#1
as much as i try to deny that tuning low makes things sound heavier, bands generally sound heavier in lower tunings, even power metal sounds slightly heavy at A#standard for instance.
i personally don't want to go down that far, but its really making me wonder why lower tunings sound so much heavier, when its the same intervals and the keys an octave higher don't sound as heavy. any reasons to why it is? anyone want to prove that E standard is the heaviest tuning to help reassure that i don't need to get thicker strings?

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#2
Because the strings gauges get heavier.

The bigger the strings, the heavier you sound.
#3
I would imagine its because the strings arn't as tight on the guitar so they are able to vibrate wider and more therefor causing more of the vibrations to be picked up thus giving it a heavier sound.

Thats a guess though I have no idea.
#4
Candlemass plays in Standard and sometimes half a step down.

Mudvayne plays is Drop C.

Candlemass is WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY heavier.

My old band... we used to play in C#, my new band plays in standard and a few songs in drop D, but this new band is MUCH heavier.


Bands that down tune general have a half-ass bassist.
Quote by breakdown123
Is there such a thing as a heavy riff with out chugging on the e string?
#5
Frequency is lower..
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#6
Quote by IKnowItsWrong
Frequency is lower..

this is why. unfortunately the average person thinks that the lower the tuning, the heavier the song. this is quite untrue, you can tune to F and have a heavy song. hell megadeth and metallica both have some heavy songs/parts of songs in F# (a tout le monde and trapped under ice respectively) it's not about the tuning, its about how you play it.
Last edited by z4twenny at Oct 13, 2008,
#7
alright, this is a question in pitch, not tuning. play f on the 1st fret of the low e string, now play f on the 3rd fret of the d string. they are the same note, they are an octave apart. the first f sounds heavier, aka lower, because its actual pitch is lower register. i hope this helps a little, e standard is not the heaviest tuning.
#8
the lower frequencies have a more pounding effect on your ears because of the way they are designed. technically, neither is heavier than the other, but realistically lower frequency are.

unless you just suck, then it doesnt make a difference.
#9
Quote by burn the stars
i hope this helps a little, e standard is not the heaviest tuning.

you miss the point entirely. i could tune to E standard an octave lower and if i played mary had a little lamb or tears in heaven it wouldn't make it "heavy" just lower in pitch. the concept of "heavy" is insinuated by how its played. subsequently i could play master of puppets in A (a perfect fourth up) and it would still sound heavy because of how its written to be played.
#10
Quote by CLIFF_BURTON
Candlemass plays in Standard and sometimes half a step down.

Mudvayne plays is Drop C.

Candlemass is WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY heavier.


but behemoth is way heavier than candlemass, and they tune in C# standard, and i guess you guys are right about the pounding kind of sound from lower tunings.

EDIT: i guess on my heavy-o-metre i would be around metallica heavy at E standard and then straight to lighter behemoth at D/C#, which are tunings those bands use respectively.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
Last edited by metallicafan616 at Oct 13, 2008,
#11
while mudvayne may tune lower they arent very metal as metallica or megadeth

nile can make their songs heavier than any e standard song because of their tuning
#12
To answer the original question, I would say it sounds "heavier" because the strings are looser. Looser strings = more vibration = "heavier" sound.
#14
I think the heaviest song ever (IMO) is Homage for Satan by Deicide and that's in Eb standard. That said, heavyness =/= brutalness in my mind.
#15
because they stimulate part of your ears (lower than low e) with a guitar, that aren't normally stimulated, coming off as louder.


</bullshit>
#16
it all depends on how it is written really. I feel that something in E standard can be just as heavy as something in B standard, but they are different kinds of heaviness.
#17
If you compose a song in E standard, but then drop it a whole step (the whole tuning, not just one string), it will genuinley sound heavier I'm sure. But most of what makes a song heavy is attitude and tone. Besides, eventually you just start sounding muddy. The best tuning for metal is probably D or Eb standard, if you're just dead bent on tuning being what makes it heavy, but it's all about the attitude. Part of what makes Master of Puppets so damn heavy is how loud it is, and the way that James sings it. They could play that song in C (going up, not down), and it'd still be one of the heaviest pieces of music ever played.

While we're on the subject of Metallica, look at St. Anger, and then listen to Death Magnetic. The new album is MUCH heavier, and they're in standard for pretty much the whole album... It's about the attitude, not the tuning.
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#18
its just how you play..

blink182 - obvious = C standard but sounds like standard E lol
Sylosis or Lamb of god = E standard/Drop D and they sound "brootalz" lol
Im quite proud of that LOL

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#19
Tunings have nothing to do with the 'heavy metal' kind of sound... it's all about the placement of the flattened fifth - The blue note. In some situations it sounds sad, or desperate, telling the listener a sad story... But if you place it in the right place, the sound is angry, spooky, even evil.
I mean, just look at Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath - It's the simplest riff ever but at the time, it was the most evil sounding thing out. It's totally working the flattened fifth.
Anywho. That's my two cents.
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#21
Quote by Graveworm
Because the strings gauges get heavier.

The bigger the strings, the heavier you sound.
The strings don't get heavier when you turn the tuning pegs...they get looser.

A string that's flopping around is going to sound different than a string that's extremely taut. A baritone guitar tuned to B standard is going to sound vastly different than a 24 3/4" scale guitar tuned down to B standard because the strings would be extremely loose on the standard scale guitar. The looser your strings are, the less 'snap' and more 'thunk' you're going to hear.
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