Do blues keys tend to be used in this genre or just pentatonic?

What are the usual chord progressions in stoner metal? (all I know is 1-4-5...)

I'm trying to use this genre as a starting point to build my theory and skill (although there doesn't seem to be that much technical skill involved compared to other genres)

Thanks again.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:20 AM   #6
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Lower tunings are lower sounding, but not necessarily heavier. There are a lot of different meaning ascribed to the word "heavy". It could be more literal and mean low tuned to some people, whereas others consider it more an effect similar to a wall of sound. Some might ascribe it to a tonality or direction in a chord progression. Others still might instead consider something to be heavy when it bears a lot of serious emotional meaning to them.

Personally, I think more of the latter two as being better definitions of "heavy". Meshuggah tunes all the way down to drop E on 8-string guitars, but I don't find them to be particularly heavy (although they are superbly complex). Meanwhile, In Mourning is a band I consider to be very heavy because their songs tend to hit home for me even though they're only tuned down a half step. Opeth's Bleak is a tremendously heavy track, yet it's in standard tuning.

I could go on forever about my personal philosophy on sound, but you get the gist of it, I hope.

As for chord progressions, I don't really know. Look at bands you like the sound of and try to analyze their use of chords. Usually, the chord progressions are fairly simple and don't use a whole lot of inversions and whatnot, though I can name a band or two that use some pretty interesting stuff. If you're not already looking at them, Electric Wizard and Intronaut are two really good bands to look at for different approaches to a similar sound.

As for technique, since you'll be using a lot of gain more likely than not, it'll be really important to be able to mute and change chords cleanly. Just because something's slow doesn't make it easy (and vice versa for fast stuff).
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:24 PM   #7
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Thanks, since you're so helpful, I have another question.

For a given key (such as Fmajor, for example), how do you integrate chords? For example, since the scale is F, G, A, Bflat, C, D, E would that mean that a 1-4-5 progression is F-Bflat-C and that these chords 'match' that scale?

Also, because of the lower tunings, would you just shift each note down two full tones (for c-standard, for example)? Thanks again.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:34 PM   #8
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Also, is a D power chord in standard tuning (for example) a B chord in c-standard tuning? Is it that simple?
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:40 PM   #9
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No. A D power chord is a D power chord. You simply move the fingering up 4 frets to make up for detuning 4 half steps. If you fret the same position in C that you would in E tuning, you'd be playing a Bb power chord.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
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Okay, that is what has been confusing me. Why would it be Bb and not just B?
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:55 PM   #11
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The basic blues scale shapes and harmonic minor shapes will serve you well. they both feature tritones. Id also utilize the same formula you would use for modes based on C major scale and aply it to your blues and harmonic minor scales. It will give you some versatility. Also since you tune to C, try Sleep and High on Fire. They not only use power chords bur a lot of 2nd and third intrival chords.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infraredz
I'm trying to use this genre as a starting point to build my theory and skill


awful idea, in my opinion. especially considering your current knowledge on music, just get a teacher man...

Last edited by astholkohtz : 10-28-2012 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by astholkohtz
awful idea, in my opinion. especially considering your current knowledge on music, just get a teacher man...


I have to agree. Stoner Rock gets a very bad rep for being simple and trogliditic. Sleep has songs that are as complex as King Crimson or Mahavishnu Orchastra (Two bands I recomend for any guitarist to listen to). Don't get stuck in the stoner trap for the wrong reasons. It is as bad as guitarists choosing Bass because they think it is "easier". Get a teacher, get a tutor and play what you love, not because you feel it is entry level.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:34 PM   #14
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You guys do realize that this thread is over 8 months old, and thus, pretty much inactive, right?
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Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:50 PM   #15
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Why yes, this is an old post, but It is how I found UG forums. If I was looking for a few answers, and had information to impart, then others will read it too.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior#1
You guys do realize that this thread is over 8 months old, and thus, pretty much inactive, right?


lol, i did not realise that. i wasn't expecting my opinion to be considered anyway...
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