#1
I'm currently scoping out some 7 strings and I've seem to hit a crossroad. Since I'm not near a guitar center to try one out for myself, I need someone to answer and few questions for me. (It'll be another 8-9 months before I can visit a GC)

I've noticed that most 7 strings are extended scale, now to some people this is a good thing. Simply due to the fact that the longer the scale... the tighter the low end is. For me, however, it's a handicap since I have small hands.

Most of the 7 strings I've seen have an extended scale of 26.5 to 27.5. On my 25 1/2 6 string, I can stretch from the 12th fret to the 18th, maybe a 19th if I'm sitting down. So I really don't think that I'd be able to play a 7 string comfortably with that sort of extended scale. Maybe a 26" but I've never seen one of those.

I've seen a couple of 7 strings with a 25.5 scale, and Epiphone makes the Matt Heafy LP 7 string with a 24.75 scale. That just sounds like it'd be a mud fest.

Due to my small hands, would the Schecter Hellraiser 7 strings with a 26.5 scale, be difficult for me to play? If so, if I were to come across a 7 string with a 25.5 scale, would it be THAT much of a tone/clarity loss? I'd be keeping it in Standard B, no Drop tuning the Low B. I MIGHT wanna drop the whole thing down a half step but if tone and clarity is an issue, Standard B will suffice.

If my string preference would help the question, I usually play 11-48 in Eb Standard, and 11-54 in Drop Db (11,14,18 on the highs) with my Floyds Action raised almost to it's limit.
#2
Quote by Sir Stoney
Most of the 7 strings I've seen have an extended scale of 26.5 to 27.5. On my 25 1/2 6 string, I can stretch from the 12th fret to the 18th, maybe a 19th if I'm sitting down. So I really don't think that I'd be able to play a 7 string comfortably with that sort of extended scale. Maybe a 26" but I've never seen one of those.


Why do you need to stretch six or seven frets? Are you inventing new jazz chords or something? If you’re shredding like that you should be tapping anydamnway.
#3
I think you can reach a lot further than you'd expect by doing daily finger stretches.

But if you really want a 25.5" scale length 7 string, try to get a used Ibanez RG7620 or RG7621. Ibanez makes a number of 7 strings at that scale length, but that's the one I'd be trying to get.

As far as tone goes, I don't like 25.5 7 strings, that B is a bit flubby. But some people don't notice it or don't mind.
#4
Quote by jpnyc
Why do you need to stretch six or seven frets? Are you inventing new jazz chords or something? If you’re shredding like that you should be tapping anydamnway.


It's only 6 or 7 frets at the 12th, but I understand that it does seem rash. I don't actually need to stretch that far. I just seem to come up with riffs that do have pain in the ass stretches. There's also quite a bit of leads that I would like to play, but I can't stretch far enough.

It's mainly my anxiety telling me that the extra inch on a fretboard is gonna be completely different and hinder my playing, especially standing up. I'm not wanting to do godly stretches or anything since I can't do them in the first place, but I do want the guitar to play comfortably. I also can't try one for another 8 months so I just wanna at least have an idea of how it's gonna be compared to a 25.5 scale before I get to play one. If it helps, my profile pic on here is me playing a 24.75 scale. (It probably won't help at all, but it's worth a shot I guess"
#5
Quote by W4RP1G
I think you can reach a lot further than you'd expect by doing daily finger stretches.

But if you really want a 25.5" scale length 7 string, try to get a used Ibanez RG7620 or RG7621. Ibanez makes a number of 7 strings at that scale length, but that's the one I'd be trying to get.

As far as tone goes, I don't like 25.5 7 strings, that B is a bit flubby. But some people don't notice it or don't mind.


Alright I'll give them a look. Also, I do have to admit, if my hands were any smaller they would be definitely be chick hands. I'll still start practicing some stretching exercises though.
#6
Quote by Sir Stoney
If it helps, my profile pic on here is me playing a 24.75 scale. (It probably won't help at all, but it's worth a shot I guess"


Your hands aren’t small. You aren’t Buckethead, but you don’t need Daisy Rock guitars, either. Get a bass and just play it until you get used to it. Scale kind of becomes irrelevant after playing bass for a while.
#7
i don't really know how far down you want (assuming B as that seems most common).

i have a Gibson SG that i play in C#std/Drop B, i like it a little loose with a lower tuning so i just use .12's (i use 11's on everything else).

i have a feeling that some people would change their mind once they have played one like mine. getting it set up right is half the battle.
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#8
A lot of Ibanez 7s are 25.5". Their new Iron Labels in particular (maybe only on S models though, not sure).

The scale length doesn't make that much of a different to tension in the grand scale of things. It is not a deal breaker. Just going up a gauge makes a bigger difference. Your gauge determines your tension (clarity). It's way more important than getting a huge scale.

Nothing wrong with a low B or A on a 24.75" scale. Tons of bands do it all the time. Just use strings thick enough to compensate. That's it.
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#9
I have a Schecter Demon 7 myself which is also 26,5", and I'm absolutely sure I can also say I have small hands, and it's really not that much of an issue, just takes getting used to a bit. On lower frets this is really just a matter of getting used to and a bit of practice, and I find longer scale to be actually a little helpful on higher frets, it makes it easier to hold very high chords.

Also, I play in drop A and there are zero muddiness issues. Things get weird around F# or so.
#11
I personally prefer 25.5" scale 7s.
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#12
I have trouble finding 7-strings which aren't 25.5" scale. It's really only Schecter who make most of their 7s a longer scale length, and ESP and Ibanez offer them in longer scales but most of them are 25.5".

As for 24.75" scale, it's not an issue. You can have a 24" scale 7-string and it sounds just fine. You just can't expect to use the same pickups, woods, construction, strings and tuning and expect it to sound exactly the same. It's very easy to compensate for a change in scale length by changing other things.
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#13
Question: How flubby-sounding do you want your low B to be? I personally would go with a 26.5 inch scale. But that's just me. I think you would do just fine with that, TS, despite your small hands.
#14
Quote by MrFlibble
I have trouble finding 7-strings which aren't 25.5" scale. It's really only Schecter who make most of their 7s a longer scale length, and ESP and Ibanez offer them in longer scales but most of them are 25.5".

As for 24.75" scale, it's not an issue. You can have a 24" scale 7-string and it sounds just fine. You just can't expect to use the same pickups, woods, construction, strings and tuning and expect it to sound exactly the same. It's very easy to compensate for a change in scale length by changing other things.

Actually, it gets hard to intonate strings correctly below about 25.5" when you get down that low. Even if you keep tension the same, the thicker strings required require more room to intonate than most bridges provide.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#15
Quote by oneblackened
Actually, it gets hard to intonate strings correctly below about 25.5" when you get down that low. Even if you keep tension the same, the thicker strings required require more room to intonate than most bridges provide.

Also, some people (like myself) prefer more punch on our lower strings than short scales tend to provide.
#16
Quote by MrFlibble
I have trouble finding 7-strings which aren't 25.5" scale. It's really only Schecter who make most of their 7s a longer scale length, and ESP and Ibanez offer them in longer scales but most of them are 25.5".


Rondo has a bunch of 7's, about evenly divided between 25.5" and 27", http://www.rondomusic.com/7string.html, with one sporting *both* scales:

http://www.rondomusic.com/PENDPRO72527EBCPNAT.HTML
#17
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Question: How flubby-sounding do you want your low B to be? I personally would go with a 26.5 inch scale. But that's just me. I think you would do just fine with that, TS, despite your small hands.


I'm not wanting it flubby, and I've kinda came to a realization that 1 inch of a longer fretboard will be hardly noticeable
#19
Quote by oneblackened
Actually, it gets hard to intonate strings correctly below about 25.5" when you get down that low. Even if you keep tension the same, the thicker strings required require more room to intonate than most bridges provide.
If by "most bridges" you mean "ABR-1 bridges and only ABR-1 bridges", you'd be right. If by "most bridges" you mean "the wide selection of bridges available to use on all styles of guitar", you're very wrong. You can tune a Jaguar or Mustang—24" scale—down to Bb without issue. From A you are at the sort of 'breaking point', and certainly you won't get the intonation right if you're tuning to G or lower.

24.75" scale for a 7-string tuned to B Standard with regular strings and a Nashville bridge intonates perfectly. It's been done by Epiphone many, many times (and Gibson, less often) and doesn't have any issues. You can even add a compensated nut to give yourself extra breathing room.

... Just don't use really high action, then you're ****ed.
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#20
Quote by MrFlibble
If by "most bridges" you mean "ABR-1 bridges and only ABR-1 bridges", you'd be right. If by "most bridges" you mean "the wide selection of bridges available to use on all styles of guitar", you're very wrong. You can tune a Jaguar or Mustang—24" scale—down to Bb without issue. From A you are at the sort of 'breaking point', and certainly you won't get the intonation right if you're tuning to G or lower.

24.75" scale for a 7-string tuned to B Standard with regular strings and a Nashville bridge intonates perfectly. It's been done by Epiphone many, many times (and Gibson, less often) and doesn't have any issues. You can even add a compensated nut to give yourself extra breathing room.

... Just don't use really high action, then you're ****ed.

And why bother? Just get a longer scale and deal less with "flubby" sounds.

There's a damn reason, after all, that 8-string guitars often have a scale between 28inches and 30inches.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Mar 28, 2014,
#21
Because someone isn't comfortable playing on a scale length which is longer? "Flubby sounds" isn't an issue either, as I said before, since you can easily compensate with different string construction or gauges, different electronics, woods, etc.

You might as well ask why anybody 'bothers' to play with light strings, or why someone would want a thick, round neck instead of a thin, flat one. It's purely personal preference, and whatever is most comfortable in your hands is what you're going to play best with.
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#22
Quote by MrFlibble
"Flubby sounds" isn't an issue either, as I said before, since you can easily compensate with different string construction or gauges, different electronics, woods, etc.

Except you can't. You really can't take a downtuned string that sounds flubby and fix that. Yes, thicker gauges and different string construction help, in a small way. Electronics and woods do NOT.

You still lose a LOT of punch though, even with thicker gauges, if your guitar scale isn't long enough.
#23
The only reason you think you can't is, I am willing to bet, because you've never tried.

Actually try it. It works fine.
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#24
Quote by MrFlibble
The only reason you think you can't is, I am willing to bet, because you've never tried.

Actually try it. It works fine.

I have tried it. It doesn't work.

There's always a certain low tuning where it sounds flubby.
#25
25.5 sevenstring with set of 10-60 tuned to B standard will have same tension wise as 26,5/27 in half step. End of story. Scale is only for tension. U can tune Adgcea les paul.
#27
Quote by W4RP1G
Glad to hear that! Check out this video for some stretches that help a lot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSrfB7JIzxY


Will definitely try this shit out man. Thanks to everyone for helping me out.

Another thing, if I were to get a 26.5" scale 7 string... Would it be alright if I tuned it to Bb Standard? I don't want it to be floppy like a dong, ya know?
#28
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I have tried it. It doesn't work.

There's always a certain low tuning where it sounds flubby.
I'm not going to bother rewriting it, as my answer to this can already be found in my first two posts. Go re-read.
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#29
Quote by MrFlibble
I'm not going to bother rewriting it, as my answer to this can already be found in my first two posts. Go re-read.

Look, man. I've experimented enough to know what you're saying isn't true.

Let's just agree to disagree.
#30
No, because I've set up and played enough odd-scale 7-strings to know that you're wrong.
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#32
It's not "pointless" if it means I'll have one less person coming to me with some ridiculous 28"+ neck, complaining that it's hurting their hands. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to tell people "no, I will not set up the guitar, there is no point, your hands are just too damn small for the absurd guitar you've bought."

If people would learn that A) every guitar can do every thing and B) to buy guitars based on comfort and ease of play rather than what some dick on a forum told them they 'had' to have to play any given music, my day work would be much, much easier.
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#33
Quote by MrFlibble
"no, I will not set up the guitar, there is no point, your hands are just too damn small for the absurd guitar you've bought.".


This is equally false though; these people need to correct their technique before they try anything else; I've seen tiny people playing 35" scale basses with no trouble because they take good care of their hands.
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#34
When someone comes in with such a huge mismatch of hand size and scale length that a Ebm barre chord is a tough stretch, you know it's not something technique is going to fix.

Couple of months ago I had this kid, couldn't be more than 5'5", trying to play Purple Rain—with that big Fsus2 (I think?) 1st-5th stretch—on a 28.62" baritone. He was practically breaking his wrist just to get halfway. Technique isn't going to make his fingers grow an extra inch and a half.

Scale length is vital to your playing ability, and shouldn't be chosen based on sound or what other people in the same genre use.
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#35
Quote by MrFlibble
When someone comes in with such a huge mismatch of hand size and scale length that a Ebm barre chord is a tough stretch, you know it's not something technique is going to fix.

Couple of months ago I had this kid, couldn't be more than 5'5", trying to play Purple Rain—with that big Fsus2 (I think?) 1st-5th stretch—on a 28.62" baritone. He was practically breaking his wrist just to get halfway. Technique isn't going to make his fingers grow an extra inch and a half.

Scale length is vital to your playing ability, and shouldn't be chosen based on sound or what other people in the same genre use.


I don't know man, I've seen some tiny people play some insanely stretchy stuff: material I can't play and I'm a big dude.

The right kind of practice and a whole lot of patience, almost anyone with a healthy body can play pretty extreme stretches.
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#36
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
This is equally false though; these people need to correct their technique before they try anything else; I've seen tiny people playing 35" scale basses with no trouble because they take good care of their hands.


What are you saying? That the size of your talent can make up for the size of your hands?

#37
Quote by MrFlibble
When someone comes in with such a huge mismatch of hand size and scale length that a Ebm barre chord is a tough stretch, you know it's not something technique is going to fix.

[snip]

Scale length is vital to your playing ability, and shouldn't be chosen based on sound or what other people in the same genre use.

Of course this is true.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a guitar with a longer scale if you're intending to play in certain tuning. If you're going to, for instance, play an 8 string guitar in typical 8 string tuning. It sure as hell better be long enough so that the low F string sounds good. It's one thing if people OVERestimate the scale they need; but it's equally unacceptable when they UNDERestimate it.

Quote by MrFlibble
It's not "pointless" if it means I'll have one less person coming to me with some ridiculous 28"+ neck, complaining that it's hurting their hands. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to tell people "no, I will not set up the guitar, there is no point, your hands are just too damn small for the absurd guitar you've bought."

If people would learn that A) every guitar can do every thing and

But this is just not true. Try playing an 8 string guitar that doesn't have the right scale. (Generally 27.5 to 30 inches gives a good tone.) I tried it once. It sounded like ass.

B) to buy guitars based on comfort and ease of play rather than what some dick on a forum told them they 'had' to have to play any given music, my day work would be much, much easier.

Poor you. I feel so bad for you.


Not really.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Mar 29, 2014,
#38
Being able to play something with what someone else may not consider the most desirable tone is significantly better than not being able to play it at all, or playing it poorly.

Tone will always be subjective. Your ability to play what you're trying to play is not. "Sounding like ass" does not stack up to "can actually get the job done".
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