The Info List - Seven-string Guitar

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The SEVEN-STRING GUITAR adds one additional string, commonly used to extend the bass range (usually a low B) but it can also be used to extend the treble range of the 6 string guitar.

The additional string is added in one of two different ways: by increasing the width of the fingerboard such that the additional string may be fretted by the left hand; or, by leaving the fingerboard unchanged and adding a "floating" bass string. In the latter case, the extra bass string lies next to the existing bass strings, but free of the fingerboard in similar fashion as the archlute and theorbo . Such unfrettable bass strings were historically known as diapasons or bourdons.

Some types of seven-string guitars are specific to certain cultures such as the Russian and Brazilian guitars.


* 1 History

* 2 Acoustic designs

* 2.1 Russian * 2.2 Brazilian * 2.3 Classical * 2.4 Mexican (guitarra séptima)

* 3 Electric guitar designs

* 3.1 Semi-hollow and hollow body electric guitars * 3.2 Solid body electric guitars

* 4 Hybrid designs * 5 Tuning * 6 Uses

* 7 Notable players

* 7.1 Jazz
* 7.2 Classical * 7.3 Rock

* 7.4 Metal

* 7.4.1 Black * 7.4.2 Blackened Death * 7.4.3 Death * 7.4.4 Djent * 7.4.5 Doom * 7.4.6 Folk * 7.4.7 Gothic * 7.4.8 Industrial * 7.4.9 Metalcore/Deathcore * 7.4.10 Nu * 7.4.11 Power * 7.4.12 Progressive * 7.4.13 Thrash

* 8 See also * 9 Notes * 10 References


The history of the seven-string guitar stretches back more than 230 years. During the Renaissance
period (ca. 1400-1600 CE), the European guitar generally had four courses , each strung with two gut strings, and the pair of strings within each course tuned in unison . By the mid- Baroque
period (ca. 1600-1750) it more commonly had five courses (still double-strung) and used a variety of tunings, some of them re-entrant . By the early eighteenth century six double-strung courses had become common.

Up to this point most stringed instruments were strung with gut strings. Around 1800 quality metal-wire strings became widely available. These new strings were more durable, remained in tune better, and—most importantly—produced a louder sound than the traditional gut strings. As use of metal strings became more widely adopted, their greater volume output impelled luthiers to experiment more with single-strung courses on their instruments, and in a relatively short time the modern practice of using six single strings became first common, and then standard.

The changing number of courses in these early guitars may also illustrate an ongoing desire on behalf of players to increase the range of the instrument, a development similar to that gone through by the lute in earlier days. It is likely that all of these factors contributed to the development of the seven-string guitar, which has been around ever since. The seven-string guitar never became as widely accepted in Europe as the six-string instrument, but a number of composers did produce a significant body of work for the seven string. French guitarist Napoleon Coste (1805–1883) composed works with a seven-string guitar specifically in mind. The Italian guitarist Mario Maccaferri (1899-1993) was a celebrated advocate of bass strings (diapasons or bourdons) and also composed for the instrument. By contrast, in Russia
the seven-string guitar became widely popular, and entire schools of playing were developed around its use. Despite some brief setbacks in the mid-20th century, during which six-string instruments rose in prominence, the seven-string Russian guitar has remained popular in Russia
to this day. In the New World, a guitarra séptima or guitarra sétima—with fourteen strings, strung in seven double courses—has been known in Mexico since at least 1776 (Antonio Vargas). These instruments may still be found in use in Mexico, although the modern six-string instrument has become far more common. Seven-string instruments retain current popularity in parts of South America, notably Brazil, where they became an important instrument in the choro music of the 19th century, which is currently (2015) experiencing a revival.



A seven-string Russian guitar Main article: Russian guitar

The RUSSIAN GUITAR (or gypsy guitar), is a seven-string acoustic guitar tuned to the Open G tuning , (DGBDGBD), which arrived or was developed early in the 19th century in Russia
, possibly as a development of the cittern , the kobza and the torban . It is known in Russia
as the semistrunnaya gitara (семиструнная гитара) or affectionately as the semistrunka (семиструнка).

Its invention was popularized by Andrei Sychra , who also wrote a method for the guitar, as well as over one thousand compositions, seventy-five of which were republished in the 1840s by Stellovsky , and then again in the 1880s by Gutheil . Some of these were published again in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1926. Andrei Sychra in his notation, marks with a number between 1 and 4 where to fret the 7th string with the thumb. Another way that Andrei Sychra took advantage of this guitar’s innovation was through natural harmonics. Because of the three strings tuned to D, harmonics could be played in synchronization.

Early instruments used gut, and latter silk strings; rarely wire. In the 20th century these instruments commonly used nylon strings, like western classical guitars, though by the last third of the century both nylon-strung "classical" and metal-strung "gypsy" versions of the instrument were both plentiful. Whatever material was used for stringing, the Russian guitar is traditionally played without a pick, using fingers for either strumming or picking. The origins of the 7 string most likely came from the English “guittar” popular in the late 18th century. The added string created an extra dimension for bass notes as well as opening up chord possibilities. The seventh string is also likely to have been influenced by the harp as it is meant to played arpeggiated. It also happens that the open D tuning was a perfect fourth lower than the six string tuning. The open D string tuning of this guitar was convenient for many Russian folk songs and dances that were typically within the major key. Along with the added interval possibilities came new techniques not previously seen with 6th string guitars.

The Russian version of the seven-string guitar has been used by professionals, because of its great flexibility and its sound, but has also been popular with amateurs for accompaniment (especially Russian bards ) due to the relative simplicity of some basic chords and the ease of playing alternating bass lines. While greatly popular in Russia
and Ukraine, this type of guitar has only recently been generating some interest outside of its traditional homeland.


Tuning of the Russian guitar *

An F# major chord *

A B minor chord

The earliest music published for a seven-string guitar was in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 15 December 1798. The school was owned by Ignác František Held (1766, Třebechovice pod Orebem , Bohemia
– 1816, Brest-Litovsk , Russia

Standard tuning for the Russian guitar is: D2 G2 B2 D3 G3 B3 D4 with a very common "classical" variant being C2 G2 B2 D3 G3 B3 D4

Other alternate tunings include:

* G-C-E-G-C-E-G ("Big guitar") * F-Bb-D-F-Bb-D-F (1/3rd guitar) * E-A-B-D-G-B-D * E-G-B-D-G-B-D * D-G-C-D-G-A#-D * B-F#-B-E-A-D-F# * A-E-A-D-G-B-E


Sofres porque queres Example of seven-string guitar "baixaria" in the choro "Sofres porque queres" (Pixinguinha) recorded in 1919. -------------------------

Problems playing this file? See media help .

The Brazilian seven-string guitar (Portuguese : violão de sete cordas) is an acoustic guitar used primarily in choro and samba . It was introduced to Brazil in the late 19th century as a steel string guitar. The style of "baixaria" counterpoint and accompaniment technique was developed throughout the 20th century, especially by Dino 7 Cordas and Raphael Rabello . In the early 1980s, guitarist Luiz Otavio Braga had a nylon string version made, and this has become the norm for most contemporary choro musicians such as Yamandu Costa .

The Brazilian seven-string guitar is typically tuned like a classical guitar, but with an additional C below the low E as follows: C2 E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4; although some musicians tune the C down to a B resulting in: B1 E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4.


Seven-string guitarists are utilized in playing traditional and contemporary "classical" repertoire. These instruments are essentially nylon-strung classical guitars with one extra (usually) bass string, and the tuning is most commonly: B1 E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4. Aficionados of the instrument have produced many new arrangements traditionally six-string classical guitar pieces, and the seventh string may be retuned—to C or D, for example—to accommodate these arrangements. The use of this instrument in the classical world, along with other extended range instruments having 8-, 9- 10-, 11- or more strings, has become common enough that several noted string manufacturers now produce and marked string sets specifically for seven-string classical guitars (La Bella; Pyramid; d'Aquisto; etc.) For example, Napolean Coste arranged one of Franz Schubert’s pieces with vocal accompaniment despite guitars being typically for solo performance at the time.


There is a guitar of seven courses with double string guitar, totaling 14 strings, known as Guitarra séptima . The instrument is still played in Mexico, though it has become uncommon.


Seven-string electric guitar Ibanez RG7321BK


In the United States
United States
, the jazz guitarist George Van Eps had a seven-string guitar built for him by Epiphone
Guitars in the late 1930s and a signature Gretsch
seven-string in the late 60s and early 70s. The Van Eps signature guitar may be the first regular-production seven-string electric guitar. Van Eps tuned his 7th string to A.

Several others began using seven-string guitars after Van Eps, including Bucky Pizzarelli , Howard Alden , Ron Eschete , Chance Russell , and John Pizzarelli , son of Bucky Pizzarelli. Lenny Breau also used seven string instruments, but whereas the other players all used instruments with an added bass string, Breau had at least one instrument in which the seventh string was an added treble string, tuned to the 'A' above the high 'E' string (A4). At the time he began using the high A string, no commercially manufacturered string could withstand being tuned that high, so Breau substituted a piece of monofilament fishing line of appropriate gauge. A year later advances in materials science allowed the La Bella company to begin manufacturing a custom string for Breau's high A.

Seven-string semi-acoustic archtop guitars were used by jazz-guitarist Ralph Patt after he began exploring major-thirds tuning in 1964. Patt's tuning is a regular tuning , in the sense that all of the intervals between its successive open strings are major thirds ; in contrast, the standard guitar-tuning has one major-third amid four fourths . Major-thirds tuning has a smaller scope than standard guitar-tuning, and so Patt started using seven-string guitars, which enabled major-thirds tuning to have the E-e' range of the standard tuning. He first experimented with a wide-neck Mango guitar from the 1920s, which he modified to have seven strings in 1963. In 1967 he purchased a seven-string by José Rubio.

The first seven-string electric guitars were built in the "hollowbody" or "semi-hollow" archtop styles, where the guitar has a central resonating chamber, or a central block with resonant chambers on the sides. This gave the guitar the dark woodiness, breath, and richness that is associated with traditional "jazz" tone, but also made prone to feedback at high volumes, making it problematic for rock guitar playing.


A solid body seven-string electric guitar was conceived by guitarist Lenny Breau and built by luthier Kirk Sand, debuting at the 1983 NAMM convention featuring a high A-string (rather than the low A-string of Eps). In 1987, Fender signed an agreement with Alex Gregory to produce a Stratocaster
-style guitar that featured a high A-string. A small number of prototypes were made. However the unit was never put into production.

The first mass-produced seven-string was the Ibanez UV7 as a signature model for Steve Vai . It was also used by John Petrucci , Reb Beach and Korn amongst others. Vai was drawn to the idea for much of the same reasons seven-string classical and jazz players were—the extended range the additional string offered. After initial experimentation with a high A, a low B was added as the high A proved to be too prone to breaking. (Kirk Sand Christian Olde Wolbers has his own signature Jackson seven-string guitar, Jeff Loomis has a signature model made by Schecter and Stephen Carpenter has several of his own models released by ESP .


In the early 2000s, Roger McGuinn (renowned for his skills on the twelve-string guitar and for his long association with The Byrds ) worked with C. F. Martin -webkit-column-width: 20em; column-width: 20em;">

* Howard Alden * Lenny Breau * Jimmy Bruno * Robert Conti * Dino 7 Cordas * Ron Eschete * Jimmy Foster * Fred Fried * Nigel Gavin * Jon Gearey * Julian Graciano * Steve Herberman * Charlie Hunter * Diane Hubka * Buddy Jones * Tom Lippincott * Nate Lopez * Ed Laub * Steve Masakowski * Pat Metheny * Ralph Patt * Howard Paul * Bucky Pizzarelli * John Pizzarelli * Chance Russell * George Van Eps


Main article: Classical Music
Classical Music

* Adam Rafferty * Anastasia Bardina * Andrei Krylov * Bulat Okudzhava * Chris Buzzelli * Matthew Grasso * Oleg Timofeyev
Oleg Timofeyev
* Raphael Rabello * Ron Murray -webkit-column-width: 20em; column-width: 20em;">

* Crossfade * Jaxon Benge - Hed PE
Hed PE
* Matthew Bellamy - Muse * Korn * Mike Mushok - Staind * Miya ( Mucc ) * Nickelback (on Burn It to the Ground ) * Olli Tukiainen - Poets of the Fall * Ruud Jolie - Within Temptation * Ryan Shuck - Julien-K * Simon Ormandy - Trapt * Steve Vai * Uli Jon Roth * Stephen Carpenter - Deftones * Alex Parvis of Area 11 (band)


Main article: Metal


Main article: Black Metal
Black Metal

* Abgott - German Wiki * Hupogrammos - Negură Bunget , Dordeduh * Ihsahn - Emperor * Kernun - Otargos * Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson - Marduk * Nidingr * Seregor - Carach Angren * Sol'Faur - Negură Bunget , Dordeduh * Thomas Backelin - Lord Belial

Blackened Death

Main article: Blackened Death Metal

* Alastor - Temple Of Baal * Aphotic Mote - Portal
(7's before 2008, 8's after) * Bartłomiej Szudek - Azarath * Erik Meihs - The Amenta * Gene Palubicki - Angelcorpse * Jesse Liu - Chthonic * Nergal - Behemoth * Paal Andre Sandnesmo - No Dawn * Seth - Behemoth


Main article: Death Metal

* Josh McMorran - Bloodshot Dawn * Brody Uttley and Jon Topore - Rivers of Nihil * Joel Guernsey and Cameron Porras - Inanimate Existence. * Christian Muenzner - Obscura , Spawn of Possession , Alkaloid * Craig Peters and Erik Lindmark - Deeds of Flesh , as of Portals to Canaan. * Dave Davidson and Dan Gargiulo - Revocation , as of Teratogenesis. * Danny Tunker - Alkaloid, Aborted
* Giulio Moschini - Hour of Penance * Jonas Bryssling - Spawn of Possession * Keith Merrow * Kévin Chartré - Beyond Creation, Simon Girard uses an eight-string. * Miguel Esparza and Greg Paulson - Arkaik * Morean Alkaloid, Noneuclid * Muhammed Suiçmez - Necrophagist * Ola Englund - Feared, Scarpoint, Six Feet Under * Peter Tägtgren - Hypocrisy * Ron Jarzombek - Blotted Science * Sami Raatikainen - Necrophagist * Scott Carstairs and Brian James - Fallujah * Sebastian "Zeb" Nilsson - Aeon * Steffen Kummerer – Obscura * Trey Azagthoth - Morbid Angel


Main article: Djent

* Acle Kahney - TesseracT * Diego Farias - Volumes * Fredrik Thordendal - Meshuggah (now mainly uses 8 string) * Jake Bowen - Periphery * James Monteith - TesseracT * John Browne - Monuments * Mårten Hagström - Meshuggah (now mainly uses 8 string) * Mark Holcomb - Periphery * Misha Mansoor - Periphery * Textures


Main article: Doom Metal

* Aaron Aedy - Paradise Lost * Greg Mackintosh - Paradise Lost


Main article: Folk Metal

* Heri Joensen - Týr * Jyri Vahvanen - Battlelore * Terji Skibenæs - Týr * René Berthiaume - Equilibrium


Main article: Gothic Metal

* Cinthya Blackcat (Mystica Girls) * Lacuna Coil


Main article: Industrial Metal

* Christian Olde Wolbers - Arkaea * Dave Felton - Mushroomhead * Devin Townsend
Devin Townsend
- Strapping Young Lad * Dino Cazares - Fear Factory , Divine Heresy * Marko Vukcevich - Mushroomhead


Main article: Metalcore

* Akshay Rajpurohit - Scribe * Alex Wade - Whitechapel * Andrew Mikhail - Serpents/Oceano * Andrew Whiting - Attack Attack! * Blake Martin - A Plea for Purging * Buz McGrath - Unearth * Jason Richardson - Chelsea Grin , Born of Osiris * Gabe Mangold - Delusions of Grandeur * Jonathon Deiley - Northlane * Josh Smith - Northlane * Justin Longshore - Through the Eyes of the Dead * Justin Lowe and Trent Hafdahl - After the Burial (early work, switched to 8-strings on second album) * Lee McKinney - Born of Osiris * Michael Stafford - Chelsea Grin * Prashanth Shah - Scribe


Main article: Nu metal

* Brian Welch - Korn (Uses 6 string baritone guitars in his solo project) * Clint Lowery - Sevendust * Flaw * James Shaffer - Korn (Drops down one whole step. A,D,G,C,F,A,D.) * Tim Fluckley - Adema (Drops down half step. F#,E,A,D,G,B,E.) * Wes Borland - Limp Bizkit (he has since switched to using 6 string guitars exclusively)


Main article: Power metal

* Elias Viljanen - Sonata Arctica
Sonata Arctica
* Jani Liimatainen * Nils Norberg - Nocturnal Rites * Chris Rörland - Sabaton * Herman Li - DragonForce


Main article: Progressive Metal

* Angel Vivaldi - I Legion * Benjamin Baret and Matt Klavins - Ne Obliviscaris * Bleeding Oath * Chris Letchford - Scale the Summit * Davide Tiso - Ephel Duath * Dir En Grey * Jeff Loomis - Ex- Nevermore * John Petrucci - Dream Theater
Dream Theater
* Rusty Cooley - Ex- Outworld * Tony MacAlpine * Tosin Abasi - Animals as Leaders (now mainly uses 8 string) * Javier Reyes - Animals as Leaders (now mainly uses 8 string)


Main article: Thrash Metal

* Berit Hagen - The Commander-In-Chief * Chris Broderick - Ex- Megadeth
* Corey Beaulieu - Trivium * Marc Rizzo - Soulfly * Matt Heafy - Trivium * Oscar Morales * Juan Hernandez * Nick Woodward


* Guitar

* Russian guitar * Eight-string guitar * Nine-string guitar * Ten-string guitar * Extended-range bass * Harp
guitar * Chapman stick
Chapman stick
* List of artists who use seven-string guitars


* ^ http://www.luth.org/memoriams/mem_mario-maccaferri.html * ^ Smith, Gerald Stanton (1984). Songs to seven strings: Russian guitar poetry and Soviet "mass song". Soviet history, politics, society, and thought. Indiana University Press. pp. 1–271. ISBN 0253353912 . ISBN 9780253353917 . * ^ INAH (1988). Atlas Cultural de México. Música. México: Grupo Editorial Planeta. ISBN 968-406-121-8 . * ^ The Seven String Guitar
in Brazil * ^ Casey (2003) * ^ http://www.guitarandluteissues.com/rmcg/sychra.htm * ^ http://lutheriefg-reparations.blogspot.com/2016/02/scriptie-7-string-russian-guitar-or.htm * ^ http://www.justclassicalguitar.com/pen&nail/7strings.php * ^ http://www.naxos.com/person/Napoleon_Coste_27134/27134.htm * ^ http://www.johnpizzarelli.com/ * ^ Ferguson, Jim (November 1984). " Lenny Breau Remembered". Guitar Player Magazine. access-date= requires url= (help ) * ^ Griewank (2010 , p. 1) * ^ Kirkeby, Ole (1 March 2012). "Major thirds tuning". m3guitar.com. cited by Sethares (2011) and (Griewank 2010 , p. 1). Retrieved 10 June 2012. * ^ Patt, Ralph (14 April 2008). "The major 3rd tuning". Ralph Patt's jazz web page. ralphpatt.com. cited by Sethares (2011) and Griewank (2010 , p. 1). Retrieved 10 June 2012. * ^ A B Sethares (2001 , pp. 52–67) and Sethares (2011) * ^ A B Peterson (2002 , p. 37) * ^ Peterson (2002 , p. 36) * ^ Lenny Breau Remembered, Guitar
Player, November 1984 * ^ Kirk Sand Profile, Premier Guitar
Magazine, September 2010 * ^ Duchossoir AR. "The Fender Stratocaster" Hal Leonard Corporation 1995, p34 * ^ Sullivan, L. (1990) What’s hot in guitars. Guitar
School Magazine. New York City, NY. pp. 15 * ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKsGpl6lgbk * ^ http://pureguitar.com/interviews/2013/06/13/bob-benedetto-pioneer-of-the-modern-7-string-jazz-guitar/ * ^ http://www.dianehubka.com/images/presskit/pdf/dianehubka_bio.pdf * ^ http://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/musician.php?id=36046#.UlcY-SenR1k * ^ Listed on luthier Linda Manzer 's webpage * ^ http://www.maelstromzine.com/ezine/interview_iss53_236.php * ^ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Temple-Of-Baal/20135072962?sk=photos_stream * ^ http://www.nodawn.com/band.php


* Casey, Fred (2003). "From Russia, with strings attached". American Lutherie: The Quarterly Journal of the Guild of American Luthiers. 8222 South Park Avenue, Tacoma WA 98408: USA.: The Guild of American Luthiers. NUMBER 75 (Fall). ISSN 1041-7176 . Plan number 48, Russian 7-string Guitar. Drawn by Fred Casey and Guild staff. One sheet 24 x 42 inches. Retrieved 9 October 2012. * Griewank, Andreas (1 January 2010), Tuning guitars and reading music in major thirds, Matheon preprints, 695, Rosestr. 3a, 12524 Berlin, Germany: DFG research center "MATHEON, Mathematics for key technologies" Berlin, URN
urn:nbn:de:0296-matheon-6755 . MSC-Classification 97M80 Arts. Music. Language. Architecture. Postscript file and Pdf file * Peterson, Jonathon (2002). "Tuning in thirds: A new approach to playing leads to a new kind of guitar". American Lutherie: The Quarterly Journal of the Guild of American Luthiers. 8222 South Park Avenue, Tacoma WA 98408: USA.: The Guild of American Luthiers. NUMBER 72 (Winter): 36–43. ISSN 1041-7176 . Retrieved 9 October 2012. * Sethares, Bill (2001). "Regular tunings". Alternate tuning guide (pdf). Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin; Department of Electrical Engineering. pp. 52–67. Retrieved 19 May 2012. * Sethares, William A. (2011). "Alternate tuning guide". Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin; Department of Electrical Engineering. Retrieved 19 May 2012.

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* list


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