Are 7 and 8 string guitars like 5 and 6 string basses?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Kwesi, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. What I mean is, is the adjustment about the same or are they entirely different beasts? I'm not much of a guitarist but it seems to me that adding strings could make things a lot harder considering how chord oriented guitar is vs bass being primarily one note at a time. It's just a guess but I'd imagine that being proficient on 7 and 8 string guitars would take a bit more work that moving up the string count on a bass.

    Anyone have any first hand experience they'd like to share? I'd love to get a 7 or 8 but I probably won't right now, haha.
  2. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Yamaha & Grosbeak. I’m Marc!

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    7-strings are similar, in that they have a low B. 8-string guitars are not, as it has a F# below the B of a 7-string guitar.
  3. I didn't really mean just the notes. I wanted to know more about how folks adjusted from a 6 string guitar and how it compared to going from to 4 string bass to a 5 or a 6.
  4. I have a 7 string guitar and will likely order another another. It would seem that 7 and 8 strings appeal to jugga jugga dropped tune riffs. I more or less use a 7 the same way I use the low B on a bass, transposing and/or playing more notes from the same position. By the time I picked up my 7 string guitar, I had already been playing 6 string bass for several years and 7 string bass about a year or so.
  5. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    The big upside to a 7 string guitar isn't necessarily the additional lower notes, like on a 5 string bass. It's the ability to play your scales and arpeggios across the neck without moving up and down the neck as much as you might on a 6 string. You get the extra lower notes, but it's really only the rhythm guitarists that are concerned with the lower chording. Guitarists that solo are looking for economy of movement for the most part, and looking cool ;)
  6. Yeah, I really only want the lower notes, lol. Not that I wouldn't want to be able to use all those strings to their fullest potential but the primary reason I want them is so I can get that awesome djent tone and not give up any of the higher strings. Again, I'm a terrible guitarist so I've gotta start simple, haha.
  7. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Kwesi, I was in your shoes, just wanted a 7-string guitar to record some metal chuggin riffs... I got a B string from a music shop for like $2 and tuned it up BEADGC.

    May be a cheaper alternative? I was playing "standard" chords just the same, since the bass I was playing along with was a 6 string. I guess they were all tuned A standard.

    When the novelty wore off and I switched everything back, I was sure glad I didn't drop the $$$ on a 7-string guitar.
  8. The first 7 string movement was more or less killed by the fact that you could just restring. I'd guess the same thing will happen with 8 strings. Much like basses, improved construction and other techniques can make the low B sound a LOT better than something off the rack.
  9. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    If you had a 7 string in box, I mean literally a box of parts, would you be able to assemble it? solder the pickups to the pots and such?
  10. I've thought about it but I feel like if I want to actually learn how to play I should leave my current guitar tuned to standard so I don't confused the bejesus outta myself, haha. Plus I hate the idea of losing notes.

    I actually don't think it'll happen just because of how a lot of these guys play. Didn't Steve Vai pioneer the first 7 string movement? Most of the guy's music doesn't NEED 7 strings but this a lot newer progressive stuff really puts all those strings to work and regularly.

    Totally, you wouldn't happen to have a box of part lying around would ya, lol?
  11. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    I might :) Let me check and see if I actually do have all the bits.
  12. Rage1331

    Rage1331 Guest

    Dec 9, 2008
    Airdrie, Alberta
    I personally love the feel of a 7 string guitar. A 6 just feels too small in my hands and an 8 feels too big. Not that I'm even close to being decent at electric guitar, I just like to play metal riffs on it. I have tried various 6 stringers with a heavier gauge and a set-up, and for some obscene reason I can't get over the missing string. And I don't even solo.
  13. Steve Vai was one of the first to get the 7 string noticed, but that was a tiny blip on the radar compared to what Korn did. They were probably responsible for 10x the sales than Vai. This also kinda dumbed down the utility of a 7, IMO.

    I actually have a 7 string acoustic on order from KR guitars. I had been listening to a few harp guitarists and figured a 7th string would be a good compromise between a standard acoustic and a harp guitar. I've even found a 7 string archtop that I'm really considering.
  14. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Korn and Limp Bizkit pushed the 7-string Ibanez's in the early 2000's. While I love both bands (guilty pleasure guys, I was 13 at the time!) I'd think the band that kept the 7 string around in metal was Meshuggah.
  15. Rockman


    Mar 2, 2006
    While Meshuggah is awesome I think it is more accurate to say that Meshuggah has 10% of the sales of Korn and Limp Bizkit and Vai probably has 1%
  16. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'd agree with that. I couldnt believe how many people bought the Fieldy "K5" when they could have gotten a superior Soundgear model for the same price... same with the Paul Grey for that matter. Korn / Slipknot used to pull alotta weight.
  17. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Steve started the 'modern' 7 string movement. George Van Epps played a 7 string Gretsch in the 60's though - I think he was first. He tuned the low B to A though, so his bottom strings were AEA. Nice for comping.
  18. I just re-strung my Les Paul from B-standard with a Drop-A back to E-Standard with a Drop-D. It was really cool to mess with the lower stuff for a while but I'm not writing music in that tuning any more so I'd rather have that guitar available for the stuff I am writing.

    I didn't have a problem making the transition for my simple music, but some guitarists may, depending on the the material they are playing.
  19. Deacon 7

    Deacon 7 Guest

    Sep 30, 2013
    I had a seven string guitar but it is not like the seven string bass. I use the seven string bass because I can play with a acoustic guitarist in the dual role of being a bass player and a lead guitarist alternately. I tune it B,E,A,D,G,B,E which is not usual but you can get the same three note structures you got off the guitar without them carrying too much bass boom.

    It looks like an ego trip but it is a combination of getting the same guitar structure with the low b added to go subsonic.

    As for an 8 string Dunno.
  20. Update: Got the acoustic 7. Still paying off the archtop 7.