Sounding Evil in Standard Tuning

BeZo

Well-known member
I find myself in two doom bands all of the sudden. My drummer pulled me into a new project with a different guitarist, only he took my bass during our first practice and stuck me on guitar. Both bands are tuning to C, but one is drop C, while the other is standard C. I seem to he having a hard time writing stuff in standard that sounds evil or heavy enough for doom. Even when I play the same songs in both tunings, the drop songs sound better even though they are the same fucking chords and notes. What is this? Is standard tuning just weak sauce? Am I just more comfortable in drop tuning? Anyone else go through this?
 

PLX

Well-known member
I think you have to like, go down to the crossroads and sell your hole to the devil, or something.
 

dave74

Member
I have always preferred standards,,,,,,,,, albeit Eb, D, and C# standards. I don't have one single guitar at E atm.
 

RevDrucifer

Well-known member
I felt this way for a long time and I think it had to do more with the feeling from my guitar rather than the actual sound. I have two guitars that sound great playing heavy shit in standard tuning and they’re both heavy as fuck guitars, my Edwards LP Custom and the Solar Explorer. You don’t want to play anything but heavy shit on them because the way they feel; you can feel the resonance through the body and it definitely lends itself to wanting to play heavy shit.

And since I use 10-52’s for drop C, I have a good amount of play/not a lot of tension in the strings, that gives them some weight in itself that lends itself to heavy riffs, for me anyway. Like a palm mute with those same strings in drop C feels entirely different than a palm mute in E with the same strings.

I think I spent so long dialing in my gear to work in drop C/D-standard that when I’m up in standard, it’s just not as familiar tonal territory for me. I went like 23 years not owning a single guitar in standard tuning.
 

tomgulbinas

New member
It all comes down to playing dissonant notes.

Alternative tunings definitely help with achieving this type of sound, but it can be done in standard as well.
 

Bardagh

Well-known member
There is some kind of difference in the tonal quality between, say, being in D standard and drop D. Even though the notes of a chord are the same, you’re combining different frets than you would in standard so you’re getting a different mix of harmonics/overtones and shit. To me a drop tuning has a more growly/guttural sound and feel to it (at least when you’re using the dropped string to make chords).
 

Aynirar27

Active member
Getting familiar with the Lydian mode can yield some evil results. It naturally has an Augmented 4th in it. Building around that Augmented 4th leaves you open to an uneasy major 7th (or minor 2nd) when going back to the Ionian
 

PLX

Well-known member
Getting familiar with the Lydian mode can yield some evil results. It naturally has an Augmented 4th in it. Building around that Augmented 4th leaves you open to an uneasy major 7th when going back to the Ionian
.. as in Tommy Ionian, of Black Sabbath.
 

BeZo

Well-known member
The big one I notice is palm muting metal type riffs. In drop tuning, catching the open strings adds the 5th to the low note. In standard tuning, it's not as simple. I either need to make a conscious decision to drop down and play that second fret to add the 5th to my palm mutes, or omit it and only play the low note. The easier the chunk chunk splow stuff comes out, the heavier it will be.
 
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