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Demystifying Metal styles, how to make fingerstyle playing heard in Metal

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by pablomigraine, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. For whatever reason not a big fan of two guitar players in a band kind sucks the potential away from my role but there are others who have worked well I nt hat environment. Dominic who used to be in beyond creation did pretty well but I still feel there were sections where the bass could have been mixed a little better space wise seems like all the times you could hear him well it was a crap ton of vplume automation in the mix process
  3. Cookie Cutter music became popular again because of Nickelback and Breaking Benjamin...
    same 3-4 song formulas throughout every album, and you can literally play all of either's
    albums back to back and hear the same things over & over...and over...and over...

    Part of it is locking into a "Sound of the Band"...but a lot of it is repeatability.
    Van Halen bands with innovation in every song are few and far between...
    even though they were stealing the BLEEP outta 30's & 40's and 50's jazz ;)
  4. The Eagles & Boston seemed to do pretty well with Multiple Guitars...
    but it takes 3 Next-Level Players to pull it off...
  5. There is ONE other option if you want to play fingerstyle and get pick sound...

    Fast as fudge...
    Plectum Hardness...
    all the benefits and NO detractions.
    And you don't get your girl grossed out by having long cracked nails that you've
    destroyed while using them to substitute for a pick.

    People laugh & sneer when I say that you can learn techniques from other instruments,
    but the Truth is, you can learn a LOT from other instruments!!
    Why do ya think that Buckethead can switch back & forth between 15 different things
    and seriously prod buttock on ALL of them??
    Because the same classic techniques work on ALL stringed instruments!!

    Learn a Cello left-hand waver.
    Pick a Banjo.
    Play Thunderstruck on an effing Mandolin!!
  6. Kragnorak


    Sep 20, 2008
    Rimbaud's point about buried bass is well taken. Whenever the engineer/producer is looking to record an in-your-face mix with drums and heavy kick drum and gated snare and loud guitars? The bass is gone. Obliterated. That's why I tend to like the way live metal sounds compared to studio recordings - the bass isn't artificially buried in the other frequencies!

    Here's a recording from my current band where the bass is audible, so it's possible (especially in the last third of song). But I think as we work with more established guys my notes will be reduced from what I normally do to "supporting the guitars".

    But when I listen to recordings from when I first started out, the more amateurish recordings at least allowed all of the instruments to be clearly audible, where you can actually hear what everyone's fingers are doing and the bass is not just an 'effect'. I mean, if you check out this sound clip, my bass and tone were trash compared to what I get live these days, but it's interesting to hear how metal would sound if bass were recorded at the relative volume you hear in funk recordings:

  7. Kragnorak


    Sep 20, 2008
    I picked up an Ibanez VOLO with a ramp so that I could work on this stuff too - it's fun! However, I find that once I'm in a room with guitarists and a loud drummer all that stuff goes out the window. Notes that are plucked too softly don't cut through and I don't (yet?) have the technique to get 16ths popping out where the thumb sounds the same as the other three fingers. I'm at the point where I cut through better if I'm using my index finger and nail as a fast strum. I also get better results using the tremolo technique of rmii-rmii-rmii-rmii where the first 'i' is down and the second one is up.
  8. theunknowndude

    theunknowndude Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    Adelaide, Australia
    Funny you say about the bass being buried, it happens to everyone... Sean Malone has so many chords and accents and fills but in the mix you can’t hear it... same with Steve do Giorgio. I tend to prefer three piece metal bands now where there is only one guitar/bass/drums. Seems to let everyone play well and be audible.
  9. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    You guys here this yet ? Bass is very audible

    socialleper and Kragnorak like this.
  10. Kragnorak


    Sep 20, 2008
    I see it was mixed by the guitarist, Mike Low! What I'd really like to know is how they got that bubbly bass sound. I have trouble getting that, but it sits great in metal mixes (in the Sean Malone vein)
    theunknowndude likes this.
  11. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Ellicott City, MD
    Endorsing: Spector Bass Guitars
    Any tips on how to learn a bass part when the bass is totally buried? Is it possible to EQ it back into existence?
  12. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Pitch-shift the song up an octave.
    BlueAliceOasis and patrickj like this.
  13. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Ellicott City, MD
    Endorsing: Spector Bass Guitars
    Holy poopie! Seriously this works.. you just saved me from bailing out of an audition.
    RoadRanger likes this.
  14. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    New Obscura !

    Kragnorak and patrickj like this.
  15. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Anyone using flat wounds in extreme metal ?
    El-Bob likes this.
  16. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I'm pretty sure that the new guy in Obscura uses flats like the old one did. I think Steve Di Giorgio used them on Death's Human. It is more common to hear them on fretless basses in tech death. Tones of doom and stoner metal bass players use them, but I suppose that depends on your definition of "extreme."
    Flats are a tough sell in genres that need a lot of articulation. Plus your tuning options are limited since they are only really made for E and B.
  17. hyp.spec

    hyp.spec Supporting Member

    May 14, 2006
    Warren, MI
    Figure I'd post an update. The Spector is gone. After the release of my bands first album, we immediately started writing for album 2. Album 2 turns up the left hand gymnastics like crazy. Enough so that the 35" scale was becoming too physically demanding to play for my left hand.

    I took a break for a little while and did 34" scale basses with a pick, but that quickly turned into developing tendonitis in my right elbow from all the stupid fast picking, so now it's back to fingerstyle... on a 5 string Precision bass.

    The only other guy I've seen use a 5 string P-Bass in metal is the guy from Wretched, and he cuts through like crazy on their records.
  18. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    The 35" scale Spectors are physically longer than the 34s. The bridge is actually moved back an inch. I think it's just the smaller body and reshape that makes them feel longer. I know my 90d Jackson 5 string feels a bit more comfortable than my Euro 5.
  19. This is my current obsession, loving the bass on these personally:

  20. Kragnorak


    Sep 20, 2008
    Linus Kleinsenitzer is awesome, and I now want a 7-string fretless after he replaced me on a project. I wrote some basslines for a tech-death album but couldn't get a good recording from my house. So I got to hear my ideas played with better tone and technique than I could get!

    1) Cannonata, by Keegan Ostrowski
    AdamR likes this.

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