Favorite 8 string tuning?

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by KnightBrolaire, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. RuslanK

    RuslanK SS.org Regular

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    Standard F# or G
     
  2. Torchenal

    Torchenal SS.org Regular

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    Perfect fourths from low E.
     
  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I actually never heard of him until now.

    I used to have multiple seven strings, some tuned with a high g and some with a low b, and I wanted both. After deciding that, I started tuning the g up to a, because I liked the fingering of chords better that way.

    I play all sorts of music, from traditional jazz to classical to gypsy to rock to blues to metal, etc. I've done some country with that guitar as it was easy to make sounds similar to a pedal steel.

    When I started playing 8 strings, there really wasn't a convention on how to tune them.
     
  4. ProtoTechDeath

    ProtoTechDeath SS.org Regular

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    Sorry in advance for the long explanation, but this tuning might not make sense without one.

    I only change two strings from standard 8 string tuning: drop the LOW F# to an E and I drop the HIGH G to an F#.

    So Standard looks like this: F#BEADGBE

    Dropped looks like this: EBEADF#BE

    The main problem I had with 8 string guitars, that this tuning works around, was I felt like the long scale was under-utilized. You have these two extra low strings, but so much of your traditional guitar knowledge is training yourself to get around that weird B string next to the high E, which is tuned in a major 3rd away from the G. So if the bulk of your knowledge is spent playing with chords where you are working around the B string, then you don't get as much of an opportunity to incorporate the low strings with your chord work, except as an additional bass note here and there. Since the scale length ends up being pretty long to accommodate the low strings, you end up with this really tinny and bright timbre when playing traditional guitar stuff. And if you're only playing the low notes and not caring about the rest of the instrument, then maybe you should consider just playing bass, instead :lol:

    By dropping the G to an F#, you're shifting that awkward major 3rd relationship down a string, between the D and F#. By down tuning the one string a half step, we've shifted the base reference of your standard 6 string knowledge down an entire string set. And, of course, we're still dropping the low F# to an E because... drop tuning.

    Seems complicated, but to simplify what you're doing, you are going from a guitar in E standard with two additional low notes, to a baritone guitar in B standard with additional E strings on either side, high and low.

    The center 6 strings let me play standard guitar stuff down a 4th very comfortably and, better yet, audibly, as the long scale length of an 8 string is now appropriate for the lower relative tuning. I can get super chunky and brutal with drop E playing, but I can still compete with other instruments on solos, as I still have the full range of a standard guitar.

    Admittedly, it does take some getting used to "seeing" your reference point. I think most players, myself included, traditionally use one of the outside E strings as their anchor point for how they relate to and play the rest of the strings. This tuning kind of forces you to abandon that reference point in favor of the second-from-the-bottom or second-from-the-top string... far from ideal, I know. But getting past that hurtle takes nothing but practice, and once crossed, this tuning seems to better utilize the tone provided by the scale length and, for me, made the 8 string more accessible and player-friendly, especially if you were having problems or frustrations with the guitar before. It's oddly freeing :)

    Anyone else try something like this?
     
  5. Masoo2

    Masoo2 SS.org Regular

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    ^Absolutely love that tuning

    Tuning the G to an F# opens up a whole world of possibilities. I find writing in that tuning so much easier than normal 8 string tunings (or just with the G tuned normally)

    I come up with some nice finger picked stuff every time I use that tuning haha.
     
  6. Tech Wrath

    Tech Wrath SS.org Regular

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    I'm still finding mine. I seem to write a lot and come up with a lot in standard f# but I dig having the 7 tuned a whole step down ADGCFAD but I hate having a low E on the 8th. It doesn't sound right. Probably why my 6s are never in standard as well. E maybe is my least favorite note? I actually just thought of this and might try GADGCFAD. So 7 tuned down a step and the 8th up a half a step.
    G through A all sound fitting to me and I can utilize other tunings and just play in different positions but these just sound right for some reason.
    I also like C but I doubt I'd ever want to tune my 8th that low lol waaayyy to ridiculous for me
     
  7. Dayn

    Dayn SS.org Regular

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    Bit of a late reply, but I got the idea from Animals As Leaders. 'New Eden' is a short, simple song that really inspired me.

    There are many reasons I like it. Some examples:

    • I enjoy the keys of A minor and C# minor, as well as E minor. So drop E makes sense, and this tuning makes sense for A minor and C# minor.
    • I get the benefit of the range of a 9-string guitar, without all the extra strings in between. I rarely have the need to phrase close intervals that low, so the wider spacing between strings isn't a bother.
    • It doesn't take that much to wrap one's head around it, it's basically just a drop tuning on the 7th string, then another string below that dropped plus a semitone. It's not really out there if it's thought of in that way, and as before, the greater intervals between the strings aren't as pronounced anyway.
    • I also get the benefit of a 7-string in drop A. Score.
    • Since I play a lot in minor keys, particularly A, E and C#, the 7th string is just a 7-string in drop A, effectively. But with the low C#, that gives a 0-2-4 (A, B, C#) [VI-VII-i] on the 7th string, and you can resolve an octave lower on the open C#.
    • Octaves are relatively easy to play, as it's just a 4-fret distance on the 7th and 8th strings (as opposed to drop E, where it's the same fret on the 6th and 8th). But if I do that, I prefer to go up and octave plus a third. So I can play the same fret on the 6th and 8th for a minor third, or just go up a fret on the 6th and stay the same on the 8th for a major third. I do that often in that tuning, so it's less of a reach. It's just simpler.
    • And just in general, I like the phrasing opportunity it lends for very widely-spaced chords (see the last half of New Eden). And once again, I just looove low notes on guitar.

    That's why I like that tuning. Ideally, I want a 9-string in that tuning, with a high G string (minor third between E and high G). Once again, different phrasing opportunities, et cetera.
     
  8. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    ^ now THAT is a reply! Awesome.
     
  9. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    I've been playing around with some different tunings and this one is pretty fun :
    D#G#F A#D# G# C F
     
  10. ajdemo76

    ajdemo76 SS.org Regular

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    EADADGBE
     
  11. sniperfreak223

    sniperfreak223 B.C. Rich loyalist

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    FA#D#G#C#F#A#D#, F#BEADGBE and EBEADGBE are the only ones I really use, pretty much in that order.
     
  12. raytsh

    raytsh Contributor

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    Half step down.
     
  13. Grooven

    Grooven SS.org Regular

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    I've been all around the world tuning wise but always found my self going back to standard 8 string tuning. 9-65 I know very very light,but it makes the 8 actually feels like a regular guitar and not some amazon of a guitar like when i used 10-80 (never again)
     
  14. J_Mac

    J_Mac SS.org Regular

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    Another vote for drop E.

    27" standard scale, set of 10's plus a 60 and an 80. Mint.
     
  15. Rook

    Rook Electrifying

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    EBEBEGBE all down half a step.

    bwaaaargh.
     
  16. J_Mac

    J_Mac SS.org Regular

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    Bloody ell man :lol:

    What gauge are you using for the up tuned B and E? (If I'm understanding this correctly - 5ths tuning strings 4 & 5?)
     
  17. Rook

    Rook Electrifying

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    Gauges (which aren't perfect) are (i think) 90 - 57 - 43 - 31 - 23 - 17 -13 - 10

    It's the middle B and E strings which are a little snappy but really not bad generally. If I could be bothered I'd probably take em down a few each but the way I was using them it didn't matter too much.

    It's a lot of fun, can build some mental 9, 11 and 13 chords and keep diatonic (particularly to Eb) very easily.
     
  18. redkombat

    redkombat Tree Whore

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    my main tuning low to high is
    DADGCFF#E
    but i also tune C#ADGCFF#D, C#ADGCFF#C, DADGCFF#D, DADGCFF#D#, DADAGFF#D.
    for 7's i tune Drop A, FCGCFAE or Drop G
     
  19. conorreich

    conorreich Momento Mori

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    I've played more guitar in the last week after getting my Septor 827 than I have in 4 years, so I've been using Josh Travis' open G with a low E (EBEBEF#BE) and learning some of Danza III. I will change the Ernie Ball 10-80s that I have out for a set of Kaliums with a 90 on the bottom. I'm having serious clarity issues with the Cepheus pickups even though they are the best stock pickups I've used.
     
  20. Nan0

    Nan0 SS.org Regular

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    Hi there

    On 7's from low to high : AEADGCF
    Gauges (25'5) : 80-52-40-28-20w-14-10
    On 8's I just add a low E so : EAEADGCF
    Gauges (26'->28' multiscale) : 95-68-46-34-26-20w-14-10
    (maybe I'll swap 10/14 for little lower & dat 26 into 25 or 24 dunno yet)
     

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