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#1
For some reason, most stuff played in Drop C seems a little boring to me. Everything I write seems to sound a little better when it's either brought down to Drop B or brought up to Drop C#, so for now I favor those tunings.

Thoughts?

I'm not sure why the sharp (or flat, depending on perspective) tunings seem to sound fresher to my ears. Maybe it's simply because Drop C is/has been used so damn much already by thousands of metal bands?

Just wondering if I'm the only one who holds this opinion.
Last edited by fixationdarknes at Nov 28, 2011,
#2
I don't really enjoy drop tunings in general, but C Standard is my absolute favourite tuning. I play more rock than metal, but clean, with a bit of grit, or dirty, I love that low C.

Ironically I can't stand B :P. No idea why, it just doesn't do it for me.

I guess maybe playing in drop C might influence you to play in a certain way, because it's a drop tuning, so maybe it's that more so than the specific note. Or maybe you're just over C, who knows.
#3
I prefer E Standard and Eb Standard tunings. Drop tunings are for people who can't play without distortion.
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#4
Let me think, does the way the strings are tuned make a song boring? Does changing them by a half tone change the song soo much that it becomes magically awesome?

NO.
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#5
Quote by fixationdarknes
For some reason, most stuff played in Drop C seems a little boring to me. Everything I write seems to sound a little better when it's either brought down to Drop B or brought up to Drop C#, so for now I favor those tunings.

Thoughts?

I'm not sure why the sharp (or flat, depending on perspective) tunings seem to sound fresher to my ears. Maybe it's simply because Drop C is/has been used so damn much already by thousands of metal bands?

Just wondering if I'm the only one who holds this opinion.


What you really need is a new amp.
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje
I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.
#6
No, the only reason I could think of is that your ears have gotten accustomed to the infinite number of nutless metalcore bands playing the same riffs over and over again (generally in Drop C or C standard) and simply begun to hate the sound.
#7
Thanks for the responses thus far.

Quote by AlanHB
Let me think, does the way the strings are tuned make a song boring? Does changing them by a half tone change the song soo much that it becomes magically awesome?

NO.


Not what I asked. Reading comprehension ftw. I said that for me, a song in Drop C seems to sound less interesting than it would if it were in Drop B or Drop C#. Sounding better does not imply that it sounded like shit before. And if it sounds like shit to begin with, it's gonna sound like shit in whatever tuning -- I have implied nothing of the contrary.
#8
Quote by fixationdarknes
Thanks for the responses thus far.


Not what I asked. Reading comprehension ftw. I said that for me, a song in Drop C seems to sound less interesting than it would if it were in Drop B or Drop C#. Sounding better does not imply that it sounded like shit before. And if it sounds like shit to begin with, it's gonna sound like shit in whatever tuning -- I have implied nothing of the contrary.


He never said it sounded like shit before, but If I take a Slipknot song and transpose it to Drop C# rather than Drop C, it shouldn't sound more amazing or more shitty.

The way you said it, it sounded as though if you make a riff in Drop C it sounds boring, but by moving it up or down a Halfstep it instantly improves.
#9
Quote by Most_Triumphant
I prefer E Standard and Eb Standard tunings. Drop tunings are for people who can't play without distortion.
Wrong.


I think you probably got it right, your most likely bored of the low c being used by the metal bands your listening to. Check out some of the awesome acoustic players who utilize drop tunings.

Ewan Dobson
The statement below is true.
The statement above is false.
#10
nah he just meant that most of the sh1t nowadays is overusing Drop C. Each tuning changes the way different tones sound, that's quite important in the tone factor. Get a guitar tuned to Drop B with 12-56 strings, same guitar in Drop C with 12-56 strings will sound different even if you blace a capo on the first fret on the Drop B one, lots of changes occur And yeah, I freaking hate Drop C, Drop B and Drop D (+ C standard) is the way for me.

Edit: to the guy above noting Dropping is only for people who can't play without distortion, what the hell makes you say that? Or you mean that the fact that most people in Drop tunings overuse the idea that ZOMGPOWERCHORDONEFINGER. Makes it easier, mate, this ain't the pit or something where you just go about trolling or something, nobody said music should be playing with all the skills available to all humankind so as to play properly... /endrant
Last edited by Dopemgs at Nov 28, 2011,
#11
Quote by fixationdarknes
Not what I asked. Reading comprehension ftw. I said that for me, a song in Drop C seems to sound less interesting than it would if it were in Drop B or Drop C#. Sounding better does not imply that it sounded like shit before. And if it sounds like shit to begin with, it's gonna sound like shit in whatever tuning -- I have implied nothing of the contrary.



Sorry big man. By shifting it a half step it becomes "more interesting" or "better". Basic logic FTW.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#12
Quote by tootall
Wrong.


I think you probably got it right, your most likely bored of the low c being used by the metal bands your listening to. Check out some of the awesome acoustic players who utilize drop tunings.

Ewan Dobson

Or Tosin Abasi. Drop E FTW.

I get tired of people hearing something in C and then automatically assuming it's in Drop C. I don't play in Drop tunings cause, well, it's hard for me. But I have a C tuning I use and I get comments like "I don't care for the Drop C, but... wait... it's not Drop C? OMG s0 @vant3 g@rd3!".

Fuck the tuning. I don't care how many bands use Drop C, there's still many, MANY bands that use it well.
#13
Hmm. I think drop C on a six-string sounds fantastic. It occupies a certain range on the open strings that is too troublesome to tune my eight-string to. I don't need drop B, and drop Db just isn't useful to me... so drop C fits right in perfectly. If I wanted C standard, I'd just get a capo.

Perhaps it's just your gear that makes it sound better? I know Ab doesn't sound good on my six-string, but it's great on my eight.
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#14
Quote by Most_Triumphant
I prefer E Standard and Eb Standard tunings. Drop tunings are for people who can't play without distortion.

My acoustic is in Drop D right now...

Meh, Drop C# is probably my least commonly used drop tuning
I usually use Drop B, Drop C, Drop D, D standard, E standard, and occasionally open A.
37N
#15
Honestly, anything below drop D strikes me as somewhat nonsensical.

This may be somewhat a function of the music I like. I find most metal pointless. I recognize the value of drop D because I understand the advantage of playing a D rather than a D/F#, which is what you usually end up with in standard tuning.

But I find all this Drop C and Drop B stuff rather tedious. I'm sure this isn't true, but it often FEELS to me like it's done mostly by inexperienced players because they think that going lower makes their playing heavier. Again - I'm sure there are plenty of exceptions to that, but I wager they're playing in genres that simply don't move me.
#16
Quote by HotspurJr
Honestly, anything below drop D strikes me as somewhat nonsensical.

This may be somewhat a function of the music I like. I find most metal pointless. I recognize the value of drop D because I understand the advantage of playing a D rather than a D/F#, which is what you usually end up with in standard tuning.

But I find all this Drop C and Drop B stuff rather tedious. I'm sure this isn't true, but it often FEELS to me like it's done mostly by inexperienced players because they think that going lower makes their playing heavier. Again - I'm sure there are plenty of exceptions to that, but I wager they're playing in genres that simply don't move me.

How about some Jazz? Charlie Hunter

How about some Tosin Abasi/Animals As Leaders

And some Jean Baudin

More AAL, but this time it's Javier Reyes

That's all I can think of...
#17
Different tunings don't have different inherent musical qualities, they're merely a way of facilitating playing certain ideas in certain keys. If it was really the overuse of the tuning that was causing it to sound boring, we would expect to be seeing a proliferation of guitarists using alternate tunings, since the sheer number of songs written in standard tuning would make anything played in it sound horribly cliched. The only theory I can come up with is that it has to do with the keys you're playing in.

When writing metal in drop tunings there is a natural tendency to write music in a key which resolves to the low open string, since it facilitates all those open string chugging riffs. Some musicians believe that different keys have different characteristics which tend to bring out different emtions in the listener, for example we might associate C major with a 'pure' and 'simple' sound and G major with a slightly brighter sound. It could be that you hear the key of C minor (Since this is metal I'm going to go ahead and assume the use of minor keys with chromatics but you can substitute whatever you actually use as appropriate) as having a less exciting sound than B or C# minor.
.
#18
Quote by fixationdarknes
For some reason, most stuff played in Drop C seems a little boring to me. Everything I write seems to sound a little better when it's either brought down to Drop B or brought up to Drop C#, so for now I favor those tunings.

Thoughts?

I'm not sure why the sharp (or flat, depending on perspective) tunings seem to sound fresher to my ears. Maybe it's simply because Drop C is/has been used so damn much already by thousands of metal bands?

Just wondering if I'm the only one who holds this opinion.


I don't see how a half step either way will make a difference in terms of how "fresh" it is.
I think maybe you're hung up on the fact that Drop Tunings are overdone (and IMO they are) but failing to realize that you're still jumping on the drop tuning band wagon. I'm not saying that's bad, but don't kid yourself into thinking a half step either way, makes your music any more "original".
shred is gaudy music
#19
Quote by HotspurJr
I find most metal pointless.


I'm curious as to why you chose the word pointless - it seems like an odd choice of adjective to me.
#20
Quote by DiminishedFifth

That's all I can think of...


Thanks for sharing that.

But ...

An eight-string guitar is something different from a 6-string tuned to drop C, no?

I also think the third of your links demonstrates the limitations of the tuning (or adding strings to an instrument, whichever that one is). I suspect if you had a bass player playing the low notes, rather than the guitarist most of who's fingers were otherwise busy, the bassline would be more interesting.

Again, let me be clear that I'm sure you're right that there is interesting work being done in Drop C and Drop B.
#21
Its funny that you say drop c is boring now, because most of my friends have gone down to drop b and rag on me for "still" playing in drop c (as if i never knew drop b exist before), but i personally think its too much. drop c# is definitely a nice change because its punchier than drop c but lower than drop d

im noticing more and more bands going down to drop b, its just a matter of time before that gets played out too.
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#22
Quote by Vlasco
I'm curious as to why you chose the word pointless - it seems like an odd choice of adjective to me.


I suppose "pointless" because it doesn't meaningfully communicate an interesting emotional range.
#23
Quote by GuitarMunky

I think maybe you're hung up on the fact that Drop Tunings are overdone (and IMO they are)


That's like saying standard tuning is overdone.

If you want to write something in a tuning, do it. Don't let someone telling you it's overdone have any influence on what you want to do.
#24
Quote by griffRG7321
That's like saying standard tuning is overdone.


I agree to that , it's an opinion. If you're opinion is that standard tuning is overdone, then you're entitled to it.


Quote by griffRG7321

If you want to write something in a tuning, do it. Don't let someone telling you it's overdone have any influence on what you want to do.


I agree %100.

a good way to do that though is to not ask for peoples opinions in the 1st place.
shred is gaudy music
#25
The tuning is only as boring as the guitarist using it.

FACT. No discussion
#26
Quote by HotspurJr
I suppose "pointless" because it doesn't meaningfully communicate an interesting emotional range.




Tragedy, rage, terror, exile, omnipotent/supernatural intrigue/hate, philosophy...

Because those are all less important than the ignorantly blissful and homogeneous music that almost everything else has become in today's world...

Basically the dark side of everything bright, an antithesis if you will. While other genres may focus upon happy/careless ideas of simplicity/inhibition, metal instead focuses upon deeper psychological aspects of life, although usually focusing more upon death than life. For every great party that pop/rock musicians write about, theres a genocide that goes completely ignored.

I hated writing that because now I feel like the "You just wouldn't understand it" metal head. Thats the best way I could put it, although there are much better ways to explain it.

I'm also not saying that other genres completely ignore the darker concepts, its just that metal focuses more primarily upon them.
#27
Quote by griffRG7321
That's like saying standard tuning is overdone.


I don't think that's particularly true.

Part of why standard tuning is standard is it's flexibility. There are a lot of other tunings which work well in specific areas (DADGAG, open G, drop C ) but which have less flexibility and thus more of a predictable sound. It's easier to "overdo" them because they're more limited.

But, again, a skilled guitarist can overcome that. I suspect my reaction against some drop tunings is primarily based on the absurd number of poor guitarists using them to create the same effect, which is an effect I don't find that interesting to begin with.
#29
I tend to use tuning to fit with the singer's melodies and voice range. Sometimes even drop-C isn't low enough simply because the melody goes very high. It's not that they can't sing high, just that they are already for certain notes/words.
#30
Quote by Life Is Brutal

Tragedy, rage, terror, exile, omnipotent/supernatural intrigue/hate, philosophy...

I'm also not saying that other genres completely ignore the darker concepts, its just that metal focuses more primarily upon them.


Well, this gets to my point.

Honestly, I'm unimpressed by most metal's approach to these concepts, particularly most drop-tuning metal's approach to these concepts.

Now, again, to be fair - because this music doesn't interest me, I haven't spent the time with it that you have, so I would not be remotely surprised if there are interesting exceptions that I haven't heard. Point conceded.

But the reflexive "oh, we're dropped-tuned because we're DARK!" is exactly the sort of thing that puts me off on drop tuning.

I recognize that many metal fans feel that the music's expression of - for example - rage is cathartic. It doesn't work that way for me, and in general I find wallowing in negative emotions pointless. (Hence my original use of that word). In fact, I've discovered that wallowing in negative emotions is one of the worst ways to work through them.

While other genres may focus upon happy/careless ideas of simplicity/inhibition, metal instead focuses upon deeper psychological aspects of life, although usually focusing more upon death than life.


I strongly reject the suggestion that there's a connection between darkness and depth. I would argue that opposite, in fact - that the reflexive darkness that is often (OFTEN - I accept without argument that there are exceptions) metal's hallmark is one of the shallowest forms of expression in contemporary music. I would claim that it is often (OFTEN) every bit as shallow as the worst Brittney Spears song, made all the worse by the pretense that it's somehow important or meaningful because it's dark.

Darkness is not inherently deep or profound, any more than lightness is. Either can be. They can also both be trite. I think when you define yourself by one or the other you are almost certainly veering towards the trite.

In fact, I see a huge connection between your average metal song and your average pop song. One is aiming at the generic 13 year old girl. The other is aiming at your average 15 year old boy. Neither is likely to move me but the former is more likely to be fun - and fun is a self-justifying end.

For every great party that pop/rock musicians write about, theres a genocide that goes completely ignored.


If there were that many genocides, none of us would be around to listen to music about it. This strikes me as a great example, inadvertently, of the kind of aggrandizement of the negative that metal often (OFTEN) indulges in. The simple truth is that there are far, far, far more great parties than there are genocides ... which is something to be grateful for.
#31
Quote by HotspurJr
I suspect my reaction against some drop tunings is primarily based on the absurd number of poor guitarists using them to create the same effect, which is an effect I don't find that interesting to begin with.



there lies your answer... whether a guitarist is skilled or not, chances are that if they are playing in drop tunings its because they enjoy that type of music. last time i checked i play guitar to have fun and enjoy myself.
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Last edited by whyze250f at Nov 29, 2011,
#32
Quote by GuitarMunky
I agree to that , it's an opinion. If you're opinion is that standard tuning is overdone, then you're entitled to it.


No you aren't, because there's no such thing as 'overdoing' a tuning. Alternate tunings are mere a means to facilitate playing certain music, they don't constitute the music itself. Certain tunings can be used to faciliate certain cliched musical ideas, but it doesn't make the tuning itself 'overdone', merely the way the tuning is used. I could use drop C to facilitate the playing of a bog standard 'chugging' metal riff, but it could be used equally as well to facilitate the playing of certain jazz chord voicings.

Basically this:

Quote by mrbabo91
The tuning is only as boring as the guitarist using it.


Quote by HotspurJr
The other is aiming at your average 15 year old boy.


I honestly doubt that the average 15 year old boy would be familiar with metal, or even find it particularly appealing.
.
Last edited by Nietsche at Nov 29, 2011,
#34
I have only read a few posts in this thread but it has become clear that HotspurJr should run for President, or Prime Minister, or perhaps King of Music and Culture. He's got my vote.
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#35
Feel I gotta add a certain note here, there are bands which suck with Drop Tunings due to the fact that they abuse the power chord one-finger ability which they get with it. Good examples - As I Lay Dying (who I admired previously but lately lost my total respect owing to the fact that they're... Boring?! THE LEAST), Trivium (although Shogun was mindblowing) etc. On the other hand, groups which use Drop Tunings outstandingly for me are Lamb Of God (go tell em that they use power chords a lot, pretty sure they'll look at you with a long gaze whilst sipping their beers and losing on bowling) and Machine Head (freaking fantastic use of these chords, yeah they use a lot of power chords but meh I LOVE MH). As a whole I hate power chords. There, I said it. I freaking hate these overused musical aspects. Yet, I admit, they have their use. But I'd much rather spend the night listening to Arch Enemy and In Flames' use of "strange chords" as I call em. Yet Drop tunings have a purpose! Every tuning has it's purpose, whether it be an open tuning, standard tuning, whatever. Drop tunings allow the one-finger power chord, yeah, but on the other hand they allow easier melodies played with octaves (which sometimes can just f*ck up your fingers if you aim to make it flow properly). It allows for some dynamic low licks followed by some grand attacks of the higher points. It allows you to bend the sh*t out of the low string. And it allows for some awesome tricks if you're into prepared guitars (those who don't know what that is, google it or something lol). It also let's you play eastern-based melodies in a much more rapid manner than having to hold everything down (can't stress this enough, playing a melody based on open lower three strings and simple licks on the higher strings is made so easy this way). Some might not follow my point, some might not be interested, but for me drop tunings have offered even more room to my ever-expanding and extravagant nature of studying and playing music Don't diss a piece due to it's reputation. Everything deserves a try.
#36
I think screwdrivers are vastly over-used.
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#37
Quote by Nietsche
No you aren't, because there's no such thing as 'overdoing' a tuning. Alternate tunings are mere a means to facilitate playing certain music.


Yes, actually, people are entitled to their opinions, and there is such a thing as "overdoing" a tuning (you can overdo anything). Whether or not something is overdone, is a matter of opinion.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 29, 2011,
#38
Quote by HotspurJr
*
I strongly reject the suggestion that there's a connection between darkness and depth.

I enjoyed this whole post a great deal. It was a very well thought out and well presented argument. i just chose this line to save space and to reinforce the point (though there were many points worth reinforcing). [edit]I also found in my experience that to work through negative emotions it does not help at all to wallow in them, in fact it is very counter productive.


Quote by Mrbabo91
The tuning is only as boring as the guitarist using it.

FACT. No discussion
In regard to the thread topic itself then this^ as well as this:
Quote by GuitarMunkey
I don't see how a half step either way will make a difference in terms of how "fresh" it is.
Pretty much sum it up.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Nov 29, 2011,
#39
And here I always treated metal as my party music with my other more 'serious' genres being the ones that touch on the shakier topics. I guess I missed the memo.
#40
I like metal... but i like alot of different stuff as well, and lately the metal I like is mostly "symphonic" metal, and those guys mostly use standard tunings as far as I know anyways...

But in the end, music is music, who cares about your tuning?
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje
I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.
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