Less Intrusive 7-String Playing

This week, Guy answers our readers queries about 7-string playing in a band context.

Brian asks:
I have three seven strings, and the guys in my band hate them!! It must be that I'm not utilising them properly within the context of the band, but its blaringly obvious when I decide to slip into the nether regions. We play metal/classic rock originals, but to flesh out the set, we play a few covers - and its during things like Brown Sugar, or Pretty Woman, or Song Number Two, when the guys start to wince. Any tips on going into the low areas without it being nut rumblingly obvious.

Guy answers:
To be sure you will always have problems when you are percieved to be overstepping your established parameters. Good taste however will always prevail. Remember that just because you have 7 doesn't mean you need to use them. I suggest you compromise within the band... the 7 is better utilised in the realm of original material where their are no preconceptions etc. Be fortunate that the band tolerate them at all and maybe pick up the old 6 for the covers?

Brian replies:
Thanks for the tips. As for picking up the six string for the covers, yeah, you're right, but you know how it feels to have something cool (the seven strings) and then to not use them... Also, I just read one of your columns re: having seven strings but feeling like you're just playing the same six string licks on them. I feel like, when I do use the seven string, I should at least make use of the extra string. But maybe you're right, good taste should prevail, and I shouldn't shove the extra string in where it isn't needed.

Just thought you might have some ideas about incorporating the seven string in a less intrusive manner.

Wow, the guys are really gonna hate the new additions - the triple neck and the doubleneck guitar/bass... I'm thinking of having an A/B switch where I can switch our bassist off at will and do his solos for him... What do you think?

Guy's final words:
Nice axe.... Good idea as regards the AB switch - I'll pass it on to my readers ;-)

Here is some food for thought-

If you simply must use the 7th string but also wish to remain at peace with the band then perhaps rearrange your six string parts down below but without altering the pitch or introducing any new ones. This will keep them happy and at least you're using the dude.... a totally unintrusive approach. Perhaps then you might start to slip in the odd choice notes when the Bassist is out of his territory.

By: Guy Pople, our 7 String Guy.

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