8-string as only guitar, playing 6-string songs on an 8-string.

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by -TesseracT-, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. -TesseracT-

    -TesseracT- SS.org Regular

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    I've been toying around with the idea of only using 8-string guitars, but there are still a lot of 6-string material that I want to play. 7-strings seem to work fine for playing 6-string songs but are 8-strings as easy? What are your experiences with doing this? Is the neck uncomfortable in comparison, is it hard to keep track of the strings? etc. Also how useful do you find the extra strings to be when your playing something that was written on 6-strings?
     
  2. Ibzzus

    Ibzzus Jangle/shoegaze-core

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    I play a Carvin DC800. It was a little hard getting used to playing my bands 6 string songs on it, but that period only lasted a week of two. If you play on Drop Db tuning or Drop C then you can tune your 7th string as Db or C so that if you accidentally hit the 7th string while playing it should serve as a safety net. If you play on E tuning then you will have to make a conscious effort to try not to hit the 7th string.

    As far as the neck being comfortable goes, I had no issues with the neck on the DC800. I would go as far as saying that it is better than any 6 string neck I have played on.

    Regarding keeping track of the strings goes, it is a little overwhelming and confusing at first, but don't get disheartened, it only lasts for a week or two. You get so comfortable with it and used to it that after that it becomes confusing playing on a 6 string. :p

    I try not to use the 7th or 8th string when playing the 6 string songs of my band because the other guitarist has a 6 string and I am sure it will annoy him if I start showing off my extended range :p, but like I said, tune the 7th string the same as the 6th and you get the added beffyness.
     
  3. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I don't own an 8, but from my experience trying out several, it makes a big difference whether you visualize the fretboard from the bass side going higher or from the high strings going down. If it's the latter, you should have an easier time since you're more or less viewing it as a 6 string with extra low strings should you need them rather than a 6 string with extra high strings.
     
  4. -TesseracT-

    -TesseracT- SS.org Regular

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  5. RV350ALSCYTHE

    RV350ALSCYTHE SS.org Regular

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    I play mostly 6 string stuff on all my 8s.

    I usually stick to the E-E strings and rest my picking palm on 7 and 8 when playing standard 6 string material.
    I also play strings 7-2 for 6 string material tuned to B and mute 8 and 1 with either hand.

    It takes very little time to adjust, the neck may be uncomfortable at first since you're using muscle memory formed on a 6 string. You may cramp up quicker or find your thumb position feels off due to the neck profile not being flat and/or rounded where you are used to. I find it's most difficult to keep track of strings ADG because I'm reading 6 string tablature and swapping between using strings 6-1 and 7-2. I'm used to "reading" which string i'm on based off the lowest, 8th string in this case, which is probably why I stumble around the middle sometimes. I find the added strings add more variety when improvising on top of 6 string material, especially for more boring song sections. I really enjoy the longer scale length the 8 provides. 27" really makes 6 string material clear and cut through a lot nicer.
     
  6. stevexc

    stevexc SS.org Regular

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    As long as the neck is comfortable for you to play on, there should be no issues other than a short adjustment period. I know personally I don't find 7+ string necks comfortable at all, so I'd rather play 6-string stuff on a 6-string - but on my 5-string bass, for instance, it's very easy to play around the low B if I'm not using it.
     
  7. TheFranMan

    TheFranMan SS.org Regular

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    I'd say a lot of it depends on how versatile your playing is. By that I mean what styles you play. I tend to play anything from metal to classical to blues to country on my guitars. I find on my 7 string, blues/country stuff is more difficult to play, because a lot of it I use my thumb to play the root note. Obviously, with an extra string, it's nearly impossible sometimes. Other than that, you just get used to the guitar and can play mostly anything the same as you could on a 6.

    Last note- a lot depends on the profile of the neck. Thinner neck = smoother transition between 6 and 7
     
  8. -TesseracT-

    -TesseracT- SS.org Regular

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    bump again
     
  9. aprilia4life

    aprilia4life SS.org Regular

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    I very much prefer playing 6 string songs on a 6. Main reasons: 1) it's a lot easier with a smaller scale 2) on the m80m, the 6/5/4 etc string don't have any balls for chugging because of the long scale. It can be done, but unless you are masochist why make things harder for yourself. YMMV
     
  10. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    I would advise very strongly against it unless you have giant fingers, the 8 string's much longer neck means your hands will have a much harder time if you're trying to play lots of bigger chords that are no problem on a six string. I have a 6, a 7 and an 8 and I'm fine with doing chords like:

    E-3
    B-3
    G-3
    D-7
    A-5
    E-3

    on the 7 string, but on the 8 my hands can barely reach those kinds of chords and they cramp up in short order. I don't even have the full scale 8 string neck that bands like Meshuggah swear by to get the proper boom out of their low F# string, it's just 28.8". The extra couple inches over the 7 is enough to make it a nightmare to play most more stretched-out chord shapes. It is INCREDIBLY uncomfortable and I just plain do not use the 8 string for a lot of material even if I'm just screwing around for fun. The 7 string works for everything with my hand size, the 8 does not.

    Don't get rid of your six string until you've tried playing a lot of the six string stuff on your 8 and made sure it's just as comfortable for you.
     
  11. noUser01

    noUser01 Still can't play.

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    I use an 8 string as my main guitar, despite playing a lot of different style and being involved in different projects, not to mention going to music school and needing a guitar for that. Essentially, you can totally use an 8 string for standard 6 string stuff. The biggest issue is the scale length difference, but besides that...

    I highly disagree with 6 string chords being harder, since you're playing them on an 8 it might seem like they would be crazy hard but you adapt to it, and they become just as easy as they would on a 6 once you spend some time with your 8.

    Now, when I'm playing a 6 string song I just want to play a 6 string, personally. It's lighter, easier to move around and throw around on stage, but when it comes to playability my RG2228 plays so damn well that it hardly makes any difference to me when it comes to playability.

    The extra 1.5'' scale length really doesn't mess with me at all now that I've gotten used to it. Some chords can be tougher if you do big stretches on the first few frets, but the first thing to remember is A) you adapt and can get better at stretches over time and B) this only really matters if it's something that happens a lot in the music you play. And even then, I find if I just tilt the neck up (bringing the headstock closer to me) I can grab those really wide chords on the first few frets no problem.
     
  12. 7stg

    7stg SS.org Regular

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    Comfort is relative, but I use my m80m for everything and it is my main guitar. To me there is nothing harder about it. I don't mind the scale, I've gotten used to it and love the tonal benefits. I've done this to it http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/pi...ries-parallel-humbucker-plus-single-coil.html so I have plenty of tonal options. Also, my first piece of gear it runs through is a Creation Audio Labs MW1 which has variable impedance and a massive amount of clean boost which expands its range further.

    I would not get less than a 7 string with the shorter 25.5 inch scale if scale length is an issue. To me a 6 string is limiting.
     
  13. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    How long are the necks on your 6 and 8 string if you only have a 1.5" scale difference?!? I have a 4.8" difference in neck length between the two and it really is like night and day in terms of reaching chords on the first 5 or 6 frets. The seven string is in between and I can deal with that no problem, but the 8 string is just too much for my lil hands. Do you have some kind of crazy baritone 6 string and a miniature scale 8 string?
     
  14. octatoan

    octatoan Acoustic tech-death!

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    25.5" and 27" respectively, I would guess.
     
  15. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    Basically, my 8 string is the scale of an electric bass, and reaching chords on the first several frets is not a happening thing. If you get a short 8 string then yeah it might be fine. You might want to get some tape or something for the bottom two strings if you're planning on performing a bunch of six string material, though. I get some low F# buzz if I'm not deadening it with one hand or the other on a lot of stuff.
     
  16. InfestedRabite

    InfestedRabite SS.org Regular

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    not 8-string experienced, but the biggest obstacle i found going from 24.75 scale 6 to 26~ scale 7 was all my big 6-string chords and getting them to fit right, especially something real basic like an F up on the first fret. if you don't play big classic chords or weird jazz chords up there then it would probably never be an issue

    in my band we still play all our old 6-string songs on the 7s, but that's more metal stuff and outside of occasionally hitting the 7th when going for the 6th it hasn't been too hard, actually has been good for my technique in the long run imo
     
  17. Neoneuron

    Neoneuron Active Member

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    It really depends on your scale length and hand size. I have pretty small hands and even after a year and half with a 27.5" 8 string as my only guitar, I still don't play as clean with my 25.5" scale. In fact that eventually lead to me wanting to sell the 8 string. The visualizing is easy enough to learn, but you can't attack your bass strings the same way without fear of accidentally hitting your lower strings, something to keep in mind if you play more aggressive genres
     
  18. bloc

    bloc tha vagina finda

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    Personally, I think it's gonna be more work for you to play 6 songs on an 8. Now you need to worry about muting the heavier strings up top and it's not like they'll be easy to mute like lighter strings when you strum a E5 power chord or something.
     

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