How do you use your ERG?

laxu

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So I've been thinking of getting an 8-string but I'm still not completely sure if it's for me. I tried tuning my 7-string multiscale's lower strings down to F# and B to check how it sounds but of course it's not the same as the strings are too skinny.

I had fun with it but at the same time had a hard time figuring out how I would use it apart from really heavy riffs. I did enjoy playing some bassline type stuff with clean tones like that but was not completely sure if I would incorporate it into my playing or just pick up my bass when the low end beckons.

Looking at videos on YouTube it seems most players either largely ignore the 8th string beyond the occasional passing note or play some crazy tapping stuff all over the board (something which I can't really do and have little interest in). On many videos the 8th string also looked really floppy, is that an issue even on a 28" scale?

So how do you use your extended range guitar? Do you feel the wider fretboard poses any issues?
 

Señor Voorhees

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I have an 8, which I rarely play, tuned down a whole step to E. (EADGCFAD)

Essentially I just treat it like a guitar tuned to D standard with a decent amount of extra lower range. I utilize my 7 the same way. I love low tunings, but I hate how muffled and crap-tastic barre chords and such sound in lower tunings. For example, regardless of scale, I'll take a 7 string tuned to A over a 6 that's also tuned to A any day of the week. You get nice "standard" sounding chords while still being able to play those low chunky riffs. Some folks might rag on you for never "utilizing the entire range," but .... it.

As an example play an F major barre chord on a guitar tuned to D, and then play an F major barre chord on a guitar tuned to A or lower. Sounds like .... in comparison. I rarely feel the desire to go below A, so I have less need for an 8... But if you want to do some huge riffs and then go back into nice sounding chords, there's little reason to avoid an 8+ string.
 

Winspear

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Floppy strings are common because stock sets are usually very imbalanced even on 7 string, especially if drop tuning. Bottom string several semitones lower in tension with stock gauges. Buying a 6 string set and a big single or two really is the way forward. You can go as heavy as you like at the cost of brightness. 28" scale handles up to 90 well without being muddy and that makes a plenty tight low E. 85 is good. 80 does F# well.

I play a 9. The wider fretboard is not an issue for my hands though they are quite large. The only real concern is the necessity of muting extra unused strings. When playing lead I am conscious to lay my palm/wrist flatter on the bridge to cover the bottom strings.

I tune my 9 with a treble so EADGCFADG style. Though I'm totally down with low BEADGCFAD too. I don't do tapping stuff, nor do I do much low tuned open string riding. Just regular riffing of all sorts. The low string is used above the 5th fret quite a lot, so not extending the range but rather just allowing more fingerings. Same for the high string, I don't need higher pitches but I like being able to play lead melody or extend chords 5 frets lower.

I must address the post above and say I'm not really sure I understand. an F major barre chord is an F major barre chord regardless of tuning. It will be played on a higher fret when in a lower tuning. If you mean first fret barre chords sound bad in low tunings then yes, sure, chords don't work so well tuned low of course. Not sure about the quote regarding 7 vs 6 A tuning either. Same thing aside from the position of the oddly tuned middle string, which you can adjust.
Which is fun to do anyway. Try tuning to F#BEADF#BE rather than F#BEADGBE for example, gives that baritone tuning fingering.
 

Grand Moff Tim

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I got my 8 (F# Standard) so I could have lower notes to play DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, while still having 6 strings in E standard to play all the Metallica riffs I can't pick a guitar up without playing :lol:.
 

KnightBrolaire

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I haven't had a problem with floppy strings on my OS8 since I changed the 8th string to a .95 from a .85 (I'm tuning it to D#). Then again I like super tight thick strings so I'm probably the wrong person to ask about that.
I haven't really tried using my 8th string for anything other than meshuggah style riffs, some counterpoint and the occasional extended chords. I try to use the 8th string whenever it fits with a riff basically. I've never had a problem with wide fretboards since I grew up playing classical guitar. I highly recommend checking out the ESP 8 strings or the Ibanez ones as they have pretty nice necks (though the Ibanez feel wider imo). YMMV
 

Tech Wrath

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I have an 8 multiscale and I mainly tune double drop (EAEADGBE). I use thick strings on the low end and looser on the high end to complement my playing style. I use the low end for thick, chunky, heavy riffage, and use the rest normally, for leads, solos, melodies etc.
When I started it was basically only the higher 7 but now I use it to a full extent and love it. It's definitely not for everyone though.
 

vick1000

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If the intonation is set right, and your setup/pickups and amp settings are right, you can add the 8th into chords for some awsome open notes and massive palm mutes. Then you throw in the Meshuggah type alternating octaves and mutes with wacky time sigs, etc...and there is plenty to do with it.

The main reason, really the only reason for an 8, is extended scales. Allowing low registers without sacraficing uppers for solos, etc...

The "other" is usually the 8s are already setup for heavier gauge and F or lower tuning, where as a 6 or 7 may require nut cutting and bridge modification for intonation.
 

RED_ROBOT

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I tune to standard + drop A for 7th - like having a 7-string tuned to drop A and then I do drop E for 8th. I do not play any chords involving 8th string, but I consider it useful to bang the 8th from time to time just for teh brutz.
I know it's kinda strange but it works for me. Plus I can switch from 6th to 8th on the same note and the same fret during for instance some kind of bridge in a song or a "breakdown" - coming with earthquakey riffs.

I'm a really crappy guitarist so that's just for fun. Never shred anyway.
 

stinkoman

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As somebody with a big influence from a lot of 8 string players. I actually play mostly instrumental surf with mine. This isn't a joke either. A lot of surf guys are much older than me, and stuck in things having to have a certain aesthetic, it doesn't fly over very well. But the additional low's push through a fender reverb tank and showman cab is amazing sounding.
 

GunpointMetal

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I play my 8/9 string guitars like six strings with extra middle strings. I didn't adjust my playing/writing style, just built tones that would compliment it with the lower tuning. I don't understand why so many guitar players are afraid to use the full range of the guitar like a guitar instead of "these strings are for heavy riffs". Sometimes I'll barely use the lower strings except for passing notes and slides and sometimes I might never touch the top 2-3 strings in a song. I have one band that I play the 9s in where I could probably get away with a 30" scale 6-string, but why would I buy another guitar just so people don't say "He's not using the full range of that instrument."
 

BrailleDecibel

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I play in drop E and just play death metal :p you can check out out my band on Facebook

Www.facebook.com/Beyondtheabyssofficial

Good stuff, man! Makes me wanna pick up my 8-string again and do some jamming on it. :hbang:


I haven't really been playing my 8-string much lately, but when I do play it, I tune to drop-E, and play my usual blend of hard rock meets metal. The song below is from my solo project In Winter, which is more of a gothic/doom/dark metal kind of thing, and features me on vocals and guitar, and my brother on bass...enjoy, and good luck on your ERG journey, OP! :metal:


 

Pooty Skills

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I have an 8 multiscale and I mainly tune double drop (EAEADGBE). I use thick strings on the low end and looser on the high end to complement my playing style. I use the low end for thick, chunky, heavy riffage, and use the rest normally, for leads, solos, melodies etc.
When I started it was basically only the higher 7 but now I use it to a full extent and love it. It's definitely not for everyone though.


I use this exact same setup. EA bass strings (.80 and .65) and standard tuning on 9's above. I use it for everything, from playing huge 7 string riffs in drop A, to clean jams with the loop pedal and full ranged bass lines. I love the 8 because it lets me easily reach the entirety of guitar and bass ranges all at once without having to switch instruments.

One thing that I found when I first got my Ormsby Hype 8 GTR, is that it was hard to get nice big, full sounding tones from the bass strings. This is because guitar amps and bass amps are biased differently to create a certain range of tones. Once I started playing my 8 string through a nice, powerful GK bass amp (with a 15" sub and tweeters) , the guitar really came alive to me. The bass rumbles the room in the way that it should, and it doesn't seem to have an adverse effect on the high end at all, which I was worried about. You do miss out on that nice "guitar into a tube head" distortion, tho.
 

Science_Penguin

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As comeback when my bassist jokes about quitting.

"That's cool, I'll just get a 9 string and we'll be good."
 

Bearitone

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I'm guilty of just using my 8 string as a baritone 6 string 90% of the time.

I barely ever touch the bottom 4 strings let alone the bottom 2. (Definitely a rhythm guy)

The 8 is fun, and I got it thinking I would learn tons of songs from bands like Acacia Strain, Oceano, Fit for an Autopsy etc... but Its been over a year and I just haven't gotten around to it.

Im definitely going to keep the 8 but, I need to get a 6 string back in my life for sure. (Right now the 8 is my only guitar) I spend more time writing my own material than learning and playing riffs that already exist and I just haven't gotten comfortable enough writing music on the six to really grasp what I need to do on an 8.

I feel like I can't escape the top 4 strings. I can intuitively noodle on the top 4 but just can't break through to those bottom two strings.
one day...
 

viesczy

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On the fretboard!
I play my 8s like my 7s and 6s, just an added string(s) compared to the other guitars.

I like have the range of notes available, be those picked/tapped/hammered on/pulled off notes.
 


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