#1
Hello everybody!

I have noticed that many guitarists use different tunings for seven string guitars. I think that there is no real standard tuning. BEADGBE might be the most used one, but I don't think it classifies as a real standard, if nothing else, a seven string guitar is not considered standard anyway.

The thing that keeps many people from playing them is because you " can't " play all the chords in the same way. Some bar chords stay the same, but some don't.

So I came up with something. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that I'm a genius because of if and it HAS BEEN DONE before.

But tell me, what do you think of the tuning for a seven string guitar where the six strings are in standard and the fat string is a LOW E string, one octave lower than a guitar E ?

I think that this tuning would be really fun and useful for many reasons : Bar chords would be played in the exactly same shape as they would be played on a six string, you'd get a whole octave in the deep range which is really djent, in a bigger arrangement you could play both as a bassist and a guitarist, playing the funky octave thing would be super easy and so on...

This would probably require a somewhat longer scale and/or fanned frets, but it's more than possible.

Did you ever try this ? If not, would / will you try it?

Discuss.
#2
Animals as Leaders and Deftones both do this with 8 strings already. (EBEADGBe)

I disagree with there being no "standard" tuning. BEADGBe is standard. You can play power chords on the lowest 3 strings this way. It just makes sense. With the exception of the G to B spacing, every string on a guitar is five half steps spacing from the one next to it. You can still do barre chords, too. When you barre the low B it's the octave of what's played on the A. Or if the root is on the A you just leave the B out, because the chord gets too muddy with that low range.

Also, a tuning like you said doesn't require a long scale, per se, just a very high gauge string. Like an 80 or 90.

Something tells me you either have never played a 7 string or you are just starting.

Obviously you are free to do what you want, but I feel that saying there is no standard tuning is incorrect.
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Last edited by TheStig1214 at May 8, 2014,
#4
I'd like to try this some time, but I think that would require a longer scale in addition to a fat string, and maybe even some more customisation (e.g. the nut, and also I can barely fit a .064 string through the tuner, so it might even require changing that). I can imagine some awesome possibilities for that, though. (A more regular, moderate track on six strings, and then WTFBOOM brain-exploding octave-down riff at the end. Oh yes.)

When talking chords, I wonder why BEADF#BE and variations aren't more popular - works great for more like a "baritone" kind of chords, I'm going to experiment more with it soon.

Personally I'm a fan of drop A though, just leaves me standard tuning on the six strings, and the drop actually also opens plenty of cool chord possibilities - you can expand ordinary "open" A chords by the two bottom strings resulting in a huge, massive chord, and it's entirely moveable with barre chords. And easy jumping with power chords is fun as well. I decided for drop A fairly early, and in fact with chords rather than "more brvtvlz" in mind.
Last edited by TheLiberation at May 8, 2014,
#5
I myself have recently been playing around with ADADGAD on mine. You get a nice mix of the heaviness and some interesting open harmony variations.

Also, I've read that Devin Townsend has tuned his 7 strings to GCGCGCD to help keep with the whole open C tuning vibe that he uses a lot on his 6 strings (pre DTP of course).
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#6
Quote by TheStig1214
Animals as Leaders and Deftones both do this with 8 strings already. (EBEADGBe)

I disagree with there being no "standard" tuning. BEADGBe is standard. You can play power chords on the lowest 3 strings this way. It just makes sense. With the exception of the G to B spacing, every string on a guitar is five half steps spacing from the one next to it. You can still do barre chords, too. When you barre the low B it's the octave of what's played on the A. Or if the root is on the A you just leave the B out, because the chord gets too muddy with that low range.

Also, a tuning like you said doesn't require a long scale, per se, just a very high gauge string. Like an 80 or 90.

Something tells me you either have never played a 7 string or you are just starting.

Obviously you are free to do what you want, but I feel that saying there is no standard tuning is incorrect.

Not all bands who have a 7 string use the BEADGBe tuning. I get the shape, it's tuned in fourths ( except the G-B irregularity ) but I don't consider it really " standard ", even though that's the name for it.

Also, you can do one type of the barre chords, but there are more than one. If you do the shape which requires you to put one of your fingers on the B string, it gets irregular / you can't play the low B so it's not really barre in that particular sense. Like you said, you have to leave the B out.

But I you are right, it doesn't really need a longer scale. Though for my preference as a bass player, I'd like a somewhat longer scale. 28-30 inch would fit me better.

And yes, you're right, I didn't really play a 7 string. Just tried one once, and I once tuned a guitar to BEADGC which is somewhat similar. But I ain't really a guitar player.

Thanks for your information , I find it really helpful.
#7
As for whether or not it technically qualifies as 'standard,' I would argue that 6 string players aren't anymore prone to using E standard, and it is still standard. I don't think standard really means 'this tuning is used the majority of the time,' so much as 'this is the tuning that you typically teach beginners with and write standard notation in.' If it just meant it was used the majority of the time there wouldn't be a standard at all.

Your reason that people don't use 7 strings is also pretty incorrect. Literally all of the usual chord shapes work the same as long as you can ignore the bottom string (which takes all of a few minutes to get used to doing). Hell, you can even reach your index finger a string further and make an inversion by reaching the 5th on the B string (or the E string for barre chords based on the A string).

As for your idea for a tuning, I think you were trying to describe something like EBEADGbe? At that point I would suggest using 8 string drop E, but sure, you can do what you want. Other fun tunings I've experimented with are ADADGBE (epic power chords and fun new barre chord possibilities) and BEADF#BE (putting your lower 6 strings in the usual 6 string intervals so that it's more like you have an extra high string instead of an extra low string, which adds a 4th to the top of your typical E string barre chords, or an extra octave note at the top of typical A string barre chords. Also of course a drop tuning variate of that, AEADF#BE. And of course lower or higher variants of those examples, or the use of a capo.
#8
Quote by realsmoky
Not all bands who have a 7 string use the BEADGBe tuning. I get the shape, it's tuned in fourths ( except the G-B irregularity ) but I don't consider it really " standard ", even though that's the name for it.

Also, you can do one type of the barre chords, but there are more than one. If you do the shape which requires you to put one of your fingers on the B string, it gets irregular / you can't play the low B so it's not really barre in that particular sense. Like you said, you have to leave the B out.

But I you are right, it doesn't really need a longer scale. Though for my preference as a bass player, I'd like a somewhat longer scale. 28-30 inch would fit me better.

And yes, you're right, I didn't really play a 7 string. Just tried one once, and I once tuned a guitar to BEADGC which is somewhat similar. But I ain't really a guitar player.

Thanks for your information , I find it really helpful.


I also don't personaly think the dropped E would be condusive to scale runs either. You'd be skipping a few notes and just hitting the octaves of what you play on the 6th string.

I never take my 7 string out of standard. I write in standard and a lot of 7 string playing bands I like play in standard. Or in the case of Devin Townsend (who plays open B) I just transcribe.

I realize a lot of bands that play 7 string play drop A and other strange tunings (like TesseracT.. I don't even wanna touch that.....) but as previously mentioned, it's just the most natural step down from 6 string standard tuning.
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#9
Well I do see B standard on 7-strings quite a lot, e.g. John Petrucci uses B standard on 7-string in the overwhelming majority of the songs. But I do also see other tunings quite often, and probably more often than on 6-string.

Personally I went for drop A for the chord possibilities, as I found B standard to be in fact quite impractical in that department (a chord rooted on the 7th string with more than 4 strings = weird dissonances, and that means the chords will be very bassy and inaudible mostly), and if I'm going to mainly use the 7th string for smaller chords or single-note riffs anyway, then the drop is even more handy. I'll probably stick to standard tunings (E or lower) on 6-string though, since I do like movable barre chords (and large 5/6/7-string chords in general) for clean.

Open tunings are another thing I'd like to try out (especially open A minor), although that requires a whole lot of learning to get used to, and since I still have some other stuff to figure out, I'm going to leave that for later.
Last edited by TheLiberation at May 8, 2014,