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What is a 7-string guitar?
A 7-string electric guitar adds an extra string to the normal guitar. Most of the time, the additional string added to the guitar is a low B string. The string increases the low-end qualities, which are lacking in most electric guitars. In addition, the lower string makes the guitar sound better for metal genres of music, be it death metal, heavy metal, djent, and others. Now that we know why that extra string is needed (without walking into a guitar store), let's look at some seven-string guitars to help you bring out absolute doom to other music genres.
Best 7 String Guitars
1) Ibanez GRG 7-String Electric Guitar
Ibanez is the king when it comes to any extended-range guitar. Mass production of 7-string guitars started with the Ibanez universe, and Steve Vai presented this gift to the world. The guitar is a great entry-level into the world of 7-string guitars for anyone who wants to try out that world before getting fully immersed into it. The guitar has a tempting glossy finish and an even more enticing tone to it.
Ibanez GRG has the infinity R7 humbucking pickups for a fat tone that causes extreme fear when distorted. The guitar has a fixed bridge that helps you cross to the other side, where deities jam to metal songs. The bridge offers stability and strength for accurate notes and clean tremolos.
The seven strings on Ibanez increase the scale length for you to keep shredding as much as you want to make Mr. Vai look down from the afterlife heaven with pride.
The guitar has a high gloss finish on the body and a New Zealand pine wood fretboard. The board has string bending friendly jumbo frets for iconic pinch harmonics to bring out the screams like no other guitar can. The guitar has been patterned after the legendary Ibanez metal Monster and gives a good orientation for the greatness that is about to be your life.
2) Schecter C-7 Deluxe
- Left Handed model w/Basswood Body w/ Maple Neck
- Hardtail Bridge w/String Thru Body
- Schecter Diamond Plus Pickups
- Chrome Hardware
- Rosewood Fingerboard w/Dot inlay
Killer tone; that is the word you use when describing Schecter. Also, the name sounds like a guitar that James Bond would use if he were a guitarist, but I bet he did not have time to practice with all the running around. However, the guitar demands just as much respect with all the class it brings with it. The guitar has a lightweight basswood body with a rosewood fretboard and a thin maple guitar neck.
The guitar is designed for comfort with the thin neck giving access to the strings for maximum speed and agility. You can access all the notes easily compared to a wider neck guitar. The guitar has ample cutaways and a sculpted bolt around the neck joint for you to access all the 24 frets with ease. The features let you access more notes to improve your phrasing abilities and achieve shriller screams that remind people of what happens when they do not respect the magnificent gear.
The secret to Schecter's tone is the diamond plus pickups that give the gain needed when shredding. In addition, the guitar has nice clean tones in the case where you prefer to use a clean tone. These features give the guitar the tonal and dynamic range that will help you fit into any musical scene without feeling out of place. Schecter guitars have both right and lefthanded versions for everyone to enjoy some serious jams.
3) Ibanez RG7421PB Electric Guitar
- 7-string Solidbody Electric Guitar with Mahogany Body
- Fixed Bridge - Pearl Black Fade Metallic
- 2 Humbucking Pickups
- Jatoba Fingerboard
- Maple Neck
Any Ibanez guitar in the RG series is a masterpiece. The RG series took the world by storm, and the damage is still visible. The guitar offers an unforgettable experience with the wizard-3 maple guitar neck. The guitar has a black fade pearl design that will look amazing in your hands. The guitar has white dot inlays that help you map the scales for all the exotic and indigenous modes.
Ibanez has a fixed bridge that holds all the strings in place for high activity. The guitar has a mahogany body contoured for maximum comfort and great ergonomics for longer playing periods. Ibanez has a double, deep cut near the neck position that gives you access to all the 24 frets for extreme metal licks in all the legendary stages you will perform in.
The Ibanez guitar has Quantum Humbucker pickups with ceramic magnets to capture all the higher to lower strings evenly when you need them. The pick-ups work perfectly for screaming leads, those emotional mids, and beefy lows that will make your soul shake with terror. The RG has a 5-way switch for a wide tonal switch that gives you enough field to do whatever you like with the genres at your disposal.
4) Jackson JS Series
- 7-string Solidbody Electric Guitar with Poplar Body
- 2 Humbucking Pickups - Snow White
- Amaranth Fingerboard
- Maple Arch Top
- Maple Neck
Jackson nailed the design of this 7-string wonder. The guitar has a beautiful body and a deadly delivery. Jackson has all the features that qualify the machine to play on legendary stages as a metal guitar. The guitar features a 26.5 scale length, unlike other extended range guitars that mostly have a 25.5 scale length. The length helps you articulate the low ends in ways that Jared Dines would love to hear.
Playing guitar riffs and scales is about each note being clear and on point with rhythmic correctness and creative timing. The guitar is built for accuracy and precision due to some features that you rarely see on any guitar. First, Jackson has a 12-16 compound radius rosewood fingerboard that lets you fly through the notes. Second, the guitar has piranha tooth inlays and 24 jumbo frets for maximum scale utility. Finally, the guitar has a stylish fingerboard and headstock binding that looks good and is functional at the same time.
The Jackson JS series has a direct mount dual humbucker with high output for a great tone. In addition, the guitar has single knobs for tone and volume and a three-way blade switching.
5) ESP Guitars 7-string Electric Guitars
- Construction: Neck-Thru
- Body: Alder; Neck: 3Pc Maple
- Top: Burled Poplar; Fingerboard: Macassar Ebony
- Bridge: Hipshot w/ String Thru
- Neck Pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker Alnico; Bridge Pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker Ceramic
This guitar is elegant. The ESP has a 3 piece maple neck, an alder body, and a Macassar ebony fingerboard. The guitar further has a hipshot bridge with string through, which is always a great design for a steady string tension through all the bending that shredding involves.
The guitar has an adjustable bridge system for fine-tuning and correction every time you bend a string. ESP guitars have Fishman Modern humbuckers both at the bridge and at the neck. The bridge at the neck is made of Alnico, while the bridge is made of ceramic. The guitar is designed for shredders with a thin U-shaped maple neck that allows for speed and versatility. The neck features a natural satin at the back for easy sliding the hand up and down the fretboard.
Frequently Asked Questions About 7string Guitars
a) What is Scale Length?
A scale length is the length of the vibrating portion of an open string on the guitar. Scale lengths vary from guitar to guitar. Six-string electric guitars have scale lengths ranging between 24.5 and 25.5 inches. The best seven-string guitars have a scale length between 25.5 and 26.5 inches. Some guitars have scale lengths above 27 inches.
A longer scale length will have some sonic advantages to it. Anyone looking to have a lower tuning can do so with up to a whole tone comfortably. The lowest string or the whole guitar can be tuned a whole step if the scale length allows it. The scale length on a shorter guitar is more difficult to tune down. The strings might feel too loose to be effective after an attempt to tune down by a whole tone.
Loose strings are hard to play in tune if you are applying techniques like bending. You can, however, use heavier string gauges to compensate for the difference in the tuning. However, the downside is that it might be difficult to find heavy gauges that fit into smaller gauge pegs. Therefore, the longer the scale length, the better.
b) Why are Some Fretboards Fanned?
As discussed above, the scale length determines whether it is easy to tune down a guitar. A fanned fretboard is a clever way of combining a short scale length and a long scale length. You can deviate from the standard tuning without worrying about detuning with a versatile guitar fret. The fanned scale offers a shorter length for the treble strings and a longer scale for the bass strings to give the best of both worlds. The multi-scale guitars are what metal guitarists require to cover most of the scale variations in the metal library on the extended range instruments.
c) What is Nut Width?
The guitar world is full of parts and gear, all that serve a purpose. However, these can be altered to accommodate different needs. For example, the nut differs in size depending on the number of strings. If the nut size is the same for an 8-string and a 6-string, the strings on the 8-string will be closer to each other.
d) What Pickup Should I Go for?
A pickup is a best or worst thing that can happen to your guitar. The best 7 string guitars factor in the fact that the pickup determines how you will be heard. Many even string guitars have dual humbucker designs. Most humbuckers also have coil tap features that give a single-coil tone. Active pickups tend to give out better overall clarity of a wider frequency range than passive pickups. The best 7 string guitars will have a pickup selector and tone master control. Active pickups will not let you down in most cases.
e) What is the Best Guitar Body?
When making the guitar, a lot of things are factored in. Weight, strength, resonance, and more. The best 7 string guitars will have a body that considers the ergonomics and how they affect your play after long periods.
Some guitars have a swamp ash body, quilted maple top, flamed maple fingerboard, mahogany neck, arch-top basswood body, and more. Before you buy a new guitar, feel the weight and how it fits in. Many seven-string guitars will have a fretboard that is lightweight because of the added nut width. Cheaper guitars and cheaper instruments will, in the long run, cost you comfort and even money. An extended-range guitar needs to be fun to play.
Do not be afraid to go for what you want. John Petrucci is very specific with his Music Man signature guitar, which is a very impressive guitar. The 7 string guitars are shorter and have a great tone, just the way he likes it. Because he chose the right tool for him to work with, we have Dream Theater.