8-string: undecided

alex1fly

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Posts
346
Age
36
Location
Colorado
I've been exploring low tunings and picked up a cheap 7 string guitar. Super fun! Then I got my tax refund and thought okay, let's go lower. So I got an 8 string about two weeks ago. Boy, I don't know about this thing. It's SO much bigger than the 7 string. The neck is super wide. Chords on the low strings are quite muddy. It'll chug but I sure am clunky on it. And now that I've played it for two weeks, I just don't know what I'll do with it. The 7 string guitar is easy - I can do everything I do on a 6 string but with a few extra lower options. But the 8 string... it's challenging to play my normal styles (blues, funk, metal). In contrast to all my other guitars which I can just pick up and go to town on.

Anybody hot tips for things to try before giving up on this axe?
 

Skyhook

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Posts
2,036
Location
Turku, Finland
I've been exploring low tunings and picked up a cheap 7 string guitar. Super fun! Then I got my tax refund and thought okay, let's go lower. So I got an 8 string about two weeks ago. Boy, I don't know about this thing. It's SO much bigger than the 7 string. The neck is super wide. Chords on the low strings are quite muddy. It'll chug but I sure am clunky on it. And now that I've played it for two weeks, I just don't know what I'll do with it. The 7 string guitar is easy - I can do everything I do on a 6 string but with a few extra lower options. But the 8 string... it's challenging to play my normal styles (blues, funk, metal). In contrast to all my other guitars which I can just pick up and go to town on.

Anybody hot tips for things to try before giving up on this axe?

Owner of two 8-strings here... Hi!

Regarding the "challenging to play my normal styles (blues, funk, metal)" -bit.
Try not looking at the fretboard. Srsly. Look off into the distance and let muscle memory do its thing.
More often than not this will work surprisingly well.

Funk, on the other hand... that's a problem even for me. That is, if I play funky chords and rhythm patterns
involving the lower(A & E) strings. I use very uneconomical and wide moves to do this and while there's
no problem on a 6-string you get into iffy territory on an ERG. Although, I hasten to add that I have
this issue on 7-string guitars as well. High pitched funky-stuff work well regardless of string amount.

Regarding mud. Yes. You go that low then there's a real risk of things turning muddy in a hurry.
There are pickups designed to bring out the clearest and most evil frequencies of 8-string guitars.
Fishman Fluence have many models available for 8-strings. The Seymour Duncan Nazgûl comes to mind.
If possible, I'd up the gauge of the F#-string(your tuning my vary but I mean the 8th one) as much as possible.
Personally I haven't' been able to find a thick enough F#-string. You might be luckier in that endeavor.

Regarding the "Boy, I don't know about this thing" -bit. Tips what to do with an 8-string:
Djent is always an option so I won't go anymore into that(not judging Djent though. Love the tones(but hate most of the vocalists)).
Consider this... an 8-string in standard tuning goes all the way down to F#. That's just one whole step above the
standard E on a bass guitar! So... grab a looper pedal and play some blues or funk or rock in G or A.
Lay down bass patterns in the correct octave! Use a synth pedal(like the SY-1) for game changing results.
 




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