#1
Which tuning is the most useful when playing (power) metal music? Discuss and give me advice! Thanks!
Last edited by Amarant at Aug 30, 2011,
#2
Depends how talented/lazy you are an how much you enjoy chugging. Metallica writes/wrote 99% of their songs in standard and bands like Arch Enemy and Five Finger Death Punch write a lot of songs in the flattened equivalent of standard. Every scene band in the world, as well as a few talented ones, plays in drop d or something roughly equivalent.
#3
I always come across people playing in standard just because it's fancy and/or harder. I think that if you are going to use powerchords and you don't have a use for the standard tuning in terms of progressions or scales or whatnot, just use drop D (or any dropped tuning)
#4
SSurely that depends on what song you're trying to play?
a bit more specific info would be useful...
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#5
Quote by Fwenx
I always come across people playing in standard just because it's fancy and/or harder. I think that if you are going to use powerchords and you don't have a use for the standard tuning in terms of progressions or scales or whatnot, just use drop D (or any dropped tuning)


Since when has standard tuning become fancy?

OP - I find either works fine. It really just depends on your style, where you draw influence from, if you make use of added chord shapes you can do with drop tuning, etc. I prefer drop tunings because of having two extra notes in your arsenal and the ability to play more/different (inverted) chords. Feels more versatile and freeing to me.
#7
Dude, the tuning should not matter that much. If you are truly metal, you could play chugga chugga on a sitar
Yeah
#8
Quote by fixationdarknes
Since when has standard tuning become fancy?


well, not fancy as in special but more like desperately holding on to old school standard just because, when dropped or another tuning would just be way easier.
#9
I can't be bothered changing my tuning everytime I play, so I go standard as much as possible.

I drop D when I need the D, or I need to play power chords that would otherwise be difficult to play on standard (think the riff in Slither by Velvet Revolver).

But if you're writing music, then I say just go nuts.
#10
Generally power metal is in standard. Those soaring harmonies make chugging pretty much obsolete most of the time, but it's really the composer's call.
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#11
Quote by KingEuphoric
Depends how talented/lazy you are an how much you enjoy chugging. Metallica writes/wrote 99% of their songs in standard and bands like Arch Enemy and Five Finger Death Punch write a lot of songs in the flattened equivalent of standard. Every scene band in the world, as well as a few talented ones, plays in drop d or something roughly equivalent.



Are you dim.... like... really?

I'd say the tuning is situational to be honest. I rarely use any tuning that is equivalent to standard, but when I do I use a drop variant, because the fifth interval allows me to play some slightly more varied triads on the bottom three strings. Of course, you probably won't be utilizing these unusual chords in... well, some kinds of metal which is why I say it's situational.

Also, this isn't a technique...
#12
But tuning back and forth would **** up the neck, right? I have pretty nice strings on and am in E standard atm. If I tune it to drop D, the low string becomes too loose and comes out from the bridge (not sure, if the right term).
#13
For most power metal bands, they use D sharp tuning which is D Standart tuning with all notes sharp -- > D#

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#14
Quote by Amarant
But tuning back and forth would **** up the neck, right? I have pretty nice strings on and am in E standard atm. If I tune it to drop D, the low string becomes too loose and comes out from the bridge (not sure, if the right term).


It's not like you're going from E standard to drop B every 5 minutes - it really won't be noticeable. However, if your low string is that loose, you should get a thicker gauge.
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#15
Quote by Fwenx
well, not fancy as in special but more like desperately holding on to old school standard just because, when dropped or another tuning would just be way easier.


Standard is standard because it is the most balanced tuning; both chording and leads across all six strings is about as easy as it's going to get. Drop tuning has its uses but standard is for a reason.

TS: Tune to what you actually want to tune to; think about the way you like your strings to feel, how the different tunings affect your tone, whether you like the options that a drop tuning gives you or whether you want to go for something completely different like New Standard Tuning or an open tuning.

They each have things that they do and they each sound a certain way with specific gear; we can't tell you what's going to work for your hands, your style and your gear relative to the sound you hear in your head. Experiement and find your own way; for once this really is the only way to come to any kind of conclusion.

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#16
I have been using drop D 99% of the time I've been playing and now bought a guitar that's in standard and has appropriate strings for that. I would like to hear the bonuses of standard E and see, if I will change my mind.
#17
I'd suggest open G tuning over them both for Metal. It offers a thickness and crunch the others do not seem to offer as fluently. It is not as good for power chords as, say, Drop C, D or Standard E tuning. But if you are talking about Power Metal, it does not revolve power chords anyway.

So yeah, Open G tuning would be my suggestion.
#19
I personally would tune to a standard tuning, If i wanted the low D i would tune to D standard.

Dropped tuning is lame especially when you are able to play the same thing while in standard tuning. Unless you have a "Real" reason besides making a power chord easier then you are hurting technique by playing that way.

Side Note - Calling standard tuning as old school is just plain dumb. It's only old school if you listen to Disturbed or something, listen to some real bands
#20
Quote by HeckRaiser
I personally would tune to a standard tuning, If i wanted the low D i would tune to D standard.

Dropped tuning is lame especially when you are able to play the same thing while in standard tuning. Unless you have a "Real" reason besides making a power chord easier then you are hurting technique by playing that way.

Side Note - Calling standard tuning as old school is just plain dumb. It's only old school if you listen to Disturbed or something, listen to some real bands



Why is it lame...? I can't... What... I....

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#21
Quote by HeckRaiser
I personally would tune to a standard tuning, If i wanted the low D i would tune to D standard.

Dropped tuning is lame especially when you are able to play the same thing while in standard tuning.


with Drop tuning...

1. You still have the highest notes available to you for leads/soloing.
2. You can form more/different chord shapes.
3. There are certain riffs (e.g. very fast moving back and forth power chords on the 6th string) that are virtually impossible to play in standard.
4. To get to drop tuning, you don't have to change the tension against the neck by a large amount since you're only dropping one string. Makes playing in multiple tunings much more convenient.

I think you're the one who should listen to some real dropped-tuning bands!
Last edited by fixationdarknes at Aug 30, 2011,
#22
I'm not going to completely discount drop D tuning, but I'm genuinely curious as to what use metal players have for it other than the convenience of playing power chords by just barring the lowest three strings, especially considering the fact that much beyond a power chord isn't likely to sound good with high-gain distortion. What special chord shapes are metal players using drop D for? 3-note Quintal stacks (Drop D: 557xxx instead of Standard E: 357xxx)? That would just be an unnecessary manuever of convenience as well.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Aug 30, 2011,
#23
Quote by fixationdarknes
with Drop tuning...

1. You still have the highest notes available to you for leads/soloing.
2. You can form more/different chord shapes.
3. There are certain riffs (e.g. very fast moving back and forth power chords on the 6th string) that are virtually impossible to play in standard.
4. To get to drop tuning, you don't have to change the tension against the neck by a large amount since you're only dropping one string. Makes playing in multiple tunings much more convenient.

I think you're the one who should listen to some real dropped-tuning bands!


Granted, certain chords are easier with dropped tunings (particularly on 7+ stringed guitars), but traditional barre/open chords, major/minor triads, and certain inversions on the lowest string are also more difficult/less practical.

It's ridiculous to think that one is better than the other, but I have to admit it's very common for newer players to use dropped tunings as a crutch. As said earlier, standard is standard for a reason, and theoretically speaking, scalar and chordal patterns are pretty emphasized all over the board and with every string.


Quote by Brainpolice2
I'm not going to completely discount drop D tuning, but I'm genuinely curious as to what use metal players have for it other than the convenience of playing power chords by just barring the lowest three strings, especially considering the fact that much beyond a power chord isn't likely to sound good with high-gain distortion. What special chord shapes are metal players using drop D for? 3-note Quintal stacks (Drop D: 557xxx instead of Standard E: 357xxx)? That would just be an unnecessary manuever of convenience as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0oyCXSd02U Veil of Maya has some pretty clever tricks with drop B tuning chords, just something to look at. Plus, it's really easy to chugga-chug on open power chords.
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Last edited by Hail at Aug 30, 2011,
#24
Quote by fixationdarknes
with Drop tuning...

1. You still have the highest notes available to you for leads/soloing.
2. You can form more/different chord shapes.
3. There are certain riffs (e.g. very fast moving back and forth power chords on the 6th string) that are virtually impossible to play in standard.
4. To get to drop tuning, you don't have to change the tension against the neck by a large amount since you're only dropping one string. Makes playing in multiple tunings much more convenient.

I think you're the one who should listen to some real dropped-tuning bands!


1. why would I refer to higher notes when referring to dropped D... You can cross that off you list.
2. You can cross the word "more" off this one list as well that doesn't make sense, I will give you "different chord" that one makes sense but really you can still play that "different chord" on standard also it might just be a little more difficult which was my point the whole time. Next...
3. I half agree here and it goes the same for standard tuning. But really dropped tuning comes down to a riff and I personally would play whatever drop riff that is being played in standard tuning. half a point for you! Ding!
4. What multiple tunings? From standard to dropped D... that's all your talking about and I see it as a perk of "Standard Tuning" not a perk for dropped D. I say cross this off too.

EDIT: forgot you last point, I bet I already listen to them
Last edited by HeckRaiser at Aug 30, 2011,
#25
Quote by HeckRaiser
1. why would I refer to higher notes when referring to dropped D... You can cross that off you list.
2. You can cross the word "more" off this one list as well that doesn't make sense, I will give you "different chord" that one makes sense but really you can still play that "different chord" on standard also it might just be a little more difficult which was my point the whole time. Next...
3. I half agree here and it goes the same for standard tuning. But really dropped tuning comes down to a riff and I personally would play whatever drop riff that is being played in standard tuning. half a point for you! Ding!
4. What multiple tunings? From standard to dropped D... that's all your talking about and I see it as a perk of "Standard Tuning" not a perk for dropped D. I say cross this off too.

EDIT: forgot you last point, I bet I already listen to them



1: Because you lose a tone when you tune to D standard.
2: It is the most sensible thing in the world for a guitarist to try and make the musical ideas i his head translate to the guitar as easily as possible. If that means Drop D/etc allows him to use some odd chords that wouldn't be easily applicable in standard, then so be it. This is arguably the reason multiple tunings exist.
3: I can think of some linear Lamb of God-esque riffs that would be impossible to play live in D standard. Things played around the twelfth fret which come down and grace the open D and such.
4: technically, someone tuned to drop D doesn't have to switch tunings for any songs in D standard, E# standard, E standard or drop D.
#26
Quote by HeckRaiser
1. why would I refer to higher notes when referring to dropped D... You can cross that off you list.
2. You can cross the word "more" off this one list as well that doesn't make sense, I will give you "different chord" that one makes sense but really you can still play that "different chord" on standard also it might just be a little more difficult which was my point the whole time. Next...
3. I half agree here and it goes the same for standard tuning. But really dropped tuning comes down to a riff and I personally would play whatever drop riff that is being played in standard tuning. half a point for you! Ding!
4. What multiple tunings? From standard to dropped D... that's all your talking about and I see it as a perk of "Standard Tuning" not a perk for dropped D. I say cross this off too.

EDIT: forgot you last point, I bet I already listen to them


1. As above poster said, you lose two semi-tones when you tune to D Standard.
2. It does make sense. If you want to form normal triad-esque shapes you still have the other 5 strings that are tuned "standard," but with Standard you don't have any strings that are tuned a fifth below. Dropped Tuning in this sense gives you a more dynamically-tuned instrument.
3. You can't play every drop riff in standard. You can play the bass notes of drop riffs while in standard, but if it requires power chord shape (first and fifth), good luck moving your whole hand up and down the neck back and forth, eighth notes at 200 bpm. Meanwhile I am just switching between using my index, pinky, ring, etc.
4. If you tune from E Standard down to D Standard, you're going to need adustments. If you just go from E Standard to Drop D, your truss rod and the like will be fine.

EDIT: From the way you generalize dropped tuning as n00b, I really doubt that
Last edited by fixationdarknes at Aug 30, 2011,
#27
Quote by HeckRaiser
I personally would tune to a standard tuning, If i wanted the low D i would tune to D standard.

Dropped tuning is lame especially when you are able to play the same thing while in standard tuning. Unless you have a "Real" reason besides making a power chord easier then you are hurting technique by playing that way.

Side Note - Calling standard tuning as old school is just plain dumb. It's only old school if you listen to Disturbed or something, listen to some real bands

No U.

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#28
Quote by HeckRaiser
Unless you have a "Real" reason besides making a power chord easier then you are hurting technique by playing that way.


This makes no sense.

Quote by HeckRaiser
Side Note - Calling standard tuning as old school is just plain dumb. It's only old school if you listen to Disturbed or something, listen to some real bands


This is childish.


You have no grounding in what you say, dropped tunings have their place and use and anyone who can't accept that is just ignorant.
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#29
All this pointless bickering over drop d and standard. If only every guitarist got a free 7 string, perhaps then, the world would know peace.
#30
Ermmmm Personally I prefer standard tuning over dropped but I play in drop quite a bit.

It's mostly about preference to me. The way I play caters to standard tunings more haha.
But since I've been trying to learn stuff from some of my favorite bands I tuned to their tuning, which just happened to be drop C. I don't have a trem tho so I can switch tunings in a matter of seconds :P
#31
Doesn't matter. Listen to any song off of cowboys from hell, and tell me that that isn't heavy as balls.
#32
I used to be solely a drop d or drop c player (mainly coz i was trying to copy Tool & The Deftones), now i solely use standard, and occassionally go down a half step.

Personally I find standard tuning, fat tone and good use of suspended 4 chords to be the heaviest sounding thing on the planet that doesn't sound like pure mud to my ears.

I do like the tech nature of DJent, but honestly that style and their use of 8 strings or heavily detuned 7's mainly sounds like mud to me. Personal opinion only!

Only time i like those really low tunings, is when JP is ripping up Baritones or 7's, coz he plays em a lot cleaner than most.
#33
The power chord (which is like a simple/mini barre chord) should not be difficult for anyone on standard. It is the same chord shape all over, so if you can't pull that off, you should work on that before doing drop tuning.

Having said that, drop tuning does allow for some very nice chords, and can be a great tool for training ones ear. With one finger you can literally jump around all 12 semi tones and just make little riffs. I think of both tunings in the same way because only the one string is changed, all that is affected is my power chords on the lowest string. Everything else plays like standard.

You should learn both.
#34
Quote by hconn
Doesn't matter. Listen to any song off of cowboys from hell, and tell me that that isn't heavy as balls.


The advantages of drop tuning aren't to "sound heavier."

The conclusion of this thread: Both have advantages. Some people think drop tuning's primary purpose is to sound heavy and allow one-finger power chords, others think drop tuning is "lame," and a few people actually realize that calling a tuning lame is ridiculous and that there is no "cheating."

Basically, experiment with both. Use both. Why not? Different possibilities.
Last edited by fixationdarknes at Aug 31, 2011,
#35
I play in dropped and standard, but mostly standard. Most melodic death metal bands play in standard. To be honest, for a lot of the types of playing I do, standard IS easier.

For one example, I recommend the song "Slaughter of the Soul" by At the Gates. It's played in standard but it's still quite awesome in my opinion.

I'll sometimes put my 7 string to drop A but that's a rarity since I stopped playing deathcore when I was 16.

tl;dr It's personal taste, but objectively it does make quickly switching low power chords easier if you use a lot of them.
#36
Quote by ciadude2
I'll sometimes put my 7 string to drop A but that's a rarity since I stopped playing deathcore when I was 16.


But you haven't started playing jazz so you don't know how useful it could be there
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#37
Actually once, my band started playing jazz at a gig. The rhythm guitarist knew a bunch of jazz stuff, so I used my 7 string as a sort of bass basically.

But otherwise, you're right. I plan on learning jazz at some point though.