Seven String Tips

Here's the latest from our Seven string guy... Guy Pople.

Matt: Hi, I was wondering if you had tried to string your 7 String with a "High A" instead of a "Low B"?

Guy: Sorry man , but I'm not familiar with that tuning. Would your strings would then spell 7E 6A 5D 4G 3B 2E 1A ? I remember reading somewhere that Steve Vai had tried this approach when he first got into the realm of the 7 but complained that the string he was trying to get up to an A couldn't take the tension. I will make some inquiries though and get back to you...

Matt: If so what changes to the guitar did you do & what string gauge did you find to be the best for it.

Guy: I am using a Ibanez Universe on a "Low B" at the moment with a string gauge of 10-46 & a 56 on the B. I play a Brian Eastwood custom with the 7th tuned to a low A


7 string Technique tip:

For those newcomers keen on doing some 7 string chord work, try taking an existing 6 string chord with a 5A-string bass note(Root on the 5th string)and transfer the bass note to the 7th string. This gives these particular chords some much needed bottom end.. e.g.

1E 5 5

2B 6 6

3G 7 7 7 7

4D 7 7 7 7

5A 5 5 5

6E 5

7A 5 5

Dm Dm D5 D5


The really keen 7- stringers might like to check out John Petrucci in action (if Dream Theater drops by their towns) - I saw them at the Sheffield Octagon last month and noticed John used a 7-string to real effect both for the seriously heavy bits and the clean parts. Dream Theater live is a recommended experience for any bands seeking inspiration from seriously skilled musicians.


Guy Pople also writes to say:
I thought I would do my bit by volunteering my services as someone the other subscribers can contact regarding 7 string guitar knowledge . I have self-designed templates for scales, modes etc that can be emailed upon request as can questions regarding technioque & theory... for free of course! Guy adds: Just remember: seven strings good, six strings bad"

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