8 String for beginner

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by Tortellini, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Tortellini

    Tortellini SS.org Regular

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    My buddy started playing a few months ago. I gave him an old Ibanez Gio of mine, and he is getting pretty good on it.
    He is raising up a good amount of money and wants to get his own guitar. He wants an 8 and only wants to go up to around $500. A guy at guitar center told me that any 8 string under $700 isn't worth buying. I'm not an 8 string guy (reason I'm asking you guys) and idk if this is true.

    Here's the kicker. My buddy is a huge ATB fan and wants to tune down to C#. I may be speaking out my ass here, but I'm pretty sure you need a 28-30 inch scale for that. It doesn't have to be pro level, just something that will hold C# and has a nice sound.
     
  2. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    I would definitely not recommend 8s under 28" even for drop E. 27" is ok for standard F#.
    I know of Schecters and the new Jackson Dinky at 28" but they are more expensive.
    You may consider Agile, they have a ton of options at a much lower pricepoint around $500 - they are probably your best bet imo. Good specs but the quality control can sometimes be a bit off, if you are in the USA returning them under warranty is easy :) Most are fine.
     
  3. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Can only power chord

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    It's workable really, so long as you set it up and dial it in.
    In that price range though Agile is king, especially if you guys are US. Playability is comparable to a mid-level Ibanez at low-level pricing, and the choice of specs (including scale) is diverse enough.

    That said...if your buddy just started playing, I would strongly advise against throwing an 8 at him. To each his own and everyone can do what they want (I hate to be a broken record), but starting and staying on a 6 until he's familiar enough with everything about it before jumping up is definitely something I would advise. I started playing and immediately jumped up to a 7 and I really wish someone talked me out of it because it really did hamper my progression.
    Would he be able to play any of After the Burial's stuff? That's some pretty serious riffage, it'd kind of be a drag to pick up a piece of gear and not be able to do what you want with it yet. Something else to consider.

    But I'd definitely go with Agile if he's certain that's what he wants to do. You can pick up a 30" scale 8 with an ebony board there for $500.
     
  4. Tortellini

    Tortellini SS.org Regular

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    It's his choice. I think he should do a baritone 6 like the Ibanez RGIB6, by he wants an 8. He is good enough to play one. Agile 830 looks nice
     
  5. rocky0

    rocky0 SS.org Regular

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    I think you'd should look for a Agile 828 or 830. They are fairly good quality guitars for their price. I've got a 828 and it's surprisingly good to play and the long scale helps when tuning monstrously low! I tune it to Drop D at the moment so it is close to the ATB C#.
     
  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire tinkerer/aspiring builder/8 string hoarder

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    C# is a bitch to get to sound decent at anything lower than 28" imo. Pickups will make a huuge difference for that as well. I have m8s in a 27" 8 stringer and they don't like going to D1 (same with the c-pig in my other 27" 8 stringer). The only guitar I've had sound good lower than D1 was my strandberg 8 (which is 28" on the low end and had x-bars, which are the clearest pickups I've used so far). Tell him to get the 28" agile.
     
  7. Tortellini

    Tortellini SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the input. Why 28 instead of 30?
     
  8. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire tinkerer/aspiring builder/8 string hoarder

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    if all he cares about is low end riffage then the 30" is fine too. It'll just make doing any lead work a lot harder if he does get the 30".
     
  9. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    Agile is the way to go IMHO.

    My 828 came setup decently. Solid construction, no flaws in the finish, fret ends finished with no sharp corners, no need for a fret level, comfy neck etc.

    Dropped in a set of Lundgrens and I honestly don't feel the need to do any other modifications. I guess locking tuners would be more convenient but, there's nothing wrong with the stock ones.

    And when you say C# do you mean like 1 and a half steps BELOW drop E? Like uber deep 9-string type C#? If so I'm gunna say go for the 30" scale.
     
  10. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    If he's serious about going down to C#, a 30" scale is almost a necessity. If I can get my 30" scale guitars down to A (two whole steps below that C#) that should work. I'm gonna be another Agile whore, too. For the money, they make awesome instruments.
     
  11. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Can only power chord

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    Rig will be a challenge too. Really tough to get a good tone that low without swimming through mud. The Cephaeus pickups on the Agile are decent enough to start with, though; I went down to D# on my 27" and managed to get a playable tone out of my Eleven Rack so I think he'll probably be alright.
     
  12. Tortellini

    Tortellini SS.org Regular

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    That's totally what I'm thinking. Idk how you get a 100+ gauge string to sound like anything through a guitar amp..

    I think 8 and 9 is cool down the road, but I think seven is the way to go personally. I'm looking to get a seven as of now. I was playing a JP70 just the other day at GC. Thing has a Floyd Rose and a 25.5 scale (two big no nos for me) and I still can't help but love it. Thing sounds amazing. Probably wouldn't be able to go down past drop A though :/
     
  13. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    I went full custom on an agile last year. They are fantastic instruments at their price points. Any "in stock" 8 string at 28" or greater will do what he wants and not break the bank. Count another vote for Agile given how low he's tuning.
     
  14. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Schecter C8 Deluxe.


    Best 8 string I've owned, came setup, played great and absolutely destroyed any competition in it's price range.
     
  15. Keel

    Keel SS.org Regular

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    Am I the only one who thinks having a 28 inch 8 string as your only guitar as a beginner is probably not a good idea? Talk about getting stuck in chug land.
    You can do c# on 27. It just sounds bad and is a little floppy. You can deal with that as a beginner. just let him know that he needs to buy custom sized strings. No productions sets go that low, even at 28".
    Also if you go agile, look at nine strings. Justin Lowe was advocating 9s a little bit which might help sell him on it and you can tune it to c# and then still have a standard tuned 8 string for the rest of the guitar, which imo is important to learning the instrument.
     
  16. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    If 30" is an option, do it. Much better tone and I do not agree that leads are harder - everything will just feel like playing one fret lower compared to 28".

    I also don't agree it's a bad idea for a beginner, it makes sense to start on an instrument that you wish to end on, and which inspires you!
    There is nothing special about extended range guitars at all - thinking that there is, is part of what makes a lot of the music made on them so mundane in my opinion.
    It's just an instrument and you can do anything on it :)
    As far as the scale length goes, plenty of people play 34 or 35" bass as their first instrument, or 41" upright bass. It's just a different instrument. Yes some stretches are harder than a 25.5" guitar - whatever :)
    The only real downside is that muting strings is more of a chore, but that's often something beginners overlook anyway. He'll be at a huge advantage simply knowing of that technique, even if it is a bit harder.
    He should be made aware of the differences though and given guidance :)

    The strings is a good point, make sure he is aware that he will need custom sets. We can advise options :) At least he probably wont be picky about replacing them often.
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  17. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Can only power chord

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    I think the point is more along the lines of something you touched on later in your post, that it's more in regard to technique. It's a lot more difficult to do things 'correctly' on an 8 if you don't already have a solid foundation to start with. A big example is your fretting hand, you can actually damage your wrist if you play with bad technique.
    But, on the other side of the coin, if the 8 makes you want to pick up your guitar and play it more than your 6 does, it's hard to argue that point. Way more fun to play an instrument you get excited about. Just doesn't hurt to be aware of what you're getting into, I think.

    I think OP said he gave him an old GIO sixer he had laying around, which are fine guitars to get your feet wet with. Wouldn't be his only guitar.

    Is he running digital or an amp? It seems easier to dial in something that low when you're running digital. If he goes with the 30" he may not need to go full-blown bridge cable status on string gauge. I'd say start low and work your way up, but I tend to prefer looser strings, so take that how you will.
     
  18. BigHandy

    BigHandy SS.org Regular

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    Which shop did you ordered from?!

    (I feel so unlucky to not have a chance for some fine Agile, as I live in the EU, blahhh...:noplease:)
     
  19. Tortellini

    Tortellini SS.org Regular

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    Amp.
     
  20. Tortellini

    Tortellini SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the input, I agree completely. I stopped taking lessons when I was a teenager for that very reason. I had an old teacher who only knew how to teach old rock and I had no interest in it. I never practiced and I could never progress into new stuff because I couldn't give two ....s about mastering the material we were on. I taught myself the stuff I wanted to know. People need to know that teenagers getting into guitar in no way give a .... about learning Wipeout or some song by Cream.

    I play a six string bass as my main instrument ATM. It's not that hard to get used to more strings IMO.
     

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