More than 6 strings ?

Discussion of all aspects of multi-string guitars, namely those with 7 or more strings.
Claude117
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:14 pm

More than 6 strings ?

Post by Claude117 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:26 am

In order to "access lower notes" I have bought some time ago an 8-string guitar. But I never could get my right hand accustomed the new situation. I think my right hand "needed" to feel the E 6th string under its thumb... Has anyone experienced this ? (positively or negatively). A solution must exist! See the numerous Brazilian guitarists, playing indifferently their typical 7-string and conventional 6-string guitars!

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Michael.N.
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Location: UK

Re: More than 6 strings ?

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:01 am

How long ago?
Historicalguitars.

gilles T
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Location: Paris, France

Re: More than 6 strings ?

Post by gilles T » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:30 am

Dear Claude117,

I see what you mean... I had hard times when I switched from guitar to archlute (8 diatonic basses). I play an 8 strings classical since this summer and, of course, two extra strings seem much more easy than 8.

Anyway, there is only one way to solve the problem : pluck the extra bass strings ONLY with rest-strokes, no matter if you're ascending from basses to treeble (easy) or descending from treeble to basses (more tricky). This way, your muscular memory will gradually "learn" the different stretches and, in a matter of weeks of practice, you'll be able to pluck just the string you want. This exercice will prove to be efficient only if, while training your thumb with rest stroke, you rest i,m,a on the top three strings.

To my knowledge, this is the only way to practice : just as long as your thumb will be "lost in the air" with free-stroke, your right hand will never be able to learn the muscular memory of each stretch.

Hope this will help,
Regards,
GT

Claude117
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:14 pm

Re: More than 6 strings ?

Post by Claude117 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:04 pm

Thank you gilles. Do you still play BOTH guitars regularly, or have you specialized in 8 strings ? In other words, what does it cost to your hand to come back to 6 strings, when you do it ? I was thinking of the german harp-guitars: their "supplementary bass" strings have been "separated" from the "normal 6" by the luthiers... To your opinion, is that a way to solve the problem ?
Rgds.
Claude

Claude117
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:14 pm

Re: More than 6 strings ?

Post by Claude117 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:06 pm

See
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gilles T
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: More than 6 strings ?

Post by gilles T » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:46 pm

Dear Claude117,

You're welcome.

Of course there is a learning curve when it comes to multi string guitars, but I don't think there is such a thing as a "reverse learning-curve" when you go back to 6 strings : we are so familiar with it that the right hand finds back its proper position right on the spot.

Regarding the german harp-guitars and their typical space between the basses and the regular strings, I have no opinion — maybe other members will shed a light on it. I don't know if it's more easy or more difficult; I would say that your right hand must adapt itself to your own instrument, and the only way to achieve this, to my knowledge, is this rest-stroke work of the thumb.

I am now playing alternatively the 8 strings and the 13 course archlute; so my right hand get used to larger stretches. Did'nt pick-up any six-strings since I got my 8-strings this past summer.

Regards,
GT

AndreiKrylov
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Location: 12

Re: More than 6 strings ?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:05 pm

I regularly play 6, 7, 8 string instruments and use several different tunings too...
Have no problem to change from one to another and back...it probably took some time, but it was fun and pleasure to learn and use all of them. I am still learning all the time :)
Thanks!

soltirefa
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Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:59 am
Location: Southern California

Re: More than 6 strings ?

Post by soltirefa » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:29 pm

What I noticed is that you're used to having that E bass on the outside, and A one in from the outside, etc. Plus when the E bass is on the outside you can pluck it with a wide swipe. But when it's not on the outside you need to be very careful plucking it.

My suggestion is learning one piece at at time, rather than thinking you need to learn your entire repertoire on a multi-string. That can seem a bit overwhelming. But one piece is more doable to the brain. And you can even break that down into just a section of a piece. Before you know it you will find it less confusing.

Claude117
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:14 pm

Re: More than 6 strings ?

Post by Claude117 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:40 am

Thank you all for your pertinent and useful ideas! Yes, our predecessors (XVI, XVII th century) were accustomed to jump from one string configuration to another, so why shouldn't we be able ?

quavers
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:39 pm

Re: More than 6 strings ?

Post by quavers » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:20 am

I finally had a chance to try an eight string. I have been fawning over 8 string guitars for a number of years now. I am officially over it. I am convinced that I will never get used to and glad not to have spent money on a guitar that I would lose interest in very quickly.

Emil Krasich
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:40 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: More than 6 strings ?

Post by Emil Krasich » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:34 pm

I've been mostly playing my new 13 string Dresden since the beginning of December. I find that my right hand (thumb mostly) feels awkward for the first couple of minutes when going back to 6 string since I get so used to having my hand far more opened up and stretched out to facilitate the large span of 13 strings. If I switch between the two guitars every day or every other day at least, then I don't notice any difficulty switching between the two.

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