#1
i dont know why, but whenever i play full chords with any distortion it sounds bad.

I have a hss fender strat, and a vox ad15vt.

On any models on my amp, and eq settings, full chords just sound bad.

Power chords sound fine, but full major or minor chords just plain sound "nasty"
any explanation?
#2
Major chords just have a lot more going on in them. When distorted it can be just a little too much, which is why metal/hard rock players use the power chord. Expensive amps and pedals can make this difference less noticeable, but its really just part of playing guitar. Solution - don't play with distortion. Overdrive (meaning natural breakup) is ok, and will usually sound good with full chords, but you need a tube amp for that.
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#3
Distortion amplifies and produces new harmonics on top of each note. So when you play a chord that is harmonically complex, or even something as simple as triads, it probably won't sound good due to all of the extra harmonics. You can't fix it other than try playing much smaller and simpler voicings for the chords.
#4
If you adjust your technique you can lessen this effect. For instance if you have a chord with an open high e just mute that out and play the rest normally. You want to accent the parts that are important and cut out the rest in order to use more complex chords with distortion. Also you can play with more pressure on the pick on the strings whose notes are the foundation of what you're playing. Lessen the pressure as you hit the other parts of the chord.

I'm not sure if that made much sense. I don't know much theory or terminology so what I meant may not have gotten across.

Good sounding chords (besides power chords) aren't impossible when using heavy distortion. Listen to Opeth.
#5
play with less distortion?
or play with minor chords they work better with the right amount of distortion which is little bit.
#6
Yeah... Chords + Distortion = Mud in a can.
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#7
Quote by trendkill-
play with less distortion?

*ding ding*

Turn down the distortion a bit if you're going to play chords, especially barre chords. You want to have grit in your metal tone, but you don't want it to be completely muddled. Someone mentioned an overdrive pedal and that might be a good option if you simply want to tighten up the sound.
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#8
Lots of amps that have a lack of clarity have a hard to playing complex chords. Such as Peavey 5150s, Mesa Rectifiers, or Valvekings.

Marshalls and Oranges have a lot of tones that don't mush up with chords.
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#9
full bodied open chords sound best either acoustic, electric clean, or electric-medium gain. Distortion by nature is a loss of articulation. Open chords require a lot of articulation to be heard fully with all their harmonics. It all depends on the quality of the amp you're using and the level of distortion you're using. Distortion is basically overloading a circuit or tube(s) and that means that not all of the information in the signal is going to make it through. Like I said, its just the nature of the beast.

Medium gain amps work great with open chords though, its the reason I got my Maz 38 since I play pretty much nothing but open chords or at least chords that have a full ring to them. Many overdriven Fenders sound great with open chords as well. The Vox AC30 is another one that sounds great when cranked and playing open chords.
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#10
The only amp I've played that I thought sounded awesome with complex chords and lots of gain is a cranked Soldano SLO100. Most amps just can't handle them without getting muddy. The SLO took everything I threw at it like a pro. Whether it was a some crazy b9 13 M voicing or just a power chord.
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#11
Quote by trendkill-
play with less distortion?

Bingo. No matter your genre, you probably don't need as much distortion as you think you need. Even lots of metal players I know use too much. Really, I find that outside of the most extreme forms of metal, there's no kind of playing where my chords get muddied. You have to find a sweet spot - where theaspects of your playing shine through, without the distortion choking your tone, just adding some nice harmonics to it. Back off on the gain a bit - you'll probably notice many more mistakes this way too.
#12
Back off the volume knob on your guitar.........and play with the tone knob and gain on your amp till ya find that Sweet Spot.
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#13
Turn back your gain a bit or choose the notes you play in a chord.

I read an article from Paul Gilbert a while back where he was choosing chords for his songs when he was with Mr Big and he found that some sounded horrible even though they were all the "correct" notes. He said something about some of the notes not fitting the harmonic overtones that the others produce so he got rid of some of them to make it sound better while still maintaining the same fullness.