Is a 28.625 scale playable?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by Jonatan, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Jonatan

    Jonatan SS.org Regular

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    Hi guys, my first post here. Please be nice :)

    I'm planning to buy a guitar to fill three of the needs that my current guitar cannot fill: 1) I want to play Soilwork songs and solos (They play in B-standard), 2) I want to play VOLA songs (7-strings in B-standard but with an extra F# on top), and 3) try my luck composing my own stuff in these tunings.

    Now I've been looking to see what guitar could fill these needs ( I want it to be a 7 string), and I feel kind of dumbstruck at the moment. I'm not sure if there IS a guitar that can fill these needs, and I thought maybe one of you could help.

    I was looking for a while at a 27" scale guitar which seemed like a good choice. Upon trying one however, it seems to me that the string gauge needs to be way to large for both comfort and tone for the tuning I'm going for. That is why I've now been leaning towards a 28.625" scale guitar, but then - the longer scale and better tone come at the expense of playability in terms of bending and chords.

    Plus - I saw a video on youtube of a guy with a 28.625 scale guitar, and the first frets really did seem of a quite monsterous size.

    I guess my question is: is a 28" guitar playable with this tuning? Does anybody know? Can you do bends and the shreddy stuff, as well as big chords without your hands dying from stretch or fatigue?

    In case if anyone wonders, the guitar I'm thinking about purchasing is a Warmoth super 7, where you order the body and the neck yourself.

    Thank you to anybody who might help me with this!:wallbash:

    Kinds regards,
    Jonatan
     
  2. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    I've got wimpy little girl hands and I managed the scale length. I will say its a noticeable difference, but it shouldn't be unplayable. I really liked the way that guitar played, actually.
     
  3. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles 8 string Warrior

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    My 8 string is the same length and it doesn't hinder my playing at all.
     
  4. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger Contributor

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    Its entirely up to you, my limit is 26.5" and I have largish hands. Your best bet would be to go to your local guitar store and see if there are any long scale lengths you can try.
     
  5. CaptainD00M

    CaptainD00M Lungsman

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    Welcome to ss.org dude.

    I implore you to try a guitar with that scale before you pull the trigger if you're worried, because at the end of the day you're the guy stuck with it after you drop money on it. Guys here on the forum may be comfortable with necks that length which is all well and good, but you're the dude taking it home.

    I can play 26.5" at a stretch and my hands are 'normal' from what ive seen. I was on this scale for about 18 months having both my guitars at that length. But the reality is I would get tired after practicing for a couple hours and I wouldn't play as much because I didn't feel inspired because of that fatigue. I finally stopped battling and bought a Les Paul and it was the best thing for me, because I now play more and play at limit of my skill level rather than just below due to fatigue and lack of motivation.

    BUT

    Thats what works for me, and what works for you could be and likely is different. So go to a store, find a guitar with that scale or something similar and play on it for a good long while despite what the store clerk might say. See if you can do those things you worry you can't and get a feel for the fret spacing etc…
     
  6. Nagash

    Nagash doesn't like things

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    the third fret of a 34" scale bass is the same size as the first fret on a 28.625" scale.

    go into any shop, pick up a bass, and try to mimic some barre chords or guitar riffs on it on the 3rd fret position. I know it's not the same because of the string spacing, string tension, etc, but it'll give you an idea of the stretch.
     
  7. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Yup :yesway:

    Similarly, try playing any stretchy lead arpeggios and riffs you have, 2 frets lower. 28.625 is like 2 frets behind the nut of a 25.5 guitar. Personally I like the extra space, never had a problem for lead. For riffs, only stuff like the 1-3-5 chord becomes a bit uncomfortable (though still totally doable for me personally).

    As for bends, that's just a case of selecting the right string gauge :)
     
  8. pkgitar

    pkgitar SS.org Regular

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    27" for B standard is as normal as 25.5 for E standard. What guitar/strings was it that you tried?

    As for 28.625 being playable? Absolutely. I'm playing a 28" with 13-72s on it. Feels weird going back to a standard scale in standard tuning.
     
  9. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    ^ I took the F# on top to mean a low F# like an 8 string. But yes, a worthwhile question still, because 90% of such guitars are set up with very low tension. Perhaps the required string gauge wasn't as high as you thought.
    If low F# though, yes, my vote is with 28
     
  10. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    I have a 27 inch with size 011 to 059 strings tuned to B drop A and it's perfect for me
     
  11. EchelonXIII

    EchelonXIII SS.org Regular

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    There is an 8 string with a 31'' scale listed locally... and I'm wondering the same thing. Cause I'm thinking that your fingertips must be getting obliterated if one would try to play that. ...or lose an eye when that high E goes boom
     
  12. Great Satan

    Great Satan Hell-o

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    Don't see why not, my ideal 8 string length would be a 29,
    I play a 26.5 seven string with no problems (& this coming from a person who usually prefers gibson scale 6 stringers)
     
  13. Emperor Guillotine

    Emperor Guillotine The Almighty Ruler

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    I play a 30" 9-string. No hindrance whatsoever. As long as you're not doing ridiculous wide-interval stretches, you'll adapt.
     
  14. techjsteele

    techjsteele Contributor

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    As someone who regularly switches between a 28.625" scale 8-string and 24.75" scale 8-string, I've found no playability issues with the former, even after playing on the latter exclusively for a few weeks (high A tuning is fun!). However, your results may vary.
     
  15. noob_pwn

    noob_pwn SS.org Regular

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    i play better on a longer scale, 27" is my favorite. Give it a go, if you've got bigger hands i wouldn't be worried
     
  16. Jonatan

    Jonatan SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys. Great answers and tips. Not suprisingly, it seems to come down to preference. I'll definately go try a few larger scale guitars and a base just to see how it feels.

    I tried an Esp sct-607b with 13-74 strings. The string guage wasn't the only thing that put me off though. I guess I probably should expect some discomfort switching from 9-46 on a strat when it comes to strings.

    Also, it seems like the low F# normally has less tension than say a dropped D or a regular E, so I should expect that as well.

    Thanks again guys!
     
  17. gfactor

    gfactor SS.org Regular

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    If you want to go up to a high F# i wouldn't recommend anything over 25.5 if you don't want to break that string constantly.
     
  18. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Go play any Schecter 8 string from the past 2 or 3 years.

    All Schecters are 28" I had one and it wasn't hard to play, but I have big Paul Gilbert lookin' hands I could barre that thing comfortably.

    Or Play the ibanez M80M, it's even longer if you get on with that then you're good. Its always best to try before you buy.
     
  19. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Would be fine up to 27.5", but it's established low F# was intended, not high :)
     

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