#1
I'm fairly new to guitar in terms of sounding right/ having the right equipment etc, and I was wondering, what would I need in order to cover/ play In Flames? Björn uses a regular 6 string Epiphone Les Paul that is NOT Baritone. Do I need a specific type of bridge and strings in order to play it considering they play in Drop A# on a 6 string guitar? As of now I just use my Squier Telecaster with 13 gauge strings and some people tell me that's too thick, but for Transparent, they even play in drop G! Any advice would help!
#2
brandonpryan18 For these tunings, it is best to have a baritone. Honestly, I don't know how Björn manages to play his guitar without problems with intonation etc.
As for the string gauge, the thicker, the better (although this depends on how hard your picking technique is). Personally, I'm a rather heavy-handed picker and can't play comfortably and without intonation problems on a Schecter with 25.5 scale and 12-68 strings tuned to B standard.

I'd also recommend getting a proper setup for Drop A# on your Squier if you haven't already. If not set up properly, your guitar will have problems with intonation, the thicker strings will not fit into the grooves in the nut and potentially damage your neck if the tension is too high. I suggest taking it to a guitar tech who will do it properly.
I don't know what kind of pickups you've got in your Squier (I suppose they're single coils), but Björn uses EMG 81 and 85 on his guitars, which are pretty much essential to get his sound. If you're really comfortable with your Squier in terms of playability, you can swap the stock pickups for EMGs, although it would be easier (although more expensive) if you just buy a guitar that has EMGs as stock pickups.
#3
Scratcher17 Thank you for all of your help! Also if you don't mind me asking, is there any point/ difference in Bjorn playing a regular guitar and Baritone? Does he get a unique sound out of it or can it still be achieved with a baritone, and do you have any recommendations? Again, thanks!
#4
brandonpryan18 You're welcome!

I think it's just a matter of preference for Björn to use regular guitars. The biggest difference between a baritone and a regular 25.5 or 24.75 inch scale guitar is that baritone comes stock in B standard tuning (you could set it up for C standard with a slightly lighter string gauge).
In terms of sound, the baritone has a slightly brighter sound due to the larger scale length (as opposed to the muddier sound of downtuned guitars with standard scale length). Although it might make a slight difference in sound, I'd highly recommend it for the tuning and intonation stability, plus you could add a bit more bass in order to compensate for the brighter sound (and also buy a a guitar that's made of mahagony for a darker tone). In this case, I think that playability and tuning stability is more important than getting close to the tone. The closest you'll get to his tone is by choosing the right amp (something similar to Peavey 6505 or Marshall JVM, depending on whether you prefer the tone from the albums from the 2000s or from the last two albums).

As for recommendations, the only baritone I've ever played is the now discontinued Schecter C-1 Blackjack with EMG 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck. It's a shame that they don't make them anymore, it's an amazing guitar. I'd definitely suggest checking out Schecter baritones, since Schecter makes great guitars for a fairly reasonable price (expect the baritones to be a bit pricier, around 700-900$). I'd recommend getting a baritone with a 26.5 inch scale, because you'll be tuning it up from its intended tuning (I'd recommend getting it done by a guitar tech), so you don't need as large a scale as most other baritone players would. It would be great if you could find one with stock EMGs and a 26.5 scale (Schecter baritones come in various scale and pickups combinations).
However, you don't have to limit yourself to just checking out Schecters. There are other guitar companies that make great baritones too, like LTD (I just remembered that I also played a bit on a LTD V-shaped baritone with a 27-inch scale and EMGs. They also make a Les Paul-style version with the same specs, so you might want to check that one out if you're into LP shapes). Just make sure that you can try them out in person, if possible, because it's going to feel a bit different from a regular guitar (slightly bigger stretches for the fretting hand).

http://www.6-string.com/esp-ltd-ec-401b-black-satin-baritone-electric-guitar.html

If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to answer them (if I think I'm able to provide an adequate answer).
Last edited by Scratcher17 at Jul 20, 2016,
#5
Yeah, it's a shame Schecter seems to be taking a break from traditional baritones to focus more on extended range. Although their 7s are damn nice, and that's what I'd want for playing that low anyway, but if you're trying to go specifically for In Flames songs, yeah. You could maybe still find a baritone blackjack or hellraiser in stock at some stores, as they were still making them as recently as last year. There's also this beast, which I would love to try out, but would probably be overkill for your purposes.
http://www.schecterguitars.com/guitars/extended-range/hellraiser-c-vi-detail
It's just a metal bass-VI. 30 inch scale, factory tuned to E (full octave down), with EMGs.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#6
Scratcher17Thank you SO much for all the help. I've read articles that his now Marshall cabinets/ heads have extra added boost or gain etc so I guess it would be hard to replicate anyway. I recently watched a video of him playing Transparent and it seems like his setup is backing a lot of balls and punch behind it. But that could all just be eq too.
EDIT: Would a Schecter Diamond Series with EMG 81 and 85 still work? They come with Floyd rose and locking tuners, but it's not baritone.
Last edited by brandonpryan18 at Jul 19, 2016,
#7
Going that low on a 6 can mean issues with string tension and intonation. I have a 25.5" EVH wolfgang in B standard and it's pretty finicky. Probably need to go with thicker strings, maybe even a wound g string.

And added boost in an amp can just be done with adding an OD in front of your amp. Most people who play metal are going to be adding a clean boost in front of already high gain amps, that's pretty much expected.
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
Couple of Balls
Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Eclipse
Fender HM Strat
Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs
#8
brandonpryan18 No problem, dude.

I don't know about the added boost/gain in his heads, but I don't think it matters that much anyways. The tone is in the fingers and in the picking hand. For example, there's a video of John Petrucci playing a cheap Diamond Series Schecter through a Fender amp and sounding as if he were playing through his usual EBMM JP6 and a Mesa Boogie. Or there's an even more extreme example - Vogg from Decapitated. The guy doesn't even use his own amp when touring. Instead, he rents or borrows various amps from stores or fans in the cities where he's playing and sounds like himself. Although these examples demonstrate that you'll never get Björn's exact tone, you can still buy gear (EMGs and a suitable amp) that will get you in the ballpark.

In terms of the amp, I wouldn't buy a Marshall JVM or a Peavey, because it would be an overkill (I assume you'll be playing these songs mostly at home). Try various high-gain amps below 50W (the less watts you have, the more you'll be able to crank it and get a good tone out of it). Seeing that you keep mentioning Transparent, which is a song from the era when Björn was using a Peavey 5150/6505(+), I'd suggest looking at something similar to that in terms of sound. Peavey released the 6505 Mini head last year that has the 1/5/20w options, but there were issues with overheating, so I'd avoid that one (I'm glad I didn't order it a year ago ). They claim to have fixed it, but many people (including myself) remain sceptical about its quality.

I have a Schecter Diamond Series (Schecter Demon, to be exact) tuned to B standard with 12-18 -22 (plain)- 38 - 49 - 68 gauge (I combined 11-49 and 12-68 Elixir sets), and it's too loose for me (I'm a heavy-hand picker). I tuned it once to C standard, and it was a bit better, but still not how I'd like it to be. I'd definitely suggest trying to find a 26.5 scale baritone, although a 25.5 inch scale guitar could do the job, just not as well. If you have no other option and have to buy a 25.5 inch scale guitar, buy a Schecter Hellraiser (either new or used) - mahagony body and neck, set neck construction, stock EMGs. I just remembered you could install an EMG 85 in the bridge position for the 25.5 and 26.5 inch scale guitars to get a darker tone, which would probably get you closer to the 24.75 inch scale sound of a Les Paul. Also, you don't need a Floyd Rose for any In Flames songs except for the Suburban Me, Goliaths Disarm Their Davids and In Flames (the song) and it would be an unnecessary hassle when dropping the 6th string from C to A# and changing strings.
Last edited by Scratcher17 at Jul 19, 2016,