#1
Hey guys, after a bit of advice!

My band is looking to tune down to Drop G# and we're currently in Drop A# using 6 strings with 7 string gauge strings to accomodate.

My initial idea was to look at buying an EC-401b (ESP LTD 6 String Baritone 27") for this but someone suggested the idea of a 7 string, but the whole idea of 7 strings really confuses me.

How does the extra string help tune that low as opposed to a 6 with the same neck length, and even so, when we cover songs that are played by 6 strings, do we not play a certain string? Yes, utterly confused.

Help?
#2
Quote by Drop C Monster
Hey guys, after a bit of advice!

My band is looking to tune down to Drop G# and we're currently in Drop A# using 6 strings with 7 string gauge strings to accomodate.

My initial idea was to look at buying an EC-401b (ESP LTD 6 String Baritone 27") for this but someone suggested the idea of a 7 string, but the whole idea of 7 strings really confuses me.

How does the extra string help tune that low as opposed to a 6 with the same neck length, and even so, when we cover songs that are played by 6 strings, do we not play a certain string? Yes, utterly confused.

Help?


that bolded part tells me you know something about 7 string guitars.

but a 7 string guitar is just like a 6 string guitar with one extra string tuned a 2.5 steps lower than the lowest tuned string on a 6 string. in order to tune that low the 7 string uses a thicker string gauge. you'd still have to slack tune the 7 sting guitar though.

to play songs on the 7 string would mean you'd have to rearrange how you play songs on the instrument. this would entail changing strings and frets of where you play notes. mind you this wouldn't be drastically different, the majority of the song would look very similar on how you play from slack tuned 6 string to slack tuned 7 string.

if you wanted to use a 7 string guitar for G# then the best way to do it would probably be to slack tune the whole guitar a half step and then drop the lowest string one step further. creating a kinda 'drop D' tuning arrangement for 7 string.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Jan 25, 2014,
#3
A 7-string guitar is just that, a guitar with 7 strings. They're most often tuned to B standard, BEADGbe, but could be tuned however you like. So:

Drop A# is tuned A♯-F-A♯-D♯-G-C or Bb-F-Bb-Eb-G-C, while

Drop G# is tuned G♯-D♯-G♯-C♯-F-A♯ / Ab-Eb-Ab-Db-F-Bb, and

7-String B-standard tuning is B-E-A-D-F♯-B-E.

So to go to Drop G#, from standard 7 string tuning, you'd drop the lowest B down 3 semitones, and every other string by 1 semitone AND you have an extra high string to play with for chords or melodies or leads.

Personally, if you're going that low, I think a 7 would work better for you than tuning down with stupidly heavy strings, or buying a baritone.
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#4
7 string would be my choice, the transition isn't super difficult either (at least it wasn't for me), and as mentioned before, tuning down half a step on a 7, rather than a crap ton on a 6 string, is definitely the smarter choice.
Also, the good man above me mistakenly said the standard for a 7 is B-E-A-D-F#-B-E, when in actuality it is B-E-A-D-G-B-E. I'm sure he meant the latter though.
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#5
I think neck length is the key factor here, and the main question is if you need/want the additional high string (since you're looking for a particular low tuning) - if you're primarily looking for the lower range and don't mind losing quite a bit of high range then I'd say just go for the baritone, as a 7-string does take time getting used to, and getting a 7 if you're not going to make any use of the top strings is kind of pointless (despite the number of bands that actually do that...). Depends on what kind of sound you're after and if you're actually interested in playing a 7-string, it's a great and really powerful tool, but it has its disadvantages, especially if you have never played one.

Btw, I'm not sure but as far as I know baritones are tuned to B or A by default (might depend on the company, e.g. Schecter does that), so having to tune half an octave down shouldn't an issue.
Last edited by TheLiberation at Jan 25, 2014,
#6
Quote by JordanFlayer

Also, the good man above me mistakenly said the standard for a 7 is B-E-A-D-F#-B-E, when in actuality it is B-E-A-D-G-B-E. I'm sure he meant the latter though.


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Caution:
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

Current Rig:
2006 PRS CE-24
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Voltage S212 w/ V30's
Strymon Timeline
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TC Electronics Corona & Hall of Fame
#7
Buy one of the Ibanez GIO 28.5" basses, use light bass strings, and tune up.
#8
Just got an agile baritone. love it. Was given as a gift. was on the fence between a 7 and a baritone. there are a lot of bands that play 6 strings tuned down low, many dont even use extended range/baritone guitars. You gottta set it up right, sometimes filing the nut for larger gauge strings to make the lower tunings possible, but it all depends on the sound your going for.

I'm getting older and one day,still cant wrap my head around it, i might go country or something where baritone guitars have a place so it seemed like a flexible option without the learning curve to me.
Still thinking I might want an 8 string though. Cant get enough options in my book.

I know my comments were no help at all.
#10
Quote by pushingthrough
I'm getting older and one day,still cant wrap my head around it, i might go country or something where baritone guitars have a place so it seemed like a flexible option without the learning curve to me.


Country uses a different kind of baritone, usually a Dano Longhorn or Fender Bass VI tuned B-B. It’s not sound you’ll get out of an Agile. And it’s not something that’s been used much in country music in the last fifty years. Tic-tac bass went out of style along with upright acoustic basses.
#11
Quote by Drop C Monster
Hey guys, after a bit of advice!

My band is looking to tune down to Drop G# and we're currently in Drop A# using 6 strings with 7 string gauge strings to accomodate.

My initial idea was to look at buying an EC-401b (ESP LTD 6 String Baritone 27") for this but someone suggested the idea of a 7 string, but the whole idea of 7 strings really confuses me.

How does the extra string help tune that low as opposed to a 6 with the same neck length, and even so, when we cover songs that are played by 6 strings, do we not play a certain string? Yes, utterly confused.

Help?


You are exactly right, and it makes me happy to see that.

The extra string does absolutely nothing for you. For added tension while tuning down lower, it is all about the scale length. If you play and arrange songs for 6 strings, get a baritone 6 string. The only other thing you need to worry about is the cut of the nut. You may need to widen the nut slot on the lowest string to accommodate if you're going to get really heavy strings (I'd recommend starting out with a .066 for the low G#, then seeing how that feels and go up or down from there).
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