ddray wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:01 am
Well then I'll take a stab at a succinct answer to the original question:
Very few even know that it exists, and very few care...the same reason that the euphonium isn't more popular. Euphonium players probably just play regardless and couldn't care less about how popular it is.
Ha ha, I'll admit I don't know a lot about the euphonium but, while I gather it's not used much by pros (or in orchestras) it is apparently popular & useful in amateur brass bands (in the U.K. at least).
I know the 8 string guitar is not well known & popular but surely popularity in itself is not the only indicator of worth. If it was, classical guitar and classical music itself would not be respected at all & would have died by now.
I accept that the 6 string classical is long established as the norm in the classical guitar world, that it is best for music originally written for it and that the vast majority of amateur classical guitarists who find that instrument difficult enough as it is (and pros who have invested so much time to mastering it) it represents a challenge that they don't want or need.
I'm instead appealing to advanced amateur guitarists & pros who love Baroque & earlier music, who don't want to learn the Baroque or Renaissance lute / vihuela, Baroque guitar or any other early guitar like instrument & who want to play something as close to the modern guitar as possible but who have noticed that the range and difficulty of combining high positions with low bass notes on a 6 string is at least partly solved by an extra bass string or 2 -
to investigate & demand 7 & 8 string guitars from makers & suppliers, making these more easily available (at a reasonable price) for those (like me!) who do think they want one!
And yes, I know that despite living on the fringes of Europe I can probably order a £3000 + 8 string from a lutheir & travel to Sweden or somewhere to pick it up, hide it in a cheap case & try to smuggle it into the UK without customs & excise noticing (don't worry Mr Taxman, I won't I promise). But I'm not yet willing to invest a large amount of money on something I'm not yet 100% sure I'm going to use extensively. I'm considering asking a local amateur lutheir to make me one (but I'm not sure he's that willing) or I may have to order the only cheap model I can see on the internet..
https://www.t h o m a n n.de/gb/t h o m a n n_class ... string.htm
I am interested to hear from those who have bought & tried any 8 (& 7) string guitar for the purposes of playing early music. What are their feelings on whether it is worth the effort in order to play from original sources / better transcriptions? Maybe I need to start a new topic / thread.....