#1
I haven't posted here in forever, but I'm getting a 7 string guitar really soon, it's an Ibanez. I've been practicing on a regular 6 string for a while, and I'd say I'm intermediate to almost advanced in terms of playing level.

I've been wanting a 7 string for a while, because I've played a lot of prog metal on bass, and have a hard time transferring that to a regular guitar and decided I need a 7 for extended range (and also because my bro wants his guitar back). Does anyone have tips or helpful advice for transitioning?

My worst fear is the nightmare that is muting a 7 string, and how I'd need to press down more strings if I'm gonna play chords.
Last edited by sourcegamer101 at Sep 29, 2015,
#3
It'll feel weird for about 10 minutes, and it'll feel like you've never played guitar before, but after that you should feel completely at home.
#4
I "transitioned" from a 6 to 8 string at the start of the year. The quotes are because I still haven't gotten used to the 8 string because it's a sea of strings so I sometimes still get confused, especially when I'm referring to videos, tabs, etc of a 6 or 7 string.

A 7 string on the other hand would be fairly easy to transition to. Muting an extended range guitar is not as hard as you'd think. Even with 8 strings, I can still play power chords and mute out all other strings not being played.

You don't need to press down all the strings if you want to play chords. You either omit them, or include them if they're useful or it is convenient to. For example, a 6-string barre can easily be adapted to become a 7-string barre since the note will be a fifth of the root note in the chord. Sure, it'll sound a little different because your bass is no longer the root note (i.e you're playing an inversion), but it won't sound bad.

For open chords, you can just avoid the 7th string until you've advanced more and are ready to take advantage of the additional string in your voicing choices.
#5
Agreed on the 8 string thing Triface said. it IS a different instrument, and while an 8 is almost a compositional lute-like tool rather than an improvising instrument, the 7 is somewhere inbetween, and will be difficult to smoothly incorporate into your 6-s playing without considerable practice. What you'll probably find is that you become more... composition focused rather than just playing the same riffs a 4th down.
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#6
for me going from 6 to 7 didn't take too long but it did throw my so called "tone center" off a bit. the lowest note possible on the 6 was now even lower on the 7. same thing with the 8 and which i find that you just can't mash deathmetal power chords that well, the sound turns to mush. assuming you play with distortion and are into deathmetal like me. playing clean and jazzy is a bit easier.

one thing is for certain though an erg is super for transposing. if you are jamming with someone who's in 440, check! -you got that. tuned down to D? check again, tuned down to C?, no problem etc.. even jamming with someone who drops down in half steps isn't an issue. open tunings too. if you have a 7 or an 8 you can certainly get something going.

another thing that i noticed is that other players won't want to pick up your guitar during a jam. too many confusing strings! or they'll be interested for like 30 seconds and then hand it back.

then there's the bass player who may not like you on their patch...
Last edited by ad_works at Sep 30, 2015,
#7
Quote by ad_works
same thing with the 8 and which i find that you just can't mash deathmetal power chords that well, the sound turns to mush.


Considering low frequencies is important. Most guitar speakers will start to cut out real quickly at around 110 Hz, which is the 5th string A. So when you are going almost an octave lower, you lose a lot of the low frequencies (especially the fundamental). Also a thicker string produces more low frequencies, and so it becomes very easy to overwhelm your speakers with a ton of low frequencies that they can't adequately deal with.

Cutting lows becomes important (unless you are playing any sort of doom including stoner or sludge metal), particularly for modern rock, post grunge, metalcore, etc. Reevaluating your choice of speaker cabinet is also something to consider, but that is more important for playing live and recording. You'll be find playing at home with whatever.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#8
Quote by theogonia777
Considering low frequencies is important. Most guitar speakers will start to cut out real quickly at around 110 Hz, which is the 5th string A. So when you are going almost an octave lower, you lose a lot of the low frequencies (especially the fundamental). Also a thicker string produces more low frequencies, and so it becomes very easy to overwhelm your speakers with a ton of low frequencies that they can't adequately deal with.

Cutting lows becomes important (unless you are playing any sort of doom including stoner or sludge metal), particularly for modern rock, post grunge, metalcore, etc. Reevaluating your choice of speaker cabinet is also something to consider, but that is more important for playing live and recording. You'll be find playing at home with whatever.


very true. not a lot of amps can handle the lower end of an erg down tuned a whole step. they just seem to poot out. i'm pretty sorted out when it comes to a 7 but my 8 string is herculean effort when it comes to the fact that i refuse to tune to anything other then one whole step down so balancing string gauge, scale length, and playability is a headache. currently i have an ibanez with a 27" scale but have been looking for a used agile 828 (28" scale)
Last edited by ad_works at Oct 1, 2015,
#10
I had similar fears when I decided to finally buy a 7-strings, especially because when I tried various 7-string guitars in shops, I always felt ill at ease. But in fact things went rather smoothly. I was working on a couple of Dream Theater songs at the time, and simply decided to *not* touch any 6-strings for as long as necessary. So I re-learnt what I knew of those two songs on my JP7 and kept working that way.

It took mostly a week to feel at ease with the JP7, and then I could take any song I knew from before and play it fine (except for a mistake here and there, mostly due to distraction).

After that it took another week to be able to switch between 6- and 7-strings without feeling lost for a few minutes.

I think it would have taken me a bit longer if my 6- and 7-string guitars had had very different necks, but since they are similar (JP6 and JP7), the transition was almost painless.
Guitars: Music Man JP7 2009 (piezo) and JP6 2013, Fender Stratocaster US 1991
#11
Quote by maulin0820
I can't even imagine myself playing anything other than a standard 6-string!


Does that include standard 6 string renaissance lutes?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#13
Quote by theogonia777
Does that include standard 6 string renaissance lutes?


I guess so.
#14
I recently last year made the switch. Many people are surprised due to my young age that I am already on the path towards extended range guitars. Actually I am even more accurate and accustomed to a 7 string now due to the fact that I have gotten used to the increased scale length. To be honest though, even after being very comfortable on 7 strings they still have a different feel due to the neck size, you have to pay a little more attention to technique. The low chugga chugga is something very different from what you can do on a 6, I very much so enjoy it. As far as making the switch, it's something you do once and then from then on you can play 7's, it's worth it as far as I'm concerned. Ibanez, Schecter, and if you really wanna see cool guitars then Mayones, all have very nice 7 string options. As much as I love schecters and they are beautiful, the 7 string necks can be very thick and can make it hard to be consist and with shredding. Ibanez wizard necks are great. I hear Mayones are definitely extremely high quality. Mayones is more of a custom build brand and the only reason I don't have one yet is that they are very expensive. Also I picked up an SE 7 string the other day and it's neck was perfect.

So that's just some advice on picking one that you like.