Are there any tricks to figuring out the (exact) chords of a song that has really strong distortion or other effects? I can vaguely hear what chords there are but can’t figure out the exact variant.

  • 2
    The impact of distortion or other effects on what you can hear in a recording can vary widely. Depending on the recording, you might be able to use an EQ and other filters to isolate the chords that you want to hear. So, to get an answer your question, I suggest sharing a link to the recording you have in mind. – seanreads Sep 6 '18 at 22:59

It depends on how familiar you are with harmony, how complex the chords are, what kind of distortion they use, the style of the music and countless other aspects, but these tips may help you:

  1. Try to locate the tonic of each chord.
  2. Try to play the chords as power chords or triads. Most songs that use very distorted chords employs basic power chords and triads, more complex chords often seem too dissonant.
  3. Search for the chord progressions and voices used by that artist, or those that are common in the genre. If you have some knowledge of theory and harmony and are familiar with the style of the song it may be easier for you to find the chords you need.

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