Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a 7 string Guitar?

The 7 string falls under a catagory of what we now know as “extended range guitars”. Extended range guitars also include 8, 9 and even 10 string guitars. Really in this day and age there's seemingly no limit to how many strings can be added. At face value thre 7string may appear as just a 6 string with an added low B string. As a result, it is typically used for heavier music styles such as Progressive Metal and Djent. But there's no rule on what style it may be used with and is even used in Jazz.

What is a 7 String guitar used for?

As I mentioned above, the 7 string is most commonly used as a means to lower the range of a song thus making it sound heavier in much the same way as dropped tunings are used on a 6 string. In fact, when you think about, the standard 7 string tuning (BEADGBE) is only adding 5 lower tones to its 6 string counterpart. So the next step is typically to drop the low B down to an A to add a couple more tones before eventually stepping up (or down as it were) to an 8 string. For me, I've adapted the approach of blending the 7th string in with the other 6 in such a way that you may not perceive that I'm playing a 7 string. A great example of this is my cover of Jeff Beck's “The Pump” and my song “The Alluvial Aquifer” from the album “I Dug A Well”.

Is a 7 string guitar more difficult to play than a standard 6 string?

I think for most of us when picking up a 7 string for the first time struggled with not confusing the low B with what we typically see as the low E. It was also easy to get lost when attempting to play 6 string based songs on a 7 string. In LO7S, I have somewhat flipped the script in how I perceive the 7 string. Instead of approaching it as a standard B+EADGBE guitar, I present it as a BEADGB+E. I've discovered that this opens up a whole new perspective and new tonal posibilities and creative ideas very quickly flow from my fingertips. I've also noticed that scale patterns that may be a little more cumbersome on the 6 string seem to fall under my fingers easier on the 7 string.

Why did you develop a guitar course devoted to the 7 string?

During my years of private instruction, there's been a growing interest in extended range guitars with the occasional student showing up for lessons with a new 7 string unannounced. And there was me sitting there in my teaching chair holding a 6 string having to “johnny on the spot” figure out how this lesson was going to go down. In the early days, that would often mean simply taking standard riffs and progressions and transposing them down into the lower range. Then from there we might analyze songs that used the 7 string. I would also scour the internet for credible 7 string lesson material but that could only go so far. In 2020 when lessons pivoted to Zoom, I began creating lessons for a 7 string student and soon thereafter began developing it into what is now Life On 7 Strings. So to summarize, it all began as trying to fulfill a need or a gap.

Is there a 6 string course available?

Yes, Life On 6 Strings is available on this site as well.