From Hell’s Heart:
7/8/9(!?) stringed guitars – Yay or Nay?
The standard guitar used by most metal guitarists is a 6-stringed instrument. In the past several years we’ve seen/heard a lot of players using 7 stringed guitars, and even some pushing the envelope with 8 and, yes, even 9 strings. Why? Does it make things more interesting? Heavier? More progressive? Is it a waste of time? We asked our contributors to choose a side and back up their “Yea or Nay” decision with examples of players/bands.
Yngwie only needs six strings to rule them all.
Look, unless you’re Steve Vai and it’s still 1990, the seven string guitar thing has long overstayed its welcome. I get it, sure – in the right hands, the additional range can offer blah, blah, blah, yakkity shmakitty…Shenanigans, pure and simple. For every Luc Lemay, Karl Sanders, or Tobin Abasi, all of whom can truly work some definable magic through their instruments, there’s an exponentially larger ratio of skinny jean wearing, crab walking, open note rattling skidmarks, pandering to the lowest common denominator of human society through their suburban screamo. It needs to stop. It just needs to stop. You’ve ruined it for the rest of us.
And no, it doesn’t make you sound more “progressive”, your level of technical prowess does. The 7/8/9 string guitar has become a punchline. The more strings you have on your guitar, the bigger punchline you are, and the better your chances are of your band playing on the Warped Tour.
Chuck Schuldiner, Tony Iommi, Bill Steer – what do they all have in common? Six strings and metal. Deal with it.
It adds nothing and looks ridiculous in many instances. Look at me, I play a 9 string guitar. George Harrison was the first to play a 12 string electric back in the 60’s with his Rickenbacker, but it looked like a 6 string. Fast forward a few years to Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick and his 12 string bass. Similar to Harrison’s Rickenbacker, it loos like a normal bass. In cases like this it looks fine, even Vai’s 7 string looks normal now but when you get past that it just looks out of place and does it really add a new dimension to the music? I think not.