Guitar Tunings

I get asked a lot about what tunings I use for Agony By Default material, so I figured I'd throw this out there really quickly since it's not really a simple answer.  Although I don't get as crazy with ABD as I have with some other projects, there's definitely been changes over the years, and early tunings have a bit of a back story.

The End of Hope [EP/Demo, 2014]

Prior to Agony By Default, I had spent the better part of ten years playing on 6 strings in CGCFAD.  For a while just before I created this project, I was in a band with my best friend, who decided to get a 7-string.  He went ahead and matched me with GCGCFAD on that.

He kept his gear at my house, so I naturally played his 7 string a lot, and that's actually what I wrote the first few AbD songs on.  However, he moved away, I never bothered to get another 7 string, and I ended up rewriting the songs slightly to record them on a 6 string in CGCFAD, which is what almost all of the songs on that release are in.  However, there are two notable exceptions:

"Amity Road" was a bit of an experiment, it was in AEADGB (drop A on a 7 string, but with the high E left off to make it work on a 6).  Also, I'm not incredibly sure anymore, but I believe "Away" was in a weird open C# variant (C#G#C#G#C#C#) that I was using in another project at the time.  I honestly can't remember if I ended up recording it that way, or if I rewrote it in CGCFAD.

"Regrets" [Single, 2016], Genocide For Survival [Album, 2017], The Timekeeper [EP, 2017], Catastrophes of the Mind [Album, 2017], and Chaos and Cataclysm [Split, 2018]

As mentioned in earlier blogs, there was a gap in time from 2014-2016 where I wasn't playing music at all.  By the time I came back to AbD in late 2016, everything had changed.  I had finally jumped on the 8 string bandwagon and went in a completely different direction with my style, both genre-wise and also just how I wrote riffs and songs in general.  All of these albums are on 8 string in standard (F#BEADGBE).

Having said that, obviously Catastrophes and Chaos both went in a much more "blackened" direction, and I only utilized the F# on a small handful of riffs on those releases.

Upcoming Material

So here we are in mid-2018, and I'm getting close to being finished with the upcoming album (title TBA very soon).  As mentioned before, with this album, AbD has taken another turn musically (back towards a heavier, death metal sound), and both a cause and effect from that is a new tuning and new keys.  While a couple of the songs on this album are still in 8 string standard (F#), the majority are actually in drop A with a unison A (AAEADGBE).  I once again also find myself not using the 8th string very much anymore, and will probably just downgrade to a 7 string for future releases.

Bass Guitars:

TEoH was written and recorded on a 5 string in GCGCF.  Everything thereafter has been on a modified 4 string in matching tunings (BEAD or AEAD), either due to financial constraints or a "fuck it, why not" mentality.  Admittedly, as a guitarist primarily, the logistics of bass have always kind of taken a backseat for me. (Apologies to any dedicated bassists out there.) I've always used it really as just an accent instrument to help with the guitar tone and a general undertone for the songs...and have never put a lot of time or effort into bass (neither playing, nor in the production process).  This is especially true for more "blackened" styles of metal that I've done.  Having said that, It's something I'm trying to concentrate on a little bit more on these days, as it can actually be a very valuable part of a song/recording (and it's something that has sorely lacked on previous releases, in retrospect).  I think the upcoming album reflects my mentality shift on bass guitar in general, and I'm pretty stoked with how it's turning out.