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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
These two scale patterns are major and minor scales starting with the tonic (C) on the 7th string, peaking with the tonic (C) on the 1st string, and covering 3 full octaves in the process. They are not 6-string major and minor scale patterns with the reachable key-related notes filled in on the 7th string.

Things to keep in mind:
- The major scale pattern ascends/descends in slightly different ways.
- In both scales, a "shift" will be needed on the 3rd string whenever there are 4 notes in a row. I would recommend using your 1st finger because it is the most accurate, but feel free to experiment.

The scales are written at the 1st fret because that keeps the tablature simple. Once memorized, they can be played anywhere on the fretboard. When used as relative major/minor scales (E Major - 5th fret, C# minor - 2nd fret), these two patterns cover nearly every note for both keys across the first 12 frets (and the last 12 frets).

If these scales are helpful, please use them.
 

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I just played a 7 string for the first time at the local music store last week... Made me realize how much I rely on scale shapes and took a bit of thinking to apply them to the low B string. I never really wanted a 7-string until I started listening to more modern progressive/instrumental metal (Sithu Aye, Distant Dream, etc.) in the last couple of months. Definitely a different animal, but not as intimidating as I thought it would be. Would like to pick up a cheap 7-string to fool around with... Thanks for posting those!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just played a 7 string for the first time at the local music store last week... Made me realize how much I rely on scale shapes and took a bit of thinking to apply them to the low B string. I never really wanted a 7-string until I started listening to more modern progressive/instrumental metal (Sithu Aye, Distant Dream, etc.) in the last couple of months. Definitely a different animal, but not as intimidating as I thought it would be. Would like to pick up a cheap 7-string to fool around with... Thanks for posting those!
Musicians have to rely on knowledge of patterns/shapes in order to play their instrument. Understanding that knowledge and how to use it (or change it) to meet your needs is beyond the scope of my scale sheet, but ultimately, it involves relying on what you know. The best jazz players are not learning how to play their instrument on stage. They already know what it can do and what they can do with it.

The first time a person plays a 7-string/8-string/ukulele/etc. a tremendous amount of thinking is going on because the brain and fingers are trying to relate the familiar with the unfamiliar. Most people do not think like this in real time, but that is what is happening.

What guitar(s) do you play now?
 

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Musicians have to rely on knowledge of patterns/shapes in order to play their instrument. Understanding that knowledge and how to use it (or change it) to meet your needs is beyond the scope of my scale sheet, but ultimately, it involves relying on what you know. The best jazz players are not learning how to play their instrument on stage. They already know what it can do and what they can do with it.

The first time a person plays a 7-string/8-string/ukulele/etc. a tremendous amount of thinking is going on because the brain and fingers are trying to relate the familiar with the unfamiliar. Most people do not think like this in real time, but that is what is happening.

What guitar(s) do you play now?
I just play standard 6-string guitars, but in a few common tunings... Std, Eb, Drop D, and Drop Db. Still requires a little thought with the dropped low E string tunings, but you get used to some chord/scale shapes that work with them. I've messed around with DADGAD for a couple of songs in the past and such, but 99% of the time just play standard E and Eb.

Picking up the 7-string wasn't too bad once I realized that you have a reference of the relation of the high E and B strings and apply it on the other side of the fretboard. Still takes some getting used to though... not to mention the physical aspects of the wide fretboard, like wrapping your thumb around to catch the lowest string like I do for a few inside chords. Seemed to require a little different fret hand position... like holding the neck up higher to get my fingers to lay across the fretboard, even if just to mute that 7th string when not playing it.

I would definitely like to pick up a 7-string someday, but have my hands full just trying to get better on a 6-string. It's amazing to watch someone really talented get around on a 7 or 8-string guitar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool! To a certain extent, guitars are guitars regardless of string count. However, if your 6-strings are all boutique instruments, it might be hard to get the full experience from a $199 7-string. You do not need to go back to the beginning. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. Instead, get a guitar similar in quality to your other ones to get the most out of the experience.
 

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I have a few decent guitars, but nothing boutique... unless a JS1200 is boutique, but I got it used for a good price. A 76 Les Paul, 89 540s, 99 RG520qs, SZ320... plus a couple of old Roadstars, mostly middle of the road but decent quality guitars. I suppose there can be a lot of difference between 7-string necks and I've only played one. I was looking into entry level 7-strings and read comments about Ibanez necks being thin and Schecter being thick. The ESP M-17 is in the middle of the two, so I may look into one of them. New they are cheap, used they are a steal... MIK, so maybe better than the China/Indo entry level 7's? I don't know how much I would end up playing one, so it's hard to justify spending a lot. Any that I should avoid or lean toward?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know how much I would end up playing one, so it's hard to justify spending a lot. Any that I should avoid or lean toward?
A used Ibanez RG7620 is a good guitar. If you want to figure out how much you like 7-string guitars, a used 7620 is a reliable way to do that. The way I see it, if you like it, you have a good guitar. If you do not like it, you still have a good guitar. There is no "beating around the bush" or "upgrading" required and you can actually sell it should you decide 7-strings are not for you.
 
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