8 string

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.

8 string

Post by Glene » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:06 pm

Just looking at pictures from the NAMM show and I see Ibanez has a new 8 string classical type guitar. Not that I would ever buy one but just curious as to what the tuning would be ? I get the extra bass on D but what would you tune the treble to ?

User avatar
Posts: 768
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:48 pm

Re: 8 string

Post by guitareleven » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:17 pm

Glene wrote:... I see Ibanez has a new 8 string classical type guitar....just curious as to what the tuning would be ? I get the extra bass on D but what would you tune the treble to ?
People with more-than-sixes tune them however they want. Most people with an 8 would probably follow the model of the most common 8 course Renaissance lute tuning, which, adjusted to a guitar tessitura, would entail two extra basses in addition to the six -- a low D and a low B. I, however, were I to have an 8 string, would have as you surmise, an extra high treble, tuned to a high A. In fact, this is what I do have -- as I have an 11 string, which could be said to have an 8 string inside it. My highest string is an A.

Scot Tremblay
Posts: 4217
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:18 pm
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: 8 string

Post by Scot Tremblay » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:29 pm

If you configure it as a six string with extra bass, you can tune the two lower strings as you like or what suits the music you're plying. Generally speaking the 7th and 8th are D and C respectively but D and F# (a kind of re-entrant tuning where the F# is 6th string 2nd fret pitch equivalent) is also very handy. Or if you play jazz one of the two is handy as an A and the other a B or B flat.

Most often for the configuration of one extra bass and one extra treble, the low D as you mention and a high A works well. That keeps the ratios between the strings familiar and any higher the available strings get pretty thin sounding. Classical guitars as they are built don't respond well to thin strings.

Those are just the standard/most common tunings, there are others such as the Russian 7 string with an added bass, D G B d g b d' and as sometimes a low C is required in the music so you could tune the 8th to C....or find your own tuning that works for you.

Edit. Oh sorry Guitareleven, I posted at the same time so missed your post. Didn't mean to repeat your answers.
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986


Re: 8 string

Post by Glene » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:52 pm

I just assumed one would be bass and one treble but that makes sence thanks


Re: 8 string

Post by 7-stringer » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:13 pm

Dear @guitareleven:

I'm curious about your high A string! I play 7-string guitar and have 2 guitars with one extra bass strings each. I'm thinking of using one 7-stringer with a high A string and leave the remaining 6 strings as standard tuning. I've seached the website of well-known string manufacturers like A'Addario, LaBella, Savarez... and never seen any high A string. Please tell me more about your high A string and how I can get it. Thank you.


User avatar
David Norton
Posts: 4612
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:12 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Re: 8 string

Post by David Norton » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:14 pm

Consider that for an 8-string with high A, the top six strings end up in the same intervalic relationship as a soprano renaissance lute pitched to A, with:

A D G B E A - top six in above-referenced tuning
G C F A D G - standard renaissance lute, a whole tone lower
E A D F# B E - same intervals at guitar pitch, a 4th lower
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT
First person to complete the Delcamp "Let's Learn Sor's Opus 60" project


Re: 8 string

Post by satanikoskioftes » Thu May 22, 2014 4:40 pm

I thing the stadard is F# for the 8th string.However you can do some doubledrop tunings that are pretty cool.I played an 8 but i think its too much for me.I am good with my 7

Posts: 998
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: 8 string

Post by ronjazz » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:48 pm

A high A is very difficult to find and to make sound good, but i have a cheap Giannini 7-string that I experiment with, and tuning the guitar down a tone makes a high G usable. I can also tune it with a low G, sounds enormous, like an organ.
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
Giannini 7-string with Shadow pickup
Sal Pace 7-string archtop

User avatar
Andrew Fryer
Posts: 3235
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:13 pm
Location: London SE5

Re: 8 string

Post by Andrew Fryer » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:54 pm

My gut feeling is that if the top string isn't an E, then it's not a guitar, it's some other instrument.
For example my charango is strung GCEAE. It's not a uke with a 5th string.
I'm prepared to be corrected.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

Return to “The Café”