Friday, October 23, 2009

Korn and Alternate Guitar Tunings

Originally posted on November 27, 2007

Ever thought of tuning your guitar differently? Guitarists that use the slide usually tune to a chord. There are all kinds of other options. Tuning down a few steps or even more has become an option especially popular with some Metal groups. That’s what I like about Korn. Their Life is Peachy album (Immortal/Epic), released in 1996, is as good an example as any. The lyrics are punky and adult, which is fine if you like that.

But the dense lower end sound they get when riffing and power chording can be a kicker, especially when the drummer tunes his snare drum high or uses a piccolo model (not sure which). It leaves drums and vocals at mid and top, then a massive lower end of strings. You generally need an excellent intonation set up (great tuners and quality bridge-tailpiece assembly) to hold the tuning in those instances. You may also need to raise the action on the guitar/bass a bit, to stop buzzing. Experiment! I have to go back to the studio and finish what I started earlier on my CD. There I use lower tuning, baritone set ups and the like for a bottom end that cuts through. Well, that’s me right now. I must get back to it once the holiday season is over.

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