#1
Hey all. Chord n00b here (used to play bass, never bothered learning much about chords). You're gonna need to bear with me because my terminology might be off and this will probably be a "what a tard" thread...

Basically, I've been trying to find chords that work best with heavy distortion and effects in general, but played in a dropped tuning. To find them, I've been listening to stuff like Devin Townsend, Deftones, Opeth and Dream Theatre. (Wow, few DT's there.) The one which crops up a lot and is probably the most obvious is this bad boy:

D. 7
A: 5
D. 5

Which I think is the G 5th9th (?) or its brothers and sisters up the scale. While it sounds good, varying between these and power chords for rhythm parts kinda gets boring quick. Are there any others that work well in combination with straight 5ths? Anything a little esoteric, perhaps?

Cheers for helping a noob out
#2
N00bs don't write prog metal, so if you write prog metal successfully, you're not a n00b, and if you are a n00b, you're not going to write prog metal. Please learn the basics of music theory via my sig and start by writing simple, 3-chord pop songs. You'll write a bunch of bad music, but you'll eventually get better and with the theory you know, you'll be able to analyze your favorite music yourself. There are so many details of a complex song that we can't explain what you want to know all the time, especially online.
#3
If you are just gonna do powerchords with alterations you can just raise or lower the fifth one or two semitones and move the progressions around. If you want a good example of this try and look up Dream Theaters stream of consciousness, especially the main riff. There are a lot of these alterations around basic powerchord shapes.

#4
Quote by bangoodcharlote
N00bs don't write prog metal, so if you write prog metal successfully, you're not a n00b, and if you are a n00b, you're not going to write prog metal. Please learn the basics of music theory via my sig and start by writing simple, 3-chord pop songs. You'll write a bunch of bad music, but you'll eventually get better and with the theory you know, you'll be able to analyze your favorite music yourself. There are so many details of a complex song that we can't explain what you want to know all the time, especially online.


Dude I've been writing music for about 2 years, mainly ****ty metalcore songs for my mates bands and Meshuggah-ish mind****s. Don't patronise me because I don't know **** about chords. I've never had to apply them before, and I usually write freeflow or from ear. I'm looking for a QUICK FIX so I can have a bit of fun and keep myself learning new things. The love of writing music is what inspires me to bother learning things, but I prefer to have grounding points so that the theory I have is grounded in applications. Pop songs, pffft. Don't even waste my time with the suggestion.

@ Lord Jesus, just came onto my playlist as I read the post. Time to attack the tab and pull it apart. Its not just variations of powerchords Im after though...just chords that are feasible for the drop tunings I'm usually in. Thanks a bunch though
#5
Quote by harryhash
Dude I've been writing music for about 2 years, mainly ****ty metalcore songs for my mates bands and Meshuggah-ish mind****s. Don't patronise me because I don't know **** about chords. I've never had to apply them before, and I usually write freeflow or from ear. I'm looking for a QUICK FIX so I can have a bit of fun and keep myself learning new things. The love of writing music is what inspires me to bother learning things, but I prefer to have grounding points so that the theory I have is grounded in applications. Pop songs, pffft. Don't even waste my time with the suggestion.

@ Lord Jesus, just came onto my playlist as I read the post. Time to attack the tab and pull it apart. Its not just variations of powerchords Im after though...just chords that are feasible for the drop tunings I'm usually in. Thanks a bunch though


first of all the "dude" is a she

And she meant that if you wanna understand prog, you gotta learn more theory.

Dream Theater's JP plays almost no "weird" chords in DT. Sure he does occasionally do that, but mostly he plays powerchord based alterations and single note lines.

You must learn about harmony, and how to apply harmony. Check Satriani, he uses 90% powerchords in his riffs, but it's how he uses melodies over the chords that it makes it interesting.

BGC only said the popsong thing, because everyone that knows basic theory, knows that the "chord" in ur first post isn't even a chord. A chord must be a triad or higher and what you wrote down is just 2 notes (1 an octave up) + a perfect fourth, thus it's an interval.

Don't act to defensive Learn about basic theory, and then move on to advanced theory.

If you have a good ear, then you will understand basic theory very fast.

There are no "prog chords". There are a lot of prog bands that stick solely to major and minor chords, like Jethro Tull and other oldskoolers.

There are also prog bands that hardly use any ("weird") chords and works with single note lines like t00l.

Learn some Opeth songs, especially from the Blackwater park album to learn about altered chords.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 1, 2009,
#6
Quote by xxdarrenxx
the "chord" in ur first post isn't even a chord
Notice the drop-d tuning: it's Gsus2.

And there isn't a quick fix to be able to learn prog metal. It's an incredibly complex genre and those who write it must know a lot about music, though if you're writing "Meshuggah-ish mind****s," you're already writing prog metal.

Edit: "They call me Sue" because that's my name; I am indeed a woman.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Feb 1, 2009,
#7
Quote by harryhash
Hey all. Chord n00b here (used to play bass, never bothered learning much about chords). You're gonna need to bear with me because my terminology might be off and this will probably be a "what a tard" thread...

Basically, I've been trying to find chords that work best with heavy distortion and effects in general, but played in a dropped tuning. To find them, I've been listening to stuff like Devin Townsend, Deftones, Opeth and Dream Theatre. (Wow, few DT's there.) The one which crops up a lot and is probably the most obvious is this bad boy:

D. 7
A: 5
D. 5

Which I think is the G 5th9th (?) or its brothers and sisters up the scale. While it sounds good, varying between these and power chords for rhythm parts kinda gets boring quick. Are there any others that work well in combination with straight 5ths? Anything a little esoteric, perhaps?

Cheers for helping a noob out



Yeah not much in the way of extended chords or substitutions..maybe in Cynic but not much else. Check out jazz and jazz fusion maybe chick corea, greg howe etc. The most exotic most prog bands get is sus chords..but a lot of the time its where you put the chords in the progression that make all the difference
#8
I use alot of 9th chords and 7th chords in my music. And those are about the most weird chords you'll get out of metal. Even prog. If you want a good band that uses alot of 9th's and 10th's check out Veil of Maya. Their song "It's Not Safe to Swim Today" starts out (after the sweep) with a DM7. And alot of their songs use others. Just check em out and learn them. Once you realize that you can extend that chord you have another octave, you can get a good soung. Try this:

E:x
B:13
G:x
D:10
A:8
D:8

and move it around while staying in key. In the same song, they have a whole section where they do nothing but these (save for one chord).
#9
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Notice the drop-d tuning: it's Gsus2.

And there isn't a quick fix to be able to learn prog metal. It's an incredibly complex genre and those who write it must know a lot about music, though if you're writing "Meshuggah-ish mind****s," you're already writing prog metal.

Edit: "They call me Sue" because that's my name; I am indeed a woman.



Ouch, I Didn't see that;

People should write down notes instead of tabs

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#10
Quote by harryhash
Dude I've been writing music for about 2 years, mainly ****ty metalcore songs for my mates bands and Meshuggah-ish mind****s. Don't patronise me because I don't know **** about chords. I've never had to apply them before, and I usually write freeflow or from ear. I'm looking for a QUICK FIX so I can have a bit of fun and keep myself learning new things. The love of writing music is what inspires me to bother learning things, but I prefer to have grounding points so that the theory I have is grounded in applications. Pop songs, pffft. Don't even waste my time with the suggestion.


Goodness. It's amazing how you know enough to judge the quality of advice on harmony given to you, but simultaneously need help on the most basic of chords.

Sue gave you solid advice, I suggest you re-read it.

Secondly, as for notes that work with straight fifths, there are only 12 notes to add on top of or beneath the 5th, listen and find out which you like - the trouble will be that you will very quickly be entering the realm of implied chord progressions and thus will have bother seeing and using this to create solid sounding riffs/progressions.

You can of course, attack this from both ends - experiment with all 12 tones above a fifth by ear, and simultaneously learn how harmony works (and unless you want to be confused, start simple and work your way up - may I dare suggest, if not pop, then perhaps an ACDC tune or something). That's what I'd do (and did, in a way).
#11
In hindsight, I overreacted just a touch there. I know most masic chords. I know how to apply them. The problem is they sound terrible with a wash of distortion. The problem was most music I've ever written has gotten away with straight power chords so I was trying to move away from that. Polyrythms and long winded progressions are easy. Chords are damn annoying :p Cheers for the advice all
#12
^ dont use so much distortion. guitarists have a tendency to use way more distortion than necessary. i don't use too much and all my chords sound awesome personally. also consider what sue and freepower said, they kinda know what they're talking about.
#13
Quote by bangoodcharlote
N00bs don't write prog metal, so if you write prog metal successfully, you're not a n00b, and if you are a n00b, you're not going to write prog metal. Please learn the basics of music theory via my sig and start by writing simple, 3-chord pop songs. You'll write a bunch of bad music, but you'll eventually get better and with the theory you know, you'll be able to analyze your favorite music yourself. There are so many details of a complex song that we can't explain what you want to know all the time, especially online.


shut up, please.
#14
Chords with a major or minor 3rd will sound dissonant under heavy distortion. Power chords, suspended second chord like to one in the OP, and suspended forth chords do not include a major or minor 3rd and therefore will not sound dissonant. Look into theory to understand more about what major 3rds, minor 3rds and suspended chords mean.
#16
Quote by z4twenny
why should she since shes right?


Not really, she has a point but maybe this guy has incredible music in his head and just wants to get it out. A little theory won't hurt but its not essential.
OTR
Last edited by Tempoe at Feb 1, 2009,
#17
let me break down what you really just said

Quote by Tempoe
Not really
,
ok here you state shes wrong, fair enough lets examine some evidence

Quote by Tempoe
she has a point

ok now she has a point? you just said she wasn't really right.... so which is it? maybe you explain yourself, lets see....
Quote by Tempoe
but maybe this guy has incredible music in his head
and just wants to get it out

ok fair enough, he probably does. lots of people do, but not knowing how to translate what he hears in his head into the actual music isn't going to do any good unless he learns some music theory and how to write songs in general. she recommended he start with some simple pop songs for several reason im certain. one of which is that the chord progressions are simple and easy to understand. when someone is asking about a sus2 chord there's a good chance they may not entirely understand how to use it in context.
Quote by Tempoe

A little theory won't hurt but its not essential.
OTR

i agree with you here. you don't HAVE to learn theory to write music. but if you really want to do progressive and take a majority of the guesswork out (in other words if you want to make it easier on yourself and take a couple hours instead of a couple days/weeks/months) then it would be in the TS'es best interest.

btw, im not ripping on the guy, everybodys gotta start somewhere and it sounds like he has somewhat of an idea of what he's doing if he's writing comparable to meshuggah, personally i'd like to hear it as im a big fan of meshuggah and i find them incredibly unique.
Last edited by z4twenny at Feb 1, 2009,
#18
I see music theory as ideas people had in their heads in translation.

You might not find ur musical answer in music theory (aka it won't help you get music out of ur head)

, but It can never hurt to try, especially since even basic theory can help ALOT.

+ the time it weighs up. All the theory used in modern popular music, can be learned in 1 year, and advanced theory in a few years.

That's not much for something which could profit you ur ENTIRE life.

I haven't lived my entire life, so I don't have the experience, but I can understand/trust people that lived an entire life to be right saying it's beneficial to learn.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#19
Quote by Tempoe
Not really, she has a point but maybe this guy has incredible music in his head and just wants to get it out. A little theory won't hurt but its not essential.
OTR


A little theory would help alot more then not knowing anything.
#20
Quote by harryhash
In hindsight, I overreacted just a touch there. I know most masic chords. I know how to apply them. The problem is they sound terrible with a wash of distortion. The problem was most music I've ever written has gotten away with straight power chords so I was trying to move away from that. Polyrythms and long winded progressions are easy. Chords are damn annoying :p Cheers for the advice all

Chords + Distortion sucks balls in general yes. I only use Powerchords and sus2 chords.
Instead of chords I often use the tonic + the major/minor third to give it a bit more dimension then the basic powerchord.
So Em would be E,G.
G major G,B
Guitasr:
Cort KX-Custom
ESP LTD M-200FM
Amp:
Engl Powerball
Misc:
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
#21
Quote by Tempoe
maybe this guy has incredible music in his head and just wants to get it out.
OTR


That's basically exactly what a theory class would teach him to do.
#22
@ z4twenny, I agree that theory is important. I'm not the greatest theoretically, but I try to learn where I can. The problem is I work from 5 in the morning to 5 at night, and then I have jobs to do (pay the bills etc) so finding even half an hour to play guitar is a luxury. Instead of learning the theory, I use that time to experiment creatively and apply the theory retroactively to what I've learn myself. I guess what I'm getting at is that I feel most guitarists take the engineering approach to music as opposed to the architectural: they learn the theory before exploring creativity, which feels kinda backwards as music is more a creative art than a science. Anyways, thats a whole nother topic. When I get my recording gear I'll link you to the Meshuggah-ish stuff. I cant claim that I acheive their level of mechanical brilliance, but it was what I did when I first discovered the joys of polys and dissonance and towards the end was actually getting pretty good.

@ eastwinn, awesome. Thats practical knowledge right there lol, it seems so simple I wouldn't be suprised if everyone here was onto that but me.

Alright, time for guitar noodles. Peace out all