NGD: Private Stock 8 String in Doublestain Grey

Toolmaster Of Brainerd

You know what a loon is, noodle head?
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
259
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Minnesota or New Jersey, depending on the season
The 7 was a steep learning curve. For a couple of weeks it was almost as if I was relearning guitar after 16 years playing. What worked for me was relearning all the 6 string songs I knew on the 7. That helped my mind learn to ignore the low B string vs. confusing it with the low E string. Once my mind was clear where the 6 strings were, then I graduated to playing the low B string and 7 string songs and it was quite easy.

7-8 took no time at all (also helped I was doing it on the PRS which just feels home). My mind had already broken out of the 16 year old paradigm of 6 strings, and adding an extra string even on top of the 7th string didn't bother it at all.

Try again if 7 strings is something you want to play

What are your favorite (easier) 7 string songs to play?

I built myself a 7 string but I'm still trying to learn how to play it. I built it as a practice run to learn how to build a guitar. I figured that if I built a 6 string I wouldn't play it often because I have better guitars. But if I built a 7 string then I would still have a reason to play it even if it doesn't turn out amazing.

There are a couple Alter Bridge and Tremonti songs that are very downtuned that I play on it, but the original songs were all played on 6 strings.

Beautiful guitar. Enjoy!
 

Warmart

Fani PRSi
Joined
Jul 17, 2019
Messages
1,377
Location
Mountainous Regions
The 7 was a steep learning curve. For a couple of weeks it was almost as if I was relearning guitar after 16 years playing. What worked for me was relearning all the 6 string songs I knew on the 7. That helped my mind learn to ignore the low B string vs. confusing it with the low E string. Once my mind was clear where the 6 strings were, then I graduated to playing the low B string and 7 string songs and it was quite easy.

7-8 took no time at all (also helped I was doing it on the PRS which just feels home). My mind had already broken out of the 16 year old paradigm of 6 strings, and adding an extra string even on top of the 7th string didn't bother it at all.

Try again if 7 strings is something you want to play
Right now, I'm just not good enough on a 6 to over complicate things, and the ones I tried in 2012 (long story but my guitar playing didn't go anywhere then and I abandoned it until 2019) and 2021 just sat there. I'm tempted by 7's, get a little gassy, and then it hangs on the wall unplayed.
 

Utkarsh

A Les Paul guy who loves PRSs
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Messages
404
Location
Singapore
What are your favorite (easier) 7 string songs to play?

I built myself a 7 string but I'm still trying to learn how to play it. I built it as a practice run to learn how to build a guitar. I figured that if I built a 6 string I wouldn't play it often because I have better guitars. But if I built a 7 string then I would still have a reason to play it even if it doesn't turn out amazing.

There are a couple Alter Bridge and Tremonti songs that are very downtuned that I play on it, but the original songs were all played on 6 strings.

Beautiful guitar. Enjoy!

Haha I don't know about easier but I primarily play a lot of drop A stuff that may have been written for 6 string to begin with (I adjust for the Baritone F# string being a G in a 7 string but since I don't use tabs, it's hardly matters).
The first five 7 string songs I learnt are Devil in I (Slipknot), Pisces and Perennial ( Jinjer), Spice Dealer (Keith Merrow) and Karate (Babymetal).

I recommend the last two which are true 7 string songs, especially the beginning of Spice Dealer which uses nice simple 7 string chords
 

Utkarsh

A Les Paul guy who loves PRSs
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Messages
404
Location
Singapore
Right now, I'm just not good enough on a 6 to over complicate things, and the ones I tried in 2012 (long story but my guitar playing didn't go anywhere then and I abandoned it until 2019) and 2021 just sat there. I'm tempted by 7's, get a little gassy, and then it hangs on the wall unplayed.

I will tell you that was my mindset as well for the longest time. I was (am) perennially dissatisfied with my playing and used to think what is the point of getting a 7 when I have so far to go on 6. But then one day I decided to f*** it, my skills are what they are, who knows when I will be able to play the Painkiller (Judy's Priest ) solo (That's been a goal for a long time).

So I just decided to take the plunge and it has really developed my guitar playing. Playing 7 or 8 is like running with weights. Going back to 6 is like removing the weights and you become a better player
 

Utkarsh

A Les Paul guy who loves PRSs
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Messages
404
Location
Singapore
I will tell you that was my mindset as well for the longest time. I was (am) perennially dissatisfied with my playing and used to think what is the point of getting a 7 when I have so far to go on 6. But then one day I decided to f*** it, my skills are what they are, who knows when I will be able to play the Painkiller (Judy's Priest ) solo (That's been a goal for a long time).

So I just decided to take the plunge and it has really developed my guitar playing. Playing 7 or 8 is like running with weights. Going back to 6 is like removing the weights and you become a better player

Also auto correct is hilarious. Judy priest!! Who wouldn't watch that cover band
 

Proteus

Tru-Arc Bridgeworks
Joined
Dec 25, 2021
Messages
214
That's a gorgeous pair of extended rangers, and surely a unique brace of PRS customs. Something to be proud of and enjoy - not only musically, but in the way we enjoy things of beauty in heirloom quality.

I've been on a mad baritone tear for a couple of years, finding in general that they satisfy my urge to go low, and (as it turns out) are in a good range for my voice. I'm not playing any cover tunes on them - I'm not even aware of any baritone material (other than a few deeptwang solos from the roots years). I also evaluate the baris more on their clean tone than on driven sounds, as that's more in line with most of my original material.

But then, once having assimilated baritonitude, I got curious about 8-strings ... which led me to looking into fanned fret and multi-scale options, in order to keep strings at both the high and low ends of the range at a scale length and tension which make sense for both play-feel and tone. To shorten the story, I bought an Agile Chiral Parallax 8 about 18 months ago: 25.5" at the high E, and 28.something at the low F#. Again, it wasn't my intention to use it for any of the varieties of metal or modern prog-shred where such instruments abound: I've never had, don't have, and never will have the chops for that, and it's not the music I listen to.

I wanted the guitar to take me out of my stale zones into new ways to approach guitar - to see what I'd find in it. Llike why not clean contrapuntal playing, and varieties of Chetty fingerpicking incorporating all that low end?

I found it took no time at all to adjust to the fanned frets (it was just never an issue from the git-go), but that playing 6-string material and ignore the lower two strings didn't work for me at all. I had to use those strings and get instinctively familiar with what notes at which frets, and how they could be used with familiar chords in the upper 6 strings. You quickly learn which combinations are useful, and then you come up with radically different fingerings for chords you thought you already knew, and discover how extended low roots can re-harmonize otherwise familiar positions.

I've also learned the joy of crossing the neck horizontally with runs and scales, with an extra two courses in 4ths before running into the 3rd inveral between 2 & 3. That's been liberating by itself. Also, with all that logically familiar real estate from the 8th to the 4th string, it's easy to do repeating figures across multiple intervals. Toss a couple dissonant scales and harmonic contexts in there, and pretty soon you're in a sort of mathrock zone. I wouldn't say instant King Crimson, but it gets me closer to alien Frippian-Belewvian sonic exercises than I've ever gotten on 6-string. (And since I'm doing a lot in the low end, substituting for bass...it makes it easier to play such material with a drummer, as I don't have to enlist a bass player in experimentation of which he may not approve.)

All of which is neither here nor there, I guess. Just sharing how and why I've approached 8 strings as I have.

But I've never played an 8-string that isn't fanned-fret and multi-scale. I'm wondering what the scale length is on the PRS 8s, and how that affects string tension (and timbre) at the extreme ends of the range.

I've also been surprised that, despite having small hands, I've had minimal problem spanning the wide expanse of the neck. It's a given that you reach for things, but with so many strings those reaches can usually be fingered so that they're more horizontal across the neck than vertical. Also, I find playing is more efficient (and the guitar almost forces that efficiency on me) in that I don't keep such a rooted deathgrip on the neck, as I change hand position frequently and consequently stay looser. The shape of finger positions also varies from practically flat to really arched, another physical factor that enforces a lighter, more mobile touch.

That's all good - but I do find it takes a minimum 20 - 30 minutes to get fluid on the 8-string (so my fingers instinctively know the string spacing) after playing the 6; it takes probably half that time to re-adapt to the spacing and underhand feel of the 6 when switching back.

I don't know if a single-scale 8-string with conventional frets would be as comfortable to negotiate, however. The Agile makes it clear from the moment I pick it up that it's a very different instrument than a 6-string, and that it has to be played differently. I think the conventional arrangement would be more challenging, because it pretends to be a plain ol' regular guitar.

I'm guessing.
 
Last edited:

Utkarsh

A Les Paul guy who loves PRSs
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Messages
404
Location
Singapore
That's a gorgeous pair of extended rangers, and surely a unique brace of PRS customs. Something to be proud of and enjoy - not only musically, but in the way we enjoy things of beauty in heirloom quality.

I've been on a mad baritone tear for a couple of years, finding in general that they satisfy my urge to go low, and (as it turns out) are in a good range for my voice. I'm not playing any cover tunes on them - I'm not even aware of any baritone material (other than a few deeptwang solos from the roots years). I also evaluate the baris more on their clean tone than on driven sounds, as that's more in line with most of my original material.

But then, once having assimilated baritonitude, I got curious about 8-strings ... which led me to looking into fanned fret and multi-scale options, in order to keep strings at both the high and low ends of the range at a scale length and tension which make sense for both play-feel and tone. To shorten the story, I bought an Agile Chiral Parallax 8 about 18 months ago: 25.5" at the high E, and 28.something at the low F#. Again, it wasn't my intention to use it for any of the varieties of metal or modern prog-shred where such instruments abound: I've never had, don't have, and never will have the chops for that, and it's not the music I listen to.

I wanted the guitar to take me out of my stale zones into new ways to think about how I approach guitar - to see what I'd find in it (like why not clean contrapuntal playing, and varieties of Chetty fingerpicking incorporating all that low end). I found it took no time at all to adjust to the fanned frets (it was just never an issue from the git-go), but that playing 6-string material by trying to ignore the lower two strings didn't work for me at all. I had to use those strings and get instinctively familiar with what notes at which frets, and how they could be used with familiar chords in the upper 6 strings. You quickly learn which combinations are useful, and then you come up with radically different fingerings for chords you thought you already knew, and discover how extended low roots can re-harmonize otherwise familiar positions.

I've also learned the joy of crossing the neck horizontally with runs and scales, with an extra two courses in 4ths before running into the 3rd inveral between 2 & 3. That's been liberating by itself. Also, with all that logically familiar real estate from the 8th to the 4th string, it's easy to do repeating figures across multiple intervals. Toss a couple dissonant scales and harmonic contexts in there, and pretty soon you're in a sort of mathrock zone. I wouldn't say instant King Crimson, but it gets me closer to alien Frippian-Belewvian sonic exercises than I've ever gotten on 6-string. (And since I'm doing a lot of in the low end, substituting for bass...it makes it easier to play such material with a drummer, as I don't have to enlist a bass player in my unpleasant experimentation.)

All of which is neither here nor there, I guess. Just sharing how and why I've approached 8 strings as I have.

But I've never played an 8-string that isn't fanned-fret and multi-scale. I'm wondering what the scale length is on the PRS 8s, and how that affects string tension (and timbre) at the extreme ends of the range.

I've also been surprised that, despite having small hands, I've had minimal problem spanning the wide expanse of the neck. It's a given that you reach for things, but with so many strings those reaches can usually be fingered so that they're more horizontal across the neck than vertical. Also, I find playing is more efficient (and the guitar almost forces that efficiency on me) in that I don't keep such a rooted deathgrip on the neck, as I change hand position frequently and consequently stay looser. The shape of finger positions also varies from practically flat to really arched, another physical factor that enforces a lighter, more mobile touch.

That's all good - but I do find it takes a minimum 20 - 30 minutes to get fluid on the 8-string (so my fingers instinctively know the string spacing) after playing the 6; it takes probably half that time to re-adapt to the spacing and underhand feel of the 6 when switching back.

I don't know if a single-scale 8-string with conventional frets would be as comfortable to negotiate, however. The Agile makes it clear from the moment I pick it up that it's a very different instrument than a 6-string, and that it has to be played differently. I think the conventional arrangement would be more challenging, because it pretends to be a plain ol' regular guitar.

I'm guessing.

This is explained so well. The whole point of the 8 string is to access new possibilities and play differently. I really relate and for all my metal tendencies, the deep clean tones of downtuning is what primarily draws me in.
This one is a 26.5 inch scale which is slightly on the shorter side for an 8 string but I wouldn't have it longer. 27 gets a bit much for tuning the bottom six strings in E as I don't like using 9s. Also I'd rather compromise the so called chugging tension on the low F# string than the ease of playing the 7 strings above it .
That said, given PRSs are built to such a high tolerance, tension isn't much of an issue. F# is a breeze on the low string and E is a bit like down tuning a Les Paul's 46 low E string to a drop D. Not perfect but very very usable.
 

Proteus

Tru-Arc Bridgeworks
Joined
Dec 25, 2021
Messages
214
Thanks, Utkarsh. 26.5" scale. Interesting. I'd like to play one sometime.

I do notice that my PRSeses respond to a reward a comparatively lighter touch than I instinctively use on other guitars. That's where the variations in tone and expression seem to be. An F# at 26.5" scale would, I think, enforce that kind of deliberate, zen-zone delicacy of touch.

But then the high E at 26.5", hmm. Still, I've learned that if Cap'n Smith specs something, it's always well-considered, and usually highly defensible (if not plainly right).

So it must be OK.
 

Utkarsh

A Les Paul guy who loves PRSs
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Messages
404
Location
Singapore
Thanks, Utkarsh. 26.5" scale. Interesting. I'd like to play one sometime.

I do notice that my PRSeses respond to a reward a comparatively lighter touch than I instinctively use on other guitars. That's where the variations in tone and expression seem to be. An F# at 26.5" scale would, I think, enforce that kind of deliberate, zen-zone delicacy of touch.

But then the high E at 26.5", hmm. Still, I've learned that if Cap'n Smith specs something, it's always well-considered, and usually highly defensible (if not plainly right).

So it must be OK.

The E at 26.5 is actually quite ok (It's the same on the 7 string as well). I can get away with a 10 but a 9 on it is similar in tension to a 10 on a regular guitar

On the lighter touch, very true and this is because of the resonance of the neck. Even if you pluck a string gently, you can feel the neck resonate with your fretting hand. This is a PRS thing that I don't notice with other high end guitars (Gibson Custom shops and the like) and one of the reasons why I have converted in a big way from 'Les Paul' guy to 'PRS' guy in the last 6 years.
 
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