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De grote online raadgever van Thomann: 7 String Guitars

2. Seven Heaven

Who needs seven strings? Aren’t 7-string guitars for shred-heads who just want more notes to widdle? For 6-string purists, that extra string spells self-indulgent doom. But there are plenty out there who know that there’s much more to 7-string playing than empty showmanship.

For bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit, the deep B string has unleashed new levels of power and depth, almost literally adding greater weight to their heavy sound. Even for Steve Vai, whose stratospheric virtuosity does not dim his raw rock sensibilities, the extra string is used to create a bigger, more menacing sound in pieces like ‘The Audience Is Listening’ and ‘Touching Tongues’.

picture: Hansi Tietgen

Steve Vai - pioneer of the 7th string

Of course, you don’t have to have seven strings to get this kind of depth. Many guitarists simply tune down the bottom string of a conventional guitar, or indeed, tune the whole thing down a tone. But this changes the essential feel of the instrument and compromises the response of the strings, which are designed for tighter winding. Using higher gauge strings can help to overcome this problem, but still compromises the fluidity of the instrument’s response. In other words, the guitar is simply harder to play.

With a seventh string tuned lower, and using a string designed for the purpose, you can retain all the playability and response of a conventional guitar, and still have the low growl and punch you want when you need it. This is where the 7-string electric has found its niche, and where players like Head and Munky of Korn, John Petrucci and George Lynch have helped to create a new approach to rock guitar playing.

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