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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm putting this here (rather than on the general 7 string forum), hoping that most of the 7-stringers here are UV players.

I can't understand is why the 7 string concept has such a stigma attached to it - there aren't many besides the kiddie metal bands using the 7s.  

Even Vai, who is obviously proficient on it doesn't use 'em live.  Why wouldn't he?  I just don't get it.  Why don't they make a UV with the same general specs at the 7VWH he always plays?

A friend of mine, who is admittedly a purist, scoffs at the whole idea of my 7 string.  What if the people who were originally playing 6 strings (when guitars had less than 6)  gave up because people were scoffing at them?

Why isn't this catching on?  Why would people not want to have the extended register?

Just a burning question in my head.
The first person to mention John Petrucci Loses.

~Kenny
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

JP has very little to do with the majority of guitar players. If Vai has a limited audience, then JP's is strictly cult. Anyhoo, I think what you're seeing now is that most folks don't really care about the "extended" register because

A. All Korn and the like have proved to me is that you can make deep bonging noises

B. There is already such thing as bass guitar, why bother?
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

7-string sales may be decreasing, but I would think that is a sign that the whole nu-metal thing is starting to fade or change directions (at least in terms of what's stylish).

Among some niches (shredders, proggers, etc.) 7-strings are still very viable and will remain so (untrendy music forms unlikely to follow new trends).

I think anyone that scoffs at you simply because you use a 7-string is being narrow-minded, and ignorning the obvious advantages and range a 7 can provide. Not too mention being overly concerned with trends and what's cool and what's not.

Not that I can't understand the mentality- despite being strictly a 7-string player myself, I must admit to rolling my eyes occasionaly at the whole nu-metal 7-string fad. I'm happy it happened though, because it resulted in a number of very cool guitars that otherwise probably would have never seen the light of day.

In rock guitar the 7s seem to be used at either end of the spectrum- highly technical forms at one end and very simplistic forms on the other. The simplistic end is a whole lot bigger and the side one will likely assume you belong to when they find out you play a 7.

I'm curious to know if there are a sizable number of 7-string players more in the middle of this continuum. Can anyone enlighten me? I think a 7 could be useful in almost any rock context, but it doesn't seem to have been embraced by less extreme forms to a large extent.
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

I guess I'd consider myself 'in the middle', as you say.

I do mostly weddings and bar gigs - I play a lot of classic rock and R & B/Funk.

I don't really look at it much differently...just an extra tool in the chest...how could one extra screwdriver hurt? (please don't say "by poking someone in the eye")

I was a keyboard player before I was a guitar player, so the extra range is something that was always lacking for me on the guitar (still is, but not quite as much).

As far as the sound of the guitar, I've b*tched about it frequently here - it doesn't cut real well in the 'clean/funky' department. When I can spare the $70 i'm going to stick a PAF-7 in the Neck and see if that doesn't solve the problem.

I don't play any Korn or Limp Bizkit at all, nor am I a shredder by any stretch...it's nice to be able to play stuff that was originally Drop-D without having to re-tune.

it just really hit me that Vai isn't playing a UV full time in his concerts....even on stuff he recorded with a UV he either changes the notes or pitch-shifts live. Why wouldn't he just play a 7 since he has the proficiency and the equipment. Just seems strange to me.
~kenny
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

Although I've done the "try to play 7-string as a shreddin' prog instrumentalist" thing, I'm beginning to see it as a nice plus for normal rock compositions. A lot of the songs my band is cranking out now were written on 7-string. I usually have 2 guitar parts for each song--the 7-string part and the 6-string part (which are sometimes the same parts in different positions, and sometimes completely different parts) depending on which guitar is closest to me at the time.

It did take me a while to get beyond the "every song must now be in the key of B(minor)" thing when I started playing the 7 string more. For a while I felt obligated to just crunch out 5 minutes straight of crunchy B5 power chords. Now I'm beginning to find new uses for the 7 in chording and riffing. There's a lot of synergy to be tapped when the bass player has a 5/6 string bass! And it's much easier to stay out of the way of other guitar players/vocalists/etc.

Long live the 7!

--B
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

I don't own a 7-string, but would love to, and have tried one. I love em! For me, the extra string just adds a lot. I agree, that a UV built to the same specs as EVO would be really cool. I don't understand the whole anti-7-string thing either. I think the reason most people have for hating 7-stings is that they hate Korn. But they don't realize it can be used in so many different ways. For those of you that have seen the For The Love Of God video, he does this fast run starting on the low B string and moving up to the highest, it really adds a neat effect. And, just as a side note, Korn started using 7-strings BECAUSE of Steve Vai. Munky (one of the guitarists) was a big Vai fan and when he saw the 7-strings he decided to use them in his own way to make some "really heavy assed music". I personally like Korn's music, simply because they're one of the few bands out there doing something different. I have even seen Korn using a UV777BK live on stage. So don't dis em too much. lol
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

ok...I'll play along and dump my $.02

I read an article a while back where Vai stated he didn't tour with the UVs anymore because it became a hassle to carry the backup instruments. Apparently he never considered not having his JEMs so it was just that many more guitars to lug around (not that he is lugging anything).

But I am in total agreement with the point that it is disappointing. Petrucci does seem to using the instrument more and more, which is great for us (despite the fact that he defected to Ernie Ball). I really dig on what he does with it.

As far as Korn is concerned, I have to agree Two hands31...even if you don't like what they do, you almost have to concede the fact that it is different and fresh. Their use of dissonance and what I like to call silence vs. violence is really pretty cool. I'm not big on their tone, but I'm sure that gets challenging to manage at Low A.

And let's not overlook the Jazz folks out there that play at least 7. I saw John Pizzarelli here in St. Louis over the holidays and he was all over it. In that context the low register is truly a complement to the overall sound.
Later
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

I had bought an Rg7620 when they first came out! Back when it was that, or the universe. I was totally in my giant Dream Theater phase. Well, the Rg wasnt that great, and eventually i found it as my least played instrument. 8 months ago i traded the Rg in and got my 2027, and have since them modified it beyond belief. Currently that 7 is the second of my main 3 performance axes. (custom 6, 2027, and another custom 7 on the way...) Sad how not many people see what a 7 can really do. I am in a an awesome fusion style band going from jazz and soul to power metal. Damn, you ever try to keep up with a keyboardist during melodic lines? Having the extra low string is a a gift!! You never have to shift!!! Only occasionally i do really even hit the LOW B DEATH CHORD!! There's soo much more to do with them. Its a guitar. Nothing too special. Just on a 7 string guitar, you are even less limited. Just another way to free your creativeness from normal boundries. 7 feels soo natural as well. Just my 2 cents this morning-
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

I ignore the 7th string most of the time. That's the beauty of it. My UV is a 6-string whenever I want it to be. If I need low b I don't have to switch guitars. It's there waiting for me. Fad or no fad, I will probably stick with 7's as long as decent models are available.

I agree that there is a certain stigma that goes along with it, but the majority of people don't know the difference. People at work (and I work in a studio) comment on how beautiful my UV is. I tell them it's a 7-string and they look at me and say something like, Is that unique? How many strings do they normally have?

I think the stigma is only present with musicians.
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

I play art-rock style sonic youth and others. And I never got criticised using a 7. You can just do so many things on a 7 that are impossible with a 6. To me 7's are superior instruments.
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

As far as Korn is concerned, I have to agree Two hands31...even if you don't like what they do, you almost have to concede the fact that it is different and fresh. Their use of dissonance and what I like to call silence vs. violence is really pretty cool. I'm not big on their tone, but I'm sure that gets challenging to manage at Low A.
I personally love their tone. They've got this smotth almost mechanical grinding, grumbling distortion on the low chords and this smooth distortion on the high notes. What I wouldn't give to be able to play around with their rigs for a little while. They've got some really nice guitars and some very very nice sounding tones. Unconventional? Yes, all the time. Who else plays through an amp that's a speaker built into a cigarette box that's sitting in a drawer with holes in the speaker. Or maybe playing through an amp with the sound going through an electric fan and a long tube before reaching the mic? lol A little weird, but really cool.
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

I would love to see a Vai, Welch, and Shaffer album be made. Ever since I saw the video of their jam session I saw something that could be the next route that metal will take and at the very least it's something that I what to do, and my 7-string will play a big part in this. I still think the six string will play a roll in music but after all this hate for Korn and the seven string gets old and fades away I hope that seven strings will take over as the standard and leave six strings in the dust.
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

Everyones got there reasons, but the only reason I don't think of 7's is the fretboard width! My hands are to small, and it's to uncomfortable. Other than that I'd be all over it! I think it's pretty interesting!!
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

Quote: from Noodles on 2:18 am on Mar. 7, 2001
I would love to see a Vai, Welch, and Shaffer album be made. Ever since I saw the video of their jam session I saw something that could be the next route that metal will take and at the very least it's something that I what to do, and my 7-string will play a big part in this. I still think the six string will play a roll in music but after all this hate for Korn and the seven string gets old and fades away I hope that seven strings will take over as the standard and leave six strings in the dust.
Jam session? JAM SESSION!?! Where can I find this video? I was just thinking of what a Korn-Vai collaberation would sound like: Korn-style rhythm with Vai lead. That would be awesome!!
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

Quote: from Noodles on 2:18 am on Mar. 7, 2001
I would love to see a Vai, Welch, and Shaffer album be made. Ever since I saw the video of their jam session I saw something that could be the next route that metal will take and at the very least it's something that I what to do, and my 7-string will play a big part in this. I still think the six string will play a roll in music but after all this hate for Korn and the seven string gets old and fades away I hope that seven strings will take over as the standard and leave six strings in the dust.
Jam session? JAM SESSION!?! Where can I find this video? I was just thinking of what a Korn-Vai collaberation would sound like: Korn-style rhythm with Vai lead. That would be awesome!!
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

I'm sure it's some where online but I have the Austrailian(I hope I spelled that right) 2cd Import of Follow the Leader album and it's on the 2nd disc.
 

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"The 7-String Stigma"

The UV777PBK is an incredible guitar. I tend you use that guitar at all band practices. We have yet to play live, but I think it will be the main stage guitar. I still love my VWH.
Out,
Gregory
 

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Re: "The 7-String Stigma" - ...why???

I resurrected this thread for historical purposes. After 18 years, I think some of the questions can be answered. The "stigma" is still present but less powerful. Also, our typing ability has regressed.

It is strange to know how much the world has changed in 18 years and the only thing I can say is the stigma is less powerful towards the addition of a string to a plucked string instrument. It is funny how time works. :)
 

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Re: "The 7-String Stigma" - ...why???

A 7-string guitar doesn't seem so out of the ordinary anymore. Now that there are even more options out there, like 8 string guitars (and more), multi-scale, baritone, etc... Heck, even an old-school rocker like me has one! Not that I can play it very well at all, but I have one just in case... :roll:
 

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Re: "The 7-String Stigma" - ...why???

Damn, the rarely seen, highly elusive pre-9/11 necrobump. L-I-M-P Bizkit is right here! (in the tags lol). Cool to look back in time at some good 'ol UV worship, seems like even 10 years after they came out, 7-strings were slow to get off the ground (and are still rising up through obscurity).

Also, not sure about our typing ability regressing. *What's with all the asterisks? * * *
 
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