Most versatile/comfortable tuning for 8-string?

bostjan

MicroMetal
Contributor
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
20,472
Reaction score
11,835
Location
St. Johnsbury, VT USA
Ok, that helps a lot.

What about DAEADGBE? Standard 6 string tuning and then two dropped fifths. I know you tried it, but I bet it'd be a week or two and you'd be used to it.
 

Dayn

SS.org Regular
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
1,981
Reaction score
1,171
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Power chords with a low A are much easier than a low E, as well. I rarely play power chords on my low E unless it's on the fifth fret or above anyway... so if you want that, A and D would be good fun.

But I still think drop E is as close to being the most brain-dead (in a good way) tuning you could use for an 8-string. That's why I haven't changed it in a decade...
 

LunatiqueRob

SS.org Regular
Joined
Nov 11, 2021
Messages
106
Reaction score
205
Ok, that helps a lot.

What about DAEADGBE? Standard 6 string tuning and then two dropped fifths. I know you tried it, but I bet it'd be a week or two and you'd be used to it.

That's what I'm thinking too. It'll take a bit getting used to when playing scales on those two bass strings due to the shifting required, but I rarely play melodic lines on the bass strings anyway--I usually just shift positions since I prefer the same notes played on thinner strings for better clarity.

Power chords with a low A are much easier than a low E, as well. I rarely play power chords on my low E unless it's on the fifth fret or above anyway... so if you want that, A and D would be good fun.

But I still think drop E is as close to being the most brain-dead (in a good way) tuning you could use for an 8-string. That's why I haven't changed it in a decade...

I don't know how power chords on the two thickest strings will sound on my H/08 when I get it, but on my 6-string with a pitch shifter it's pretty muddy, and like you said, you'd have to get higher in the frets to it to start sounding good. This is why I need at least another pair of 5ths for when I need power chords lower in the frets, and the A to the E will serve that function. I hate to be that guy who only uses the thickest string for just chugging 0's, but there's a reason why people tend to default to it.
 

Bevo

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
197
Location
Toronto Canada
I guess you have a point there.

If I have to break it down in detail, I guess what's important to me are:

1) Ability to voice chords (especially jazz) without more difficulty than a standard 6 string (which means I might need to keep standard tuning on the higher 6 strings).

2) Easy power chords, which probably means the lowest 2 strings will be tuned to fifths, so I can have two sets of fifths when writing/playing riffs and power chords.

3) Playing scales wouldn't require big shifts.

But after my experimentation yesterday, I realized this is one of those situations where you can't have your cake and eat it--there has to be a compromise somewhere. And that's what I'm trying to decide on--exactly where to compromise. But I'm only simulating what it might be like on an 8-string with my 6-strings and a pitch shifter, so when I actually do get the H/08 in my hands, it might be different. Perhaps no matter what I tell Aristides to set it up as at the factory, I'll end up having to change it later anyway, so it's just something I'll deal with as it comes.
Just a thought, can you rent an 8 string for a weekend to really dig into tuning?
May be worth the couple of bucks…
 

LunatiqueRob

SS.org Regular
Joined
Nov 11, 2021
Messages
106
Reaction score
205
Just a thought, can you rent an 8 string for a weekend to really dig into tuning?
May be worth the couple of bucks…
I bought an Ibanez RG8 shortly after this post, which I've been experimenting with different tunings on to figure out how I want to set up my Aristides H/08 when it's finished (it'll probably be done around May).

Currently, I've pretty much settled on EAEADGBE. I feel like I don't need the thickest strings to be in fifths because I'm not going to be using them to play power chords (too muddy), and on my 7-string, I use drop A, which I do use to play power chords. So the drop E on the 8-string is really my chug string--at least until I learn how to incorporate it more into overall playing.
 

CanserDYI

Yeah, No, Definitely.
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Messages
4,815
Reaction score
6,893
Location
419
Drop E is my favorite personally, and the stock pups in RG8's and terrible nut and light strings on it are awful for power chords I had the same issue until I had a TUSQ nut cut for it and threw a pegasus in bridge and now powerchords sound great on it, little muddy sure, but that can be dialed out.

What string guages are you using for that on your RG8? I have 85 64 on the bottom for my E and B.
 

Grindspine

likes pointy things
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
1,927
Reaction score
1,138
Location
Indiana
I really like EADGCFAD.

The bottom four strings are EADG, like a standard bass guitar or like standard tuning on an electric guitar, only one octave below.

The top six strings are DGCFAD, like a standard guitar tuned down one full step.

Since my seven string guitars are all ADGCFAD (factory tuning on Ibanez RGD), carrying that tuning over to an 8 and having a low E is a bit more comfortable for me than F, F#, or Drop E tunings.
 

Dayn

SS.org Regular
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
1,981
Reaction score
1,171
Location
Brisbane, Australia
I bought an Ibanez RG8 shortly after this post, which I've been experimenting with different tunings on to figure out how I want to set up my Aristides H/08 when it's finished (it'll probably be done around May).

Currently, I've pretty much settled on EAEADGBE. I feel like I don't need the thickest strings to be in fifths because I'm not going to be using them to play power chords (too muddy), and on my 7-string, I use drop A, which I do use to play power chords. So the drop E on the 8-string is really my chug string--at least until I learn how to incorporate it more into overall playing.
Glad you've found your tuning. I used to have my 2nd 8-string tuned with the lowest two strings in fifths, but since then I gave it up and just tuned it to drop D, to complement my other 8-string in drop E. It just feels so right. Sometimes it's best to stick with what you're most familiar with.
 

Go To Bed Jessica

SS.org Regular
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
846
Reaction score
89
Location
NSW, Australia
After playing EBEADGBE basically the entire time since I started playing 8 string, I decided to change it up a bit.

I'm really enjoying F#BEADF#BE at the moment. B standard 6 string in the middle, with a low string and a high string. I'm really enjoying the chord voicings I'm finding with the "extra" high string.

I'll probably end up dropping the low string to E again, but it's been fun

The other interesting one I messed with for a while was EADGBEBE - which is like a bass VI plus the two high strings from a guitar. I didn't really love that tuning tbh. It did make for some very rich sounding chords though.
 


Top