Hey everyone,

Been a while since I've been around these parts but I've got a question I could use some help with. My folks are helping me pick up a new guitar for graduation, and I'm trying to decide if I want to stick with 6 strings, move to 7, or even move up to 8.

The difficulty I'm having in deciding is that 6 string is most comfortable and there's still so much for me to learn about playing on it; the 7 string seems like a nice middle ground, and considering I like to play a lot of different music, it'd be the most versatile; the 8 string seems like high risk high reward, where it has the most versatility but if I can't make use of the 8th string, then it's just doesn't seem worth it.

I play a lot of jazz and prog/metal, so I think I'm leaning most heavily towards a 7 or 8 string because it allows me the ability to play low end lines needed by metal without needing to detune. I guess the questions I have for 7 or 8 string owners is:

What problems did you find when you first picked up your new amount of strings?
Did they go away? What problems persist?
Have you found the experience fulfilling/satisfying?

Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate it.

P.S. If you're curious, I'm graduating with a BM in Jazz Guitar Performance, and I'm going to be buying a strandberg guitar.
For me it just took a little getting used to when I got my first 7 string. Once you get accustomed to adding the extra string into your chords and scale shapes it's a piece of cake. I have limited experience with 8 strings but they're much the same. Like everything on guitar, it just takes practice.

Going to extended range guitars has been very rewarding for me. Like you said, I love having the low register for teh br00tz. It simply, ahem, *extends* the possibilities of the instrument.
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7 String Legion
If I were buying a Strandberg today, it would probably be a multiscale (fan fret)  *headless* 7 or 8.   

Playing issues aside, there's no reason to put up with the added weight issues of extra neck width, headstock wood and tuners. 
You'll usually find that the body is smaller as well. Strandberg does a great job of building an ER guitar that's near perfect for seated playing. 

Other than that, moving from a 6 to a 7 takes a bit of getting used to. The better your playing technique, the more likely it is that you'll move easily to the extended range. Fan fret guitars may actually be easier to play than straight frets, particularly with longer scales.