Adjusting to a Seven String

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by zman5999, Nov 4, 2014.

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  1. zman5999

    zman5999 Member

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    I'm an intermediate-advanced player who has just recently upgraded to a seven-string guitar. I'm having some trouble incorporating the low B into chords, arpeggios, and scales. It's like my mind is ignoring it and still writing for a six-string. Any tips on how to overcome this wall? Maybe some good pieces to learn or certain shapes to practice?
     
  2. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    Try playing songs or riffs you already know using the low B string. For example, Smoke on the Water:

    Code:
    e-
    b-
    G-
    D-2-5-7-2-5-8-7
    A-2-5-7-2-5-8-7
    E-0-3-5-0-3-6-5
    And on your fancy new seven string:

    Code:
    e-
    b-
    G-
    D-
    A-7-10-12-7-10-13-12
    E-7-10-12-7-10-13-12
    B-5-8--10-5-8--11-10
    They are the same pitches, you're just using a different position on the fretboard. The advantage that a seven string has over a six string is more range, and I don't mean that it only goes lower. In any given position, you have more notes at your fingertips. Let's say you wanted to improvise around in E minor. You can get two octaves and a sixth without having to jump around the fretboard. Here's an E minor scale:

    Code:
    e-5-7-8
    b-5-7-8
    G-4-5-7
    D-4-5-7
    A-5-7
    E-5-7-8
    B-5-7-8
     
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  3. ghostred7

    ghostred7 Banned

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    In addition to finding the same notes on the various strings as stated above, I would grab songs my band at the time was covering and play it an octave lower. This helped me and how my brain/ear operate (lol).

    One of my favs to do was Holy Diver by Dio. It's in C, but we were tuned 1/2 step flat...so played it @ 2nd/4th instead of 1st/3rd. That allowed for me to use my new string open and easy progressions. It sounds nasty (in a good way) lower...especially when in a 2 guitar setup (or along with record). I also did the same with a few other easy ones.
     
  4. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    I second MBN's suggestion. Write material using the fretted notes of the 7th string as you would on the 6th string and try to integrate notes on higher strings, too. Come up with interesting chord voicings that use open strings which were previously unavailable. Use close voicings which were otherwise impossible.

    Also, write some material with E as the tonic and write lines which involve dipping below the tonic. With a ii V I in E, you could use the 7th string to play the 5th of chord ii (F#min), the root or 3rd of chord V (B Maj) then the 5th or the root of chord I. Playing the root of chord I (which would be an E) on the 7th string would mean you can play the 3rd (G#) on the 6th string, or the 5th of the chord (B) on the 6th string, leaving possibilities of other notes you can reach while pedaling the E, which you couldn't otherwise do, if you needed notes on the 6th string.
     
  5. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

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    When I use 7s I tune them B E A D Gb B E, it's like adding a higher string instead of a lower string. I find it way more intuitive and chords friendly.
     
  6. fr4nci2c0

    fr4nci2c0 SS.org Regular

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    One thing that helped me was to make a conscious decision to only play 7. Once I did this and let the six collect dust my 7 playing opened up. Sorry if this is really obvious.
     

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