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lGhostl 01-21-2013 01:23 AM

7 string or 8 string?
So most of the bands I listen to use 7 strings. However, many of them use 8 strings as well. Most of the songs I want to learn are on 7 strings though, though it would be nice to have the 8 for when I want it... So my question would be, to those of you who have 7's and 8's, is does the 8th string get in the way playing 7 string songs? Is it worth the extra string? Or should I just go for a 7?

jeleopard 01-21-2013 01:35 AM

Do what you want to do.

Really, it comes down what you want. If you need all 8 strings, get an 8. If you don't, you could also, if you wish, down tune a 7. It's really down to what you need and what you want.

donegan_zealot 01-21-2013 01:37 AM


oneblackened 01-21-2013 01:51 AM

I vote for 7. I'm biased though, I can't stand 8s.

lemurflames 01-21-2013 02:00 AM

I vote for 7 simply because you aren't really sure what you want.

8 string guitars are a different beast. Save it for when you know you want it and can really get some great riffs out of it.

But really, you can get what you want.

shredder3386 01-21-2013 02:47 AM

I have both a 7 and an 8 and I vote 8. I find myself reaching for my 8 more just because its more fun to play. Playing 7 string songs on an 8 isn't bad, you just gotta get used to reading 7 string tabs while omitting the top string. To be fair though most guitar tab software doesn't even have an 8 string option yet so you'll have to get used to that anyway,

Mister A.J. 01-21-2013 02:48 AM

I'd say start on a seven, and if you want to afterwards, progress to an eight. As Mr. lemur said, eights are a completely different beast in the wonderful world of guitars.

Zan595 01-21-2013 03:41 AM

I prefer 7's personally, 8 string guitars are just way too bulky for my taste. I can get enough range with my 7's to play 8 string songs by down tuning, so I've never felt the need to get an 8 string. It's all taste, though- if you happen to like enormous guitars, the 8 string would definitely be handier to have than down tuning your 7 string all the time.

Mind_Reader7 01-21-2013 03:45 AM

7 string with thicker strings, so you can downtune to an 8 string tuning.

k3v1n shr3dz 01-21-2013 04:06 AM

Well, an 8 contains a built-in 7....

It mostly depends on intended tuning, whether or not you like the 27" (or more) scale inherent in almost all 8s, and if you need a tremolo.

IF you don't want to go down to F# (let's say you want to tune up), there s a HARD LIMIT on the high E string at 27". You won't be able to go above high G due to string breakage, and even then bending can be problematic. However, if you want to tune a 7 string down below G, you'll run into tuning problems on shorter than 27" if you're a hard picker, to say nothing of the negative affects on tone wrought by huge strings on a shorter scale (inharmonicity). Factor in Drop Tunings, and things can get wierd...

If you have small hands, 27" can be a beast. There are a few 26.5" 8s from Schecter, and a few 25.5" 8s from ESP/LTD, which makes no sense at all.

If you need a trem, your options are limited to Schecter for the time being unless you're willing to have the guitar modded heavily to add an aftermarket Floyd 8-string OFR.
[EDIT] forgot about Kahler's 8-string trem included on several Agiles (but who wants to play something with a neck that bad?) They also come on Ran guitars, which are pretty boss...[EDIT]

I'd say drop $400 on an Ibanez RG8 just to see if you like 8s. Yes, it's made in Indonesia (MII), and Ibanez pickups are almost always abysmal, but I've heard good things on

G# is low enough for me, so an 8 tuned up is doable, as is a 7 tuned down. I'd rather have the 8 for added range, but the comfort of a normal 25.5" scale and a TREM are more important IMHO.

Kylej12 01-21-2013 04:34 AM

Have a look at the schecter omen 8, or the website Thomann do this 8 string for under 200 euro, could b a good way to see if u like 8 strings without spending a fortune

rockstar256 01-21-2013 06:25 AM

I would suggest 7 string since downtuning 8 string is just a NOPE. Why tune whole octave E , d or C...? & string can do all the crap, got mine 25,5 downtuned two steps or one down and its totally fine.

Or accordion?

Anon17 01-21-2013 09:45 AM

Originally Posted by k3v1n shr3dz
If you have small hands, 27" can be a beast. There are a few 26.5" 8s from Schecter, and a few 25.5" 8s from ESP/LTD, which makes no sense at all.

25.5" scale allows an additional high and low string, instead of two lower strings.

k3v1n shr3dz 01-22-2013 02:31 AM

Originally Posted by Anon17
25.5" scale allows an additional high and low string, instead of two lower strings.

Tru dat, and I should have included that in my post.

W4RP1G 01-22-2013 09:39 AM

I find a low 8th string to be largely useless. I am, however, very intrigued by the idea of an 8 string with a high A instead of a low F#.

k3v1n shr3dz 01-23-2013 02:39 AM

Originally Posted by W4RP1G
I find a low 8th string to be largely useless. I am, however, very intrigued by the idea of an 8 string with a high A instead of a low F#.

You may find this thread interesting

From what I've HEARD, no one has properly done A4 on a 27" scale yet. The Octave4Plus strings can do it, but you can't bend more than 1/2 step, and it takes quite some time for the string to stretch enough to attain the high A without breaking outright. Locking bridges/nuts, and long headstocks and string-thru bridges can exacerbate string breakage.... not what I'd call "proper".

If you're willing to tune it down a whole step (A, D, G, C, F, A, D, high G) you can do it on a 27", but many of the problems still persist albeit to a lesser degree.

Stealthtastic 01-23-2013 04:48 AM

I have owned both high end 7's and 8's...personally I find 8's and their excessive low end a little useless. I like what others do with them though, but for the love of god, if you plan on playing nothing but breakdowns on an a baritone 6 and tune it down lol

Anon17 01-23-2013 10:57 AM

If you're having a high A/Ab/G string then a 25.5" scale is probably the better idea. At some point I want to get a 25.5" 8 string to tune to drop G (with a high G), although with O4P strings a 25.5" can handle drop A/B standard with a high A string.

Krauser 01-23-2013 12:11 PM

I'd just pick up a 7 string and down tune it for the occasional times when you would want to play an 8 string song. It's not that I have anything against 8 strings, it's just that, like others have said, an 8 string is a totally different beast and, to me at least, feels like a much further jump from a 7 string than a 7 string does from a 6. It's almost an entirely new way to approach playing whereas a 7 string feels, to me at least, like a regular 6 string with an added low B. I know that sounds ridiculous, as an 8 string is just a 7 with an added low F#, but it comes off feeling as if it is a whole new experience. Perhaps it's just that the lowest 8th string is so low, it's hard for me to utilize it traditionally for metal and such, but I end up rethinking how to go about writing songs (not focusing on utilizing the lowest string's tuning as the root, for example, or re-learning not to chug on the lowest string for rhythmic affect, which is quite disappointing on the lowest F# without proper amp setup in my opinion).

That may be a good thing though. It helps spurn new writing ideas and originality. That said, if you're just trying to play songs and enjoy a traditional experience, go for a 7.

thebestjoe 01-23-2013 03:55 PM

I'd go 7 first. It took a couple of months to get the transition down with a 6 to 7, skipping right to 8 doesn't seem like a good idea, and like you said, you don't even want the 8th string right now. I've had my 8 string about 7 months now with the idea that it'd be great for experimenting things, but I never even touch the 8th string when I play it.

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