Why Use A 7 String Guitar?
Todd Simpson
Apr 28 2021, 05:59 AM
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Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
So why play a 7? Well, you get an extra string which allows you to run scales longer and lower and you can play deeper power chords and you get a new string to use clean tone chords as well. In short, it opens up your musical horizons. That being said, most folks seem to use it just for having a low string to chugg with smile.gif

The main difference with 7 strings guitars vs 6 string guitars, (other than the extra string) is that some of them have a longer “Scale Length” . Basically, the neck is longer than the standard neck. What is the point of this you ask? Put simply, you can get more string tension going which is important when using big, thick, heavy strings as would be required for the LOW B string, which is the lowest string on a standard 7 string guitar. It’s one octave below the B string that usually comes with a 6 string. So it’s quite a low note. The B string is quite thick and will resonate by itself unless you are careful with your palm mute. This is why you see so many players using fret wraps on 7 and 8 string guitars. They are more difficult to fully palm mute than a six string instrument. This guitar is a bit longer than the standard 25.5” scale length which is common on most 6 string instruments. One thing to be aware of is that longer scale length instruments often feel like they have more string tension than regular guitars. As such it’s harder to bend and use vibrato in an expressive way. It’s still possible, it’s just more work than it would be on a regular 6 string instrument. This is partially why you hear so much open string chugging on 7 and 8 string instruments. They are “built to chugg”, more so than regular guitars which are just built to be a bit more “expressive” imho.

Let’s look at a couple of 7 string guitars for the current production year. If you have never played a 7 string guitar, the good news is that they really don’t feel that different imho. I was able to make the transition from six to seven string guitar without much effort to be honest. It didn’t feel all that different. It was a 7 string Ibanez that felt very similar to my 6 string ibanez. Of course, some guitars have very very big necks which might make things tricky. I did try a SCHECTER 7 string and i didn’t get on well with it. Neck felt like a baseball bat. Of course, each 7 is different, even from the same builder. The KEITH MERROW 7 string from SCHECTER is said to be a wonderful guitar, for example.

JACKSON PRO SERIES DINKY DK MODERN ASH HT7 ($1350)
This guitar is NOT cheap. It’s over $1000 with a street price of around $1350, so it’s on the higher end of the “Budget” range. Here are the specs.

ASH BODY
3 PIECE NECK
26.5” SCALE LENGTH
EBONY FINGERBOARD
12-16” COMPOUND RADIUS
24 FRETS
FISHMAN FLUENCE (OPEN CORE PRF-C07) PICKUPS
HIPSHOT BRIDGE
5 WAY PICKUP SWITCH
JUMBO FRETS
GOTOH LOCKING TUNERS


This guitar is a good example of a modern 7 string. It’s got a longer neck, it’s got a hipshot hard tail, goto locking tuners, and of course, FISHMAN FLUENCE pickups. In short, it’s got all of the trendy bits that a modern 7 string should have. If you are looking to get in to a very well built, well equipped 7 string guitar, this is a fine choice. It even has luminlay glow in the dark fret markers on the side. As a bonus, you have a wheel adjusted truss rod, making truss adjustments a bit easier. Also, the finish is a very modern looking, porous grain that isn’t buried beneath 2 inches of clear coat. This is a nice guitar and would serve you well.



BUDGET OPTION?If you want to get in to a 7 string, but want to save a bit of money, you can always try the new one from CORT!!!

CORT KX500MS ($750)
For about half the price of the Jackson, you can have the CORT KX500MS. This guitar is not only a 7 string, it’s a “MULTI SCALE” guitar. What does that mean? Good question! Basically, it has “FANNED FRETS” as you can see from the picture. The frets are happening at an angle. Why build a guitar like this? Another good question! Basically, it allows you to have a longer scale length for the low strings, to keep a good amount of tension on thick strings that tend to get floppy if they aren’t under enough tension, and then it allows a shorter scale length for the higher strings which means less string tension and thus easier bends/vibrato. So it’s the best of both worlds. I’ve played fanned fret instruments and it’s a very easy adjustment ot make IMHO. Here are the specs.

POPLAR BURL TOP on an ASH BODY
5 PIECE NECK
25.5 to 27” SCALE LENGTH (So it’s a longer scale length than the Jackson on the low cool.gif
EBONY FINGERBOARD
400mm RADIUS
24 FRETS
EMG 707 PICKUPS
PER STRING HARDTAIL BRIDGE (As done on many boutique guitars)
3 WAY PICKUP SWITCH
JUMBO FRETS
CORT LOCKING TUNERS

This guitar, although about half price of the jackson, looks more like a “boutique” instrument. It’s from CORT, which means it doesn’t have the curb appeal of something like a JACKSON guitar. This also means you can get a lot of bang for your buck. You get a lovely poplar top and you get fanned frets/multi scale, for half price. It’s a great price to be honest for this much guitar. The pickups are the EMG 707, which are not bad pickups, but certainly not as good as the much more modern and trendy FISHMAN FLUENCE. It might be worth it to actually replace these pickups with the FISHMAN which would increase the price by about $400. Making this more like $1150, which is just a bit less than the JACKSON. Also, the resale value on this is NOT going to be as good as the JACKSON simply because it’s a lower end brand name. No matter how many features they put on this thing, it’s still a CORT guitar at the end of the day. That being said, if you can cope with the EMG pickups, this is a great value for a 7 string/multi scale guitar. Something like this would cost more than double if it wore a JACKSON badge.



These are just 2 of the wads of 7 string instruments for this model year. It does who how much variety there is between models and how big the price swing can be depending on who builds it, even if they are both built in the same factory. I hope this explains a bit more of why folks want an EXTENDED RAGE INSTRUMENT. smile.gif

WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CHOOSE? OR WOULD YOU SUGGEST ANOTHER?

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Apr 28 2021, 06:00 AM
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Steve Gilfield
Apr 28 2021, 12:33 PM
Learning Tone Master
Posts: 242
Joined: 28-March 20
From: Cyprus
Harley Benton makes affordable 7-string guitars as well (€590).
I have not heard of any complaint so far about this guitar.
Its specs are as good as any big brand's expensive/boutique guitar!

Body: Mahogany
Top: Flamed maple veneer
5-Piece neck: Maple/Mahogany
Fretboard: Macassar ebony
Fretboard radius: 355.6 mm (14")
Scale: 648 mm (25.5")
Frets: 24 Jumbo stainless steel
Pickups: EMG Retro Active Hot 70 Ceramic (bridge) humbucker & EMG Retro Active Hot 70 AlNiCo-5 (neck) humbucker


With an extra €200 you get a VERY similar guitar from the same factory in Indonesia but with a Solar logo tongue.gif


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This post has been edited by Steve Gilfield: Apr 28 2021, 12:46 PM
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Todd Simpson
Apr 28 2021, 10:51 PM
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Posts: 22.589
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Very cool addition. I hadn't seen this one before. Many thanks!!!

QUOTE (Steve Gilfield @ Apr 28 2021, 07:33 AM) *
Harley Benton makes affordable 7-string guitars as well (€590).
I have not heard of any complaint so far about this guitar.
Its specs are as good as any big brand's expensive/boutique guitar!

Body: Mahogany
Top: Flamed maple veneer
5-Piece neck: Maple/Mahogany
Fretboard: Macassar ebony
Fretboard radius: 355.6 mm (14")
Scale: 648 mm (25.5")
Frets: 24 Jumbo stainless steel
Pickups: EMG Retro Active Hot 70 Ceramic (bridge) humbucker & EMG Retro Active Hot 70 AlNiCo-5 (neck) humbucker


With an extra €200 you get a VERY similar guitar from the same factory in Indonesia but with a Solar logo tongue.gif



You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!
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