Do you want to improve your 7-string guitar technique? If you haven’t had much practice on 7 strings, you’re probably having trouble coming up with creative musical ideas. Because they are still used to playing with only six strings, this is a common occurrence for the majority of 7 string guitar players. The 7 and 6 string guitars are fairly similar when it comes down to it. That said, the 7-string guitar has a lot of untapped potential that you may use to become a more creative guitarist.
To become a superb 7-string guitarist, you must understand how to maximize all of the intricacies that distinguish the instrument. I’ll show you how to improve your musical originality and expression by describing different tactics to become a better 7 string guitar player for the rest of this post.
Use the low range to give your chord progressions more depth.
When it comes to generating unique sounding guitar chords, the 7 string guitar opens up a lot of new possibilities. You may blend regular guitar chords with the sound of a bass guitar by taking advantage of the extra seventh string’s low range. This gives you the ability to play guitar in a variety of musical settings. Despite the fact that many guitarists perceive the 7-string guitar to be a “metal-only” instrument, it may be used in a variety of genres ranging from mainstream music to jazz.
The low B string on a 7-string guitar will add depth and character to your chords that you won’t find on a normal guitar. I recommend turning off any high gain/distortion settings on your amp to hear this clearly for yourself. You’ll be able to hear the intricacies as you combine the bass string with the other strings of the guitar if you use a clean setup.
Here’s an idea to get you started combining your existing chords with the low B string:
Consider a few of your favorite chords that start with the A string. Now, try these chords with the low B string to hear how they sound. Begin by playing on the open string, then go to fretted notes. Consider how your chords sound if you only use the low B string in addition to the A, D, and G strings. Then experiment with merely playing the low B string with the G, high B, and high E strings to hear how it sounds. It’s worth noting that playing notes that are closer together feels different than playing ones that are farther apart. Consider which of the string combinations sounds best to you once you’ve completed this short activity. Once you’ve made your decision, you can include it into your music the next time you improvise or compose something new.
On the low B string, play in a lead guitar style.
Most guitar players believe the 7 string guitar to be suited for rhythm playing due to the lower pitch range that comes with the added string. As a result, they tend to overlook the possibility of spreading their ‘lead guitar’ approaches to the low B string. As a result, these players miss out on all of the cool new guitar licks that are available (which are impossible to create on 6 string guitar). If you’re not sure about your lead guitar skills or how to use the low B string, I recommend finding a guitar teacher that knows how to teach 7 string guitar and can show you how to master these areas of your playing.
Learn to use the instrument’s entire range.
Guitarists are most commonly introduced to 7 string guitar through hard metal riffs performed by their favorite bands. This makes them want to get a 7-string guitar for themselves. They put all of their attention into creating strong riffs or rhythms on the low B string as soon as they pick up this instrument. This is perhaps one of the most distinctive characteristics of a 7-string guitar, but if you spend too much time on the same string, your music will rapidly become stale and dull.
Consider the following scenario: you’re going to compose a song. You can use a variety of instruments in this song, including guitar, piano, bass, keyboard, drums, and so on. However, while writing this piece, you decide to compose the music utilizing only the lowest pitch ranges that each instrument can play…for the entirety of the song! I’m ready to wager that after the first 30 seconds, your listeners will be bored. After this period, your listeners will most likely be listening to the music and thinking to themselves, “Are you ever going to play some higher notes??”
When a large group of people play the 7-string guitar, this is exactly what happens. Your guitar playing will lack diversity if you spend all of your time on the low B string. Focus on adding the other strings into your rhythm guitar playing to correct this. This will help to balance things out and keep your music fresh.
If you want to be more creative on the 7-string guitar, you must first grasp and apply this notion. When I teach my guitar students how to compose songs, I teach them how to master the concept of musical balance.
Playing both lead and rhythm guitar is a great way to broaden your musical horizons.
If you want to play 7 string guitar more creatively, you’ll need to spend some time studying ‘transitioning’ between rhythm and lead guitar styles effortlessly. This ability is also applicable to a six-string guitar. This talent will primarily carry over if you have already worked on it with only 6 strings. Due to the broader guitar neck, switching from rhythm in the lower notes to leads in the higher notes will be more difficult when playing 7 string guitar.
Create two separate guitar parts: a rhythm guitar riff (using lower pitches) and a lead guitar phrase to improve your guitar playing in this area (using mostly high pitches). Don’t worry about making them too complicated for now. Once you’ve finished creating both sections, work on integrating them while playing ‘in time’ and without any sloppy noises or hesitations while switching from one section to the next. It will be beneficial to practice using a metronome for this exercise. Make a recording of yourself playing so you can listen to any mistakes you make. This will make spotting yourself playing guitar ‘out of time’ much easier.
Discover and create your own chord patterns.
Many intriguing chords may be created on a 7 string guitar that are not achievable on a 6 string guitar. In most cases, musicians will perform in a metal style on the 7 string guitar; nevertheless, you are not confined to this style. The 7-string guitar can be used to play a wide range of musical styles. You can make simple guitar chords sound considerably more intriguing by adding an extra seventh string. The best thing is that you can use the low B string to play both conventional guitar and bass guitar at the same time!
I’m going to show you an activity to demonstrate this. To begin, turn off all distortion settings on your amp and play via the clean channel. You will be experimenting with several guitar chords that you may have already mastered on the 6 string guitar for this lesson. To begin, make some chords with just the fifth, fourth, and third strings. Then, using the low B string, mix these chords. Then, using the third, second, and first strings, repeat the process. Pay attention to how different it feels when you play the strings closer (in pitch) vs. the ones that are farther apart in pitch when experimenting with this practice. Which of them do you think has the most appealing overall sound? Once you’ve made your decision, you can start incorporating this concept into your own 7-string guitar song.
By removing unwanted noises from your guitar playing, you can improve the quality of your performance.
Eliminating unnecessary string noise is one of the most difficult tasks for 7-string guitar players. This issue can arise for a variety of reasons, including difficulty adjusting to the broader guitar neck, difficulties muting the extra bass string, or an overall lack of string muting capabilities.
Because the 7 string guitar has a different feel than a regular guitar, guitarists must practice for a long time before they can play cleanly. This can be a time-consuming and aggravating process. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. You must dedicate yourself to solving this difficulty in order to improve your 7 string guitar playing.
Play your 7-string guitar as usual, utilizing your standard techniques, patterns, and scales. Make a note of when there is the most commotion. You may find the specific areas in your guitar playing that need the greatest attention by listening carefully as you play. If you want to buy a guitar, the guitar center is the place. You can use the Guitar Center Tracking system for order tracking.
Finally, some thoughts…
Hopefully, you did not find the concepts in this post to be too difficult to comprehend. Unfortunately, most 7-string guitar players do not take ACTION to improve their guitar playing by implementing these concepts. As a result, they are making very slow progress. By simply concentrating on learning the concepts outlined above, you will be able to get a lot more out of your 7-string guitar and significantly improve your musical inventiveness in a shorter amount of time.