Lets talk about the theory behind COCK ROCK/HAIR METAL!

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Thread: Lets talk about the theory behind COCK ROCK/HAIR METAL!

  1. #1


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Lets talk about the theory behind COCK ROCK/HAIR METAL!

    No I'm not kidding! Lets analyze it from a theory standpoint!

    First off on rhythm guitar I've noticed that one of the hallmarks of 80s Hair Metal rhythms is voicing a chord with the root on the a string (oftentimes on the 7th fret so that chugging on the open e (or whatever the lowest string is, we will presume e for simplicity) will reinforce the root) perfect fifth on d and octave on the g and then using the b string to create changing diads (between the g and b strings) to give the song a sense of movement. The most common being switching between a M3 diad and a P4. Or a Maj chord to a 5 (add11) Here are two obvious examples...

    [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx86CxKYtg0]Van Halen - Unchained (HD) - YouTube[/VIDEO]

    [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk2YNouT9UA]RATT - Lay It Down (music video) HQ - YouTube[/VIDEO]

    (Opening riff on both)

    Here is another variant that also throws a M2 diad (between the g and b strings, effectively making the complete voicing a sus2) into the mix along with the M3 and P4 voicings discussed above.

    [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlN3oEjMpUQ]Winger - Seventeen - YouTube[/VIDEO]

    Anyone else care to take a hand at analyzing more of the conventions of the genre?

  2. #2


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Another important thing to note about 80s guitar centric metal in general is that oftentimes the rhythm parts are less about moving the R5 power chord shape around, as most of modern thrash/death/extreme metal guitar styles are and more about keeping the root stationary and building different chords (oftentimes as harmonically simple as a diad) off it.

    Some examples of that...
    [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7IdqkaGyU8]Iron Maiden - Stranger in a Strange Land. - YouTube[/VIDEO]

    [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vka8SYdBr54&NR=1]Slaughter- Up All Night - YouTube[/VIDEO]

    Oftentimes in conjunction with the prior two conventions we also see P4s (or inverted Power Chords, if you prefer to think of them that way) voiced on the d and g strings, an obvious example of which is
    [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L75ikjK1vaI]Iron Maiden-2 Minutes To Midnight - YouTube[/VIDEO]

  3. #3


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Another song that uses many of the above conventions,

    [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N9DsUo-tq8]Dokken - Night By Night - YouTube[/VIDEO]

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  5. #4


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c3g6tTYoxM&ob=av2e]Queensryche - I Don't Believe In Love - YouTube[/VIDEO]

    Another very recognizable example of the changing diads on the g and b strings interspersed with chugging approach.

  6. #5


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    Wirelessly posted (A Destroyer of short people: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    This is a cool idea, keep going!

  7. #6


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthtastic View Post
    Wirelessly posted (A Destroyer of short people: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    This is a cool idea, keep going!
    Yeah, I actually thought of it responding to your posts in the ac/dc thread funnily enough. But I'm kind of getting into it, I think I'm gonna turn it into a paper for one of my music classes!

  8. #7


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    Wirelessly posted (A Destroyer of short people: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Here is a really interesting paper someone wrote on Meshuggah. It's a pretty good read if you're into things like analysis.

    http://www.scribd.com/mobile/documents/6375990

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    When I think cock rock and hair metal, Maiden and QR aren't really the first two bands that pop into my head.


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