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Okay I've been writing music for awhile, about 5 years and I have written in many different tunings, now I'm wanting to choose my finale tuning but I can't decide.
So can someone please tell me their opinion. Which tuning sounds darker and heavier for black/death/gothic metal. My band project which is me and my friend are a mix between thrash, death, black and gothic metal, he likes 2 steps down, I like 1 step down and dropped D.

Please no offensive comments. I just want serious answers and opinions
Thank you
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I fell in love with drop D standard and drop C for darker stuff
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I fell in love with drop D standard and drop C for darker stuff

Umm... what?

OT: I like Drop C#. It works for pretty much everything.
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Umm... what?

OT: I like Drop C#. It works for pretty much everything.

I like drop Db.
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A tuning is only a vehicle for what you play in it...remember man, play the tuning, don't let the tuning play you!
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Quote by mattrusso
A tuning is only a vehicle for what you play in it...remember man, play the tuning, don't let the tuning play you!
This. No tuning is inherently "darker" than any other tuning (unless you're talking depth of pitch, which in that case you should just tune as low as you can without the strings being too floppy, and/or use a baritone guitar or a 7 string). It's all about how you use the tuning.
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i always liked open bm11, whenever i get an axe-fx and a fatboy i'll start playing in that again

B F# C# D A E
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Sylosis is one of the heaviest bands out there tuning to standard, Opeth make some pretty dark riffs, once again in standard yet Scale the Summit play 7 strings and don't sound heavy at all. Point is tuning doesn't really matter, what makes you heavy is affected by your tone/amp settings/(tuning to a degree) and MADE by your picking hand.

I would use Drop C at the lowest because farther than that I feel you lose clarity on a 6 string.
Last edited by danresn at Dec 7, 2012,
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Quote by mattrusso
A tuning is only a vehicle for what you play in it...remember man, play the tuning, don't let the tuning play you!

This is good advice. But is it okay to say the tuning inspires you? I think there's a balance to be found.

There's the idealised view of music creation: "I play the music that comes into my mind", and there's the realistic view: "I try to play the music that comes into my mind but sometimes I hit the wrong thing by accident, and sometimes it sounds cool. Sometimes I just move my fingers up a couple of frets to see what it sounds like".

You see other cultures where their music 'theory' (octaves divided up in strange ways and so on) is traceable to the quirks of the instruments they use. I think it's worth acknowledging that the sound of an instrument (and any added effects) and its tuning have some effect on the music composed on it.
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The tuning that most of your favorite bands use would be a good start.
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Whichever feels better for your songs and your gear. The first is down to aesthetics; listen to them in different tunings and see how they sound. The second... you'll have to try. When I had my six-string, drop C was the tuning for it. It sounded most powerful in that tuning, with only D standard coming close for obvious reasons. Then again, I like C. It's a good note.

And since you're only going as low as C... there's not much else to base the decision on. The only other thing is how you want to phrase your songs: in a standard tuning, or a drop tuning? Both have their uses, but I don't know your songs so I can't say.
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I don't really care what tuning I'm playing in. I just hate it when my school band's guitarist wants to play in Eb for no reason. "It doesn't sound right when we play Guns N' Roses if you play it in standard" blablabla. What does one half step matter?!? And no, it won't sound like Guns N' Roses in Eb tuning if you can't get the same sound and your playing style is different. I have my guitar usually at standard and it's a Floyd equipped guitar and I don't like tuning it in Eb or whatever because it takes like ten minutes to tune it.

But really, play in the same tuning as your friend. It sounds a bit different when you play in lower tuning (I can notice if somebody plays in D or C tuning because it just sounds lower than standard). But it doesn't make your songs heavy. You need to write heavy riffs and play them heavily. Whatever, just tune your guitars in C. You say that you like drop C and your friend likes C standard. Or then make a compromise and tune in C#. Just talk with your friend.

And Jehannum is right. You can get inspiration from lower tunings when you hear how the chords sound in that tuning. And wrong notes can make the riff sound better. But why people are against just playing the guitar and finding out what your fingers can do is that the melodies you play will always sound the same. Your fingers are used to playing certain licks and chords. They are in your muscle memory. That's why you should think when you write music.
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Quote by AlanHB
I like standard tuning.


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