#1
So, we have this song which already has a set structure and everything.

In the beginning, the guitars are clean (arpeggios and open chords basically). But then it gets a littler heavier.

Of course, we want to stay away from simple power chords. But we don't know what to do exactly.

QUESTION: What are other alternatives are there (instead of playing power chords) when playing distorted?

This part of the song needs a solid rhythm.

THANKS!

Edit: It's not because we don't want power chords, it's just that we want to learn new alternatives so that we can choose the best (and not automatically discard power chords, as most have misunderstood us).
Last edited by Deagle-Eyes at Sep 20, 2008,
#2
Hmm, you could play octaves.
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#3
ya its really hard to think of heavy riffs to play that dont include power chords
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#4
Quote by Deagle-Eyes


Of course, we want to stay away from simple power chords.


Why? If they work for your song, use them.
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#6
Quote by duncang
Why? If they work for your song, use them.


+1

Maybe you don't want to stick to simple power chords but, do you want your song to sound like crap? If you can do something else that sounds good that'd be cool but, remember, power chords are an option.
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#7
double power chords? i dont know the exact name for them, but if you are in drop D, it would be


x
x
7
5
5
5

so the notes are GDGD
#8
Quote by Deagle-Eyes
So, we have this song which already has a set structure and everything.

In the beginning, the guitars are clean (arpeggios and open chords basically). But then it gets a littler heavier.

Of course, we want to stay away from simple power chords. But we don't know what to do exactly.

QUESTION: What are other alternatives are there (instead of playing power chords) when playing distorted?

This part of the song needs a solid rhythm.

THANKS!
Dont think of powerchords as an actual chord (its not) and (imo) they sound like crap when they're used as real chords in a chord progression. I use powerchords just to fatten up a melodic line.

Using powerchords like this is called diaphony. This is done best by using perfect harmonic intervas, as in perfect fourths, octaves and perfect fifths.
#9
strummed octaves could work, same with the added root powerchords. you could use full on barre chords but it sounds muddy with distortion
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#10
Quote by Deagle-Eyes
What I meant is that if we can do something more elaborated, it would be way better.

Why?

Making something complicated for the sake of making something complicated is completely pointless.
#11
Quote by CowboyUp
Why?

Making something complicated for the sake of making something complicated is completely pointless.


yeah. If it makes you feel better maybe you could play power chords with a clean guitar/acoustic playing barre chords behind them...
#13
Quote by Deagle-Eyes
So, we have this song which already has a set structure and everything.

In the beginning, the guitars are clean (arpeggios and open chords basically). But then it gets a littler heavier.

Of course, we want to stay away from simple power chords. But we don't know what to do exactly.

QUESTION: What are other alternatives are there (instead of playing power chords) when playing distorted?

This part of the song needs a solid rhythm.

THANKS!



Any chords that you know and think sound good in the song.

Being "heavy" is more about attitude and sound than any particular type of chord.

btw why do you want to stay away from "simple" power chords? is it cause you are worried that people will think your noobs for using them? If so thats the wrong reason to avoid them.

be creative with what you know. if you only know power chords its ok...... power chords sound great, there is no reason to avoid them. When you have enough experience with other chords, you will begin to use those as well.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 20, 2008,
#14
how about "inverted power chords"?
that would be playing a root + perfect 4th..
of course its an inversion of a power chord (whose root is the 4th)
you could also use ocatves.. they have that "clicky" sound,its nice to slide them
these would be the consonant alternatives..
you could always play diads of 3rds (major or minor).. but they sound quite dissonant in distortion compared to the ones i mentioned
#15
Quote by GuitarMunky

btw why do you want to stay away from "simple" power chords? is it cause you are worried that people will think your noobs for using them? If so thats the wrong reason to avoid them.


Not at all. it's just that I feel the need to know other ways of creating a rhythm, apart from power chords. I want to learn more options that just playing power chords.
#16
Quote by CowboyUp
Why?

Making something complicated for the sake of making something complicated is completely pointless.


While making something more complicated serves no purpose. Complicated riffs have a different air about them then E-sting chugging combined with power chords. I like to stay away from power chord overuse but I sill can't write a metal song without them, they're great.

Try making a metal riff without power chords, then one with them. They both generate a different air. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, this guy is just trying to explore the musical realm past power chords and the low E-string.

Sorry if I come off rude, I don't mean to be.
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#17
Look at some opeth songs, they use tons of chords besides powerchords in some very heavy sections
#18
i don't see how writing something complicated can be bad.

what i like to use is dyads. major and minor thirds sound amazing with distortion too.
any type of dyads can be used, but gotta be careful about it.
stream of consciousness by dream theater has quite a few of those.
#19
Quote by Deagle-Eyes
Not at all. it's just that I feel the need to know other ways of creating a rhythm, apart from power chords. I want to learn more options that just playing power chords.


thats good! the answer can be found by learning some songs that use other chords. Then you get your ears and fingers on them and get an idea of how they work in context.
shred is gaudy music
#20
You could play this:

x
x
x
7
5
5

Its a inverted powerchord, so the 5th is on the bass string and the root is the middle string...in this case its a D powerchord.

However, I think even though a powerchord is simple to play and most guitarist say, oh thats easy and that guitarist is LAME for using powerchords...
Powerchords are amazingly useful chords, and it doesnt mean you suck if you use them, they can really open up your guitar playing.... Its just the way which you use them as a guitarist that matters. eg. Dont play straight eights... Give it some rhythmic quality!
#21
play diads.. 3rds
like in stead of
a-----9
e-----7

play

a-----5
e-----7

for a minor

and

a-----6
e-----7

for major
#22
you're probably already familiar with how to riff using powerchords, so i think you should stick to the diad idea (two notes), but experiment with different intervals. i'll take a random progression i just came up with, G Dm C Am Dm C. instead of using just powerchords or full triads, try somethin like:

e-------------------
B-------------------
G------5-5-7-5----
D-5-3--5-7-7-2---
A-5-5--------------
E-------------------


what happened there is still the same progression, but there's inverted powerchords, thirds and an inverted third at the end. there's lots of ways to get around a straight powerchord riff. you could even play the 3 5 notes of a triad and have the bass cover the root. or go 3 and 7, experiment and see what sounds you can create.
theres a great section in Bark At The Moon that makes use of power chords, octaves and other diads.. it starts at like 1:19 in the song, maybe you can get some inspiration from it. good luck
#23
Quote by Deagle-Eyes
What I meant is that if we can do something more elaborated, it would be way better.

Or worse. Just make music man use your ears dont force things because of your ego.
#24
how bout instead of just a power chord, do a powerchord, then sharpen the fifth, then take out the fifth and put in the fourth like this:


E|-------------------------------
B|-------------------------------
G|-------------------------------
D|-------------------------------
A|----7------8-------5-------7-
E|----5--55-5--55--5--55-5-
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#25
try different voicings of 1 and 5 like a basic inversion

or maybe just play 1 and 3
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#26
One thing I like to do is have one guitar play a Root-Fifth powerchord (no extra octave) and then another guitar plays that octave and the corresponding third, thus forming a full triad chord.


Guitar 1:

A-3-
E-1-

Guitar 2:

D-2-
A-3-


Now you have an F major chord rather than F5.