#1
Okay, so I've been playing guitar for awhile now, but I've been getting serious about it the past year or so. I really didn't think I was going to go anywhere with the guitar, but recently I've decided to spend more of my time playing. I've been learning theory, and practicing correctly, and all that jazz. But I'm having some issues, and I'm not really sure what I'm trying ask.

The problem is, I like to play metal and I'm trying to find a happy median between distortion and a good sound. Because I really like heavy distortion, but it makes alot of stuff sound pretty ****ty. But when I turn the distortion down, it just doesn't seem to pack enough of a punch for my tastes. So I guess what I'm trying to ask is this:

What kind of chords sound good with heavy distortion? This is limiting me to only playing power chords when we my roommate and me try to play together, and it just seems like I've painted myself into a corner here. Help would be appreciated.
#2
Quote by LordTolly
Okay, so I've been playing guitar for awhile now, but I've been getting serious about it the past year or so. I really didn't think I was going to go anywhere with the guitar, but recently I've decided to spend more of my time playing. I've been learning theory, and practicing correctly, and all that jazz. But I'm having some issues, and I'm not really sure what I'm trying ask.

The problem is, I like to play metal and I'm trying to find a happy median between distortion and a good sound. Because I really like heavy distortion, but it makes alot of stuff sound pretty ****ty. But when I turn the distortion down, it just doesn't seem to pack enough of a punch for my tastes. So I guess what I'm trying to ask is this:

What kind of chords sound good with heavy distortion? This is limiting me to only playing power chords when we my roommate and me try to play together, and it just seems like I've painted myself into a corner here. Help would be appreciated.

It's all about finding the best distortion for the chords you want to play, not about finding the best chords to play with the distortion you have right now. You can keep the drive or gain up on your pedal or amp, but maybe changing the EQ or tone might help.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#4
wat kind of metal do you like to play?
Gear
Ibanez RG2EX2
Epiphone Les Paul
Fender Strat
Homemade EVH
Marshall JCM 800 Combo

Quote by freshtunes
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#5
Pretty much any three-tone combination will work with distortion. However, much of the heavy sound you hear on CDs comes from the fact that they can record multiple tracks of the same part for increased heaviness but no (or minimal) increase in fuzz. Moreover, the bass can be mixed in such a way that the heaviness is increased that way as well. They also have access to elite equipment and audio techs who know how to mix sound. My point is that, most of the time, you're fine with the distortion set at 7 rather than 10.

Quote by food1010
but maybe changing the EQ or tone might help.

Excellent point! Scooping your mids sounds pretty cool when you're alone, but it doesn't work in a group; let the bass player take care of the low frequencies.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Feb 13, 2009,
#6
if you're playing with a ****load of overdrive anything besides a powerchord is going to sound murky, you should just lay off the gain and practice full chords
#7
As was mentioned before, mess around with your EQ settings.
My playing sounds pretty heavy and distorted even though my distortion is only set to 5 (out of 10). I like extremely high mids (I think scooped mids sound like ass!) and a fairly high treble.

As for chords:
Major 6
Minor 6
Root 5
Flat 5
Fourth
Major 3
Minor 3

You can always throw in the octave aswell for added heavy.
Gear List:
B.C. Rich NT Jr. V (With Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Blackout in bridge)
Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff
Marshall MG15DFX
Jazz III picks
DR strings
Planet Waves Cables
#8
Quote by food1010
It's all about finding the best distortion for the chords you want to play, not about finding the best chords to play with the distortion you have right now. You can keep the drive or gain up on your pedal or amp, but maybe changing the EQ or tone might help.


Well, I have a line 6 Spider with all the presets and stuff, so I do experiment alot with different tones and stuff. And truth be told I'm still a theory noob and I recently, as in past 2 months or so, started trying learn chord formations and what sounds good with what.

Also, I used to play with my mids scooped out, but then once I started playing with other people I realized it sounded kinda bad, so I've tried to fix that. And I also used to play with the drive cranked to 11, but I've scaled back on that too, but it still sounds muddy.

As far as what kind of metal I like, it's all over the place. So it's hard to give an answer for that.
#10
sus2/4 chords work with distortion
Schecter C-1 Classic in Seethru blue <333
Schecter Damien FR
Roland AC-60 acoustic amp
Boss GE-7 EQ
Line6 Ubermetal Distortion
Sigma Dx Acoustic
#11
Quote by bangoodcharlote
What is your setting of choice.


Well, when I play by myself I usually have it set on the Meshuggah preset, with my own alterations. I've had it saved for a while now so I don't remember exactly what I changed.

When I play with other people I usually switch it to the green metal channel and do Gain at about 7, Bass at 6, Mids at 6, and treble at 7 or 8.

This is my first thread where I asked a question, so thanks for actual help and not douchebaggery.
#12
I forgot to mention my favotite lick!

Em is a common key for metal. It contains the notes E G B. Have one guitar play E5 and another play the G-B interval. This works well for major, minor, and sus4 chords (not as much with sus2).
#13
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I forgot to mention my favotite lick!

Em is a common key for metal. It contains the notes E G B. Have one guitar play E5 and another play the G-B interval. This works well for major, minor, and sus4 chords (not as much with sus2).
This. Splitting chords between 2 guitars helps out a lot.
#14
I've done it with dominant chords a few times as well. It's harder, but very cool.

I thought of a few more ideas:
1. Use vocal harmonies to form triad and extended (loose definition) chords.
2. Have the bass outline the chords described directly above.
3. Play heavily distorted powerchords and stick a clean guitar playing "real" chords on top of the distorted guitars, especially fingerpicked apreggios.