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What bands play 7-string guitars?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BigWig Will, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Okay, show of hands what bands still play 7-string guitars?
    hmmm, as far as I know, the only band I can think of is Korn, and even then I don't know.
    Lets face it, 7-string guitars were a total novelty. Magazines and people started hailing as a new innovation, especially with all the new rap-core bands playing them. But....once these bands got a good amount of finances they jumped ship for much better quality 6 strings. Wes Borland, one of Ibanez's poster boys got himself a PRS, and 7-string guitars have vanished almost overnight from music store catalogues. I can imagine a lot of reasons for this, 1) A 7th string isn't very versatile for guitars, especially if its a low B. Aside from blues(which it was originally played for) and nu-metal, its kinda hard to find much use for it in conventional rock, gospel, jazz etc. I mean, my friend spend something like $800 on a Ibanez 7-string back in the day, he played it a couple of times and talked about how sweet it was, but a couple months later, the novelty wore off and he started complaining about how it got in the way. In addition, guitar amps aren't really suited to take the lower frequency, though I suppose this is a minor issue, the extra string would take a toll on the speakers of the amp. But I'm rambling.
    Basically what I was wondering about just this time, was, why do you think 7-strings faded off into obscurity while 5-,6-,7- ad infinitum string basses are still going strong?
    Personally I think it has to do with factors like the fact that low frequencies are the home of the bass, so an extra low string would open up a whole new barrel of monkeys for bottom-feeders to explore and also the extra string is useful for scales because you don't have to move your hand up and down the neck so much. Additionally, for those who want to go higher, the extra strings provide that as well. While guitars couldn't really make thinner strings, bass strings had room to spare.
    These are all my thoughts though, and I'd be interested in hearing what the other 5+ players at TB think about this?

  2. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I know Steve Vai still plays 7s regularly.

    and I think the multi-string bass thing a crock. Here's Anthony Jackson's stance:

    My feeling is: Why is four the standard and not six? As the lowest-pitched member of the guitar family, the instrument should have had six strings from the beginning. The only reason it had four was because Leo Fender was thinking in application terms of an upright bass, but he built it along guitar lines because that was his training. The logical conception for the bass guitar encompasses six strings. As regards the issue of "mastering the 4-string" before moving on to the six, consider that inasmuch as there is no point where one can be said to have "mastered" anything, to make this inane suggestion reveals the speakers to be idiots. As long as we remain seekers, never truly achieving our ultimate goals, we may as well start with the full basic blueprint and enjoy the expanded expressive possibilities of the extended range of the instrument. Of course, the undoubtedly famous-name superstars who utter this nonsense probably regard themselves as masters in their own right. So be it. For the rest of us, their attitude reveals them to be jealous, angry, and frustrated. Too damn bad.
  3. Jazz guitars use baritone tuning alot which a 7-string already. 7-string's aren't novelty its just that the guitar world hasn't progressed like the bass world were already into the 9 to whatever string range and with music used.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Steve Vai does still play his Ibanez Universe. It is a very distinct sounding instrument.

    I live mostly in the Jazz and Fusion world, and I have seen a good number of guitarists using a 7 string. It enables you to comp while playing bass lines(I know that's what we are for!).Anyways, it also allows you to stay in one position longer without moving too much. This is partially why I play a 6 string. It allows you to stay in a single postion longer, but also extends your upper and lower range for soloing.
  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    c'mon - we all know Jimi only needed 6!



    I think there are a large number of 7-stringers out there. I use an alternate tuning on guitar that gives me a low C (and high G :) ), so I can appreciate the extra range. For me, six is about the most strings I can handle mentally.

    I think you're not sizing up the situation right: yes, 7s were a fad, and as such have dropped in popularity sharply. But I don't think they disappeared. Remember that, bassically, 5- and 6-string basses were around but not "popular" in the 80s. For many reasons. I'd give 7-string guitars a few more years befor writing them off.
  6. johnny april of staind uses a seven string.

    off the subject, has anyone heard anything about five string lead guitars?
  7. Jarrod


    Jan 1, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    he might have in the past, but now he just uses a 6 string tuned BtoB down a half step... which is really A#toA#... but whatever

    i actually know quite a few people who tune BtoB on their six string guitars... if they weren't using the high E, they might as well save themselves the trouble of having more strings (same thing BEAD bassists do)

    as for wes borland, the only reason he even started using 7stringers was because ibanez said they'd give him free ones, knowing he would cause a flock of kids to buy them.... which they did... and regretted :) then he went back to downtuning sixers and using his baritone

    all that said, i hate downtuning anyway :)
  8. PICK


    Jan 27, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Both Trey Azagthoth and Erik Rutan of Morbid Angel still use 7 strings. They were using them well before bands like Korn and alike were probably even thought of!! They also use they properly as far as im concerned.
    As do Jack Owen and Pat O'Brien of Cannibal Corpse.
    Many bands in the Heavier areas of music still use 7 strings!
  9. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    How about Charlie Hunter? 8 string guitar - plays bass lines under jazz licks.

  10. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    He also has a fretless version...

  11. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    Another thing to remember is that Wes Borland had his 7s strung up with two high E strings. No joke.

    I am currently in a band with a guitarist who plays a 7 on occasion. I really dig it, for all types of music.

    As far as multistring basses are concerned, the only thing that I can think of is that we, as bassists, are far more open minded and accepting of new ideas that guitarists. GENERALLY SPEAKING, of course. I mean, I have friends who won't play an instrument unless it is a Les Paul through a Marshall...

    Two of my basses have graphite neck and more than four strings... Does that make me weird? Of course not, but mostly because I play Fenders as well! :rolleyes:
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    john petrucci from dream theater is a pretty avid 7 shooter.
  13. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    And while I'm thinkin...Stephen Carpenter of the *shudder* Deftones.
  14. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Lots of death-metal bands still swear by them. And probably will until someone finds a way to make a low F# practical :p
  15. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    Well, I don't play metal but I've got a 7 string guitar that I really enjoy. Some great tones lurk in there...I don't use it often, but when I do, I like it!
    It's a pretty cheap one, but it seems to hold up well, even tuned down to A.
  16. NioeZero


    Sep 2, 2001
    I read somewhere that Joe Satriani has been using one a lot on the new album hes working on. Should be interesting, I love that guys playing.

    BTW, Johnny April is the bass player from Staind. Mike Mushok is the guitarist. I used to love that band, 'til they went all angst-core powerballad whatever...

    Y'know... I've read that BS about Wes Borland only playinig 7 strings because Ibanez gave them to him before... But I saw LB way back in the day, before they were anybody, and he was playing a beat to sh!t pewter grey 7 string with a bunch of housekeys bolted to it. Had green yellow and red pickups, like a traffic light.

    Wonder which model that was? :D :rolleyes:
  17. Jarrod


    Jan 1, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    first off, deftones ROCK

    second, he doesn't actually play seven strings... he only appeared in an ESP advertisement holding a 7... the first album was all standard tuning, the second album was C#G#C#F#A#D#... and the third album was CGCFAD... no need for a 7
  18. Jarrod


    Jan 1, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    well, i don't know anything about that.... all i know is what i read in a Guitar One interview a while back where he said he only went through a 7string "phase" because ibanez gave him free ones

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