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-   -   What's your favourite guitar tuning? Do you think downtuning equals more heaviness? (http://metaltabs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29770)

Carbonized 2006-05-03 03:06

What's your favourite guitar tuning? Do you think downtuning equals more heaviness?
 
Ok, if there already is a thread about different tunings, I apologise. I searched but couldn't see any.

Basically, I'm just curious to see which tuning everyone prefers. I've always tuned my guitar down to B but now, for versatility sake and also because of the tone (too bassy and low) I'm thinking of tuning up to D. It's more or less somewhere in the middle between standard and B. I think I'll be happy with that.

Oh, and I also want to ask you all a question: "Do you believe downtuning equals more heaviness?"

This is pretty subjective but I'm anxious to see what you all think. :beer: Cheers!

Six_Feet_Under_420 2006-05-03 05:06

You can be heavy in standard E no problem. If you tune to B it will just sound lower therefore many people think it's heavier :p But imo you can write a song in B and it will still sound heavy in D. I personally tune to standard B, Drop A and C#

Transient 2006-05-03 05:36

i prefer D because its still happier sounding but capable of serious heaviness


yeah , downtuning CAN make it heavier (nile, immolation). but it doesnt HAVE to (demilich tune to A )

*insert name here* 2006-05-03 06:38

SEARCH HARDER

mortpayne 2006-05-03 07:37

I think it was Kerry King that once mentioned in a guitar magazine that a riff that sounds weak as hell in standard tuning would sound like the most badass thing ever in downtuning. I agree. Downtuning makes it easier to write a heavy riff because of, obviously, the low pitch. Therefore it doesn't always take as much talent to write a good heavy song downtuned as it would in standard. But it's not just the skill, it's all about the sound too. Whether it sounds good in standard or not, sometimes downtuning just helps fill out the atmosphere of the riff and give it an extra edge. Then again, there are some riffs that bands have written in standard (or around standard) and sound pretty crappy if played lower. So, like all things, it has it's advantages and disadvantages. I used to always play in D, then I began tuning to Eb and using a whammy effect to play in Bb, and now I still tune to Eb but use a whammy effect to play in C# (which sounds a hell of a lot better than the lower whammy). As always, it's simply a matter of preference. But I think I like tuning a bit higher. When it's really low, things can get boring and repetitive.

deifiler 2006-05-03 07:40

The irony that the same people consistantly increase their post count by seeking out threads in which they can cry 'search harder'

My preffered tuning is C#

Tuning isn't heavniess though, just for a start it's also to do with tone and the way in which the intruments are used in the song. An example I can think of is how Dimmu Borgir's "puritania" sounds far heavier than a song called 'into eternity' by splintered visions (or the other way round... I got the band from this forum as a suggestion of some arpreggios to learn:)). Dimmu Borgir tune to E, and the other band right down to C. Another thing to consider would be how some Black Sabbath songs are in B tuning (as far as I remember, never had the interest to really verify it) but due to my preferences in tone and the somewhat sparse and empty recording mixes the band has, it doesn't sound that heavy. If you want a really clear illustration of this, just compare some Nile recordings to some Nile midi files, courtesy of the humble guitar pro :smash:

To me tuning down gives not only a better tone and sound for me, but also makes the instrument seem nicer to play, though this will be more due to the fact that my axe has been tuned down for years now so I'm used to it. It's a pain playing guitars in E in guitar shops etc.

Also it depends what kind of stuff you're going to associate the tones and tunings to I guess. Any riff based on the A string reminds me of the former days of metal, as do a lot of bands that tune to E and stick in the Aeolian modes, so despite the riffing it is unlikely to sound that hefty to me. Stick it into an approproate scale, such as the easy to grasp whole-half diminished and you're onto the beef despite your tunings.

Maybe it is a case of being sheepish, but as with evolution, if something works well there's little point in stubbornly ignoring it just for the sake of it. If you can be arsed to, tune down if you wanna play heavier stuff - you can always ride up a few frets and soon be back in the safety of standard tuning

:stoned:

mortpayne 2006-05-03 07:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by deifiler
Another thing to consider would be how some Black Sabbath songs are in B tuning (as far as I remember, never had the interest to really verify it) but due to my preferences in tone and the somewhat sparse and empty recording mixes the band has, it doesn't sound that heavy.

I think the lowest Iommi ever went was C#. Still, you were within a half-step so no points deducted. :p

EDIT: Wait a minute. C#......C.....B.....crap, a full step. Oh well. I was within a full step so no points deducted. :p

deifiler 2006-05-03 08:20

Haha alright:) Your comments on low tuning becoming very boring with writing riffs I can relate to. The amount of times I've tuned a riff down to A in guitar pro, then spent however long retuning my axe with it's bastard floyyd rose to A, only to be bored within a few minutes and tune back to C#

C# is a minor third down from E, tuning to this you can sometimes get that feel from songs, such as a few of dying fetus's etc...

Was just listening to Psycroptic, they tune to drop D; dropping-one-string tuning I never got the hang of. They are a band that I think would sound better, as a lot of their tremolo riffs sound as if they are missing an extra touch, not to mention the guitar tone doesn't seem to merge as well with the other instruments for the hefty sections:/ I think that's mainly to the crunchy guitar tone, but again, crunchy guitars are something I associate with the tuning of E...

P.S. Mortpayne, cheers for the comments on the riff thread:) Just been doing recording with the band and it sounds a lot better so I shall send you any future links if you're interested :stoned:

mortpayne 2006-05-03 08:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by deifiler
P.S. Mortpayne, cheers for the comments on the riff thread:) Just been doing recording with the band and it sounds a lot better so I shall send you any future links if you're interested :stoned:

Why not just post your band's link in your sig? That way any updates ect are always available.

Carbonized 2006-05-03 09:16

I agree 100% with Six_Feet_Under_420 and Transient on all they said.

In my opinion... the production plays a bigger role in heaviness than downtuning per se.

Carbonized 2006-05-03 09:28

...and if I understood Deifiler well, it also depends on the style you're playing. Couldn't agree more on that.

For now I think I'll go for a C# or D tuning, which is somewhat in the middle between standard and B, like I said in my first post.

Oh, btw one of the classic Death Metal albums, Obituary's "Slowly We Rot" was recorded in standard tuning. Ok, the production isn't extraordinary but the tuning seems to suite the riffs. Sometimes I seem to prefer that tuning to their D tuning which they used on the rest of their albums!

And last but not least, some people may assume that downtuning = heaviness so they tune as low as they can (These days, it's not uncommon to see bands tune to beyond B-tunings.) and at times, it can sound good but at others, it sounds like shit.
Add to that the use of digital effects pedals and digital (non-tube) amps and you have the perfect recipe for a shitty tone!
That's only my opinion, of course. ;)

Robbie Filth 2006-05-03 10:33

I use C# and Bb most so they will have to be favourites i guess.

mctriple 2006-05-03 13:08

i prefer standard e or e flat.. nothin too crazy. usually i'm in standard, since i'm down to 1 electric guitar and it has a locking trem, which makes it a pain to change tunings.

rapeandruin 2006-05-03 13:23

I use standard E because it is the most of the stuff I play is in that tuning. If the tuning is lower I'll still just play in standard e...because you know what? who gives a fuck what it sounds like when you are playing it in your room. Example, Nile - Sarcophagus, I play that in standard e and I think it sounds just as cool as when it is in B (or whatever tuning it is). I also tune to standard E because I don't see the point of being low and trying to be heavy. Tony Iommi did it with the first 2 black sabbath albums in standard E, so there should be nothing stopping me from being that heavy.

Doktorskell 2006-05-03 17:57

Heavyness is defined by the skill of the songwriter/guitarist and the record producer.

TUning to b doesnt automatically equal heavy. Most of the time it just breaks up your sound.

D is the lowest i will go. its my tuning of choice.

sqol 2006-05-03 18:02

C# for the win, but my 7string is tuned to B standard, but obviously that incorporates standard E in it :)

Nothing beats the good ol' drop Z though :behead:

Soeru 2006-05-03 23:07

D. Now shut the fuck up!

*insert name here* 2006-05-04 00:46

Slipknot tune to drop B,and they are brutal as fuck.

metal_monkey 2006-05-04 00:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by *insert name here*
Slipknot tune to drop B,and they are brutal as fuck.


dont you mean slipcock

*insert name here* 2006-05-04 01:07

Nah slipKNOT.


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