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Seven Kick-Ass Seven-String Guitar Songs

Seven Kick-Ass Seven-String Guitar Songs

Look around you. There seems to be a seven-string renaissance happening at the moment. Actually, eight-string guitars seem to be going pretty strong, too.

But there's something particularly satisfying about plugging in a seven and riffing out in between the traditional ranges of the guitar and bass.

Don't get me wrong; eight strings are great for getting right down into low-end territory and really shaking the walls. But if one thing really stood out to me at a recent Winter NAMM show, it was the sheer number of companies delving into sevens for the first time, or really embracing them in a big way.

First-time models from Parker, Buddy Blaze and even some one-off Charvel Custom Shop sevens join new models by established seven-string purveyors, such as LTD's new Whitechapel, Suicide Silence and Unearth sigs, some pretty hot Schecters and DBZs and, of course, new models by the company that started the seven-string rock guitar trend, Ibanez.

A lot of great music has been made on seven-string guitars over the past 25 years or so since Ibanez released the Universe at Steve Vai's behest. During the first era of the seven-string, Vai was pretty much the only guy exploring the instrument's potential. It fell out of favor until the mid- to late Nineties, when a bunch of guys picked up secondhand Universes and built their sound around the lowest string.

Then detuning a regular six became all the rage and everyone forgot about the seven for a while. And now it's back. There's a lot of history behind the seven-string now, and here are a few of my personal favorites. Please feel free to share some of your own in the comments or on Facebook.

Steve Vai, "I Would Love To"

There are other Steve Vai songs that make use of the seven-string, sometimes quite obviously ("The Audience Is Listening," "The Riddle," "Ya Yo Gakk") and sometimes quite subtly ("For the Love of God"; listen really closely to see if you can spot where Vai lands on the low B).

But "I Would Love To" was the most radio-friendly, MTV-visible track from his breakthrough solo album Passion And Warfare, and the song makes a great case for the seven-string's use as a wide range guitar, rather than just an excuse to play really, really low notes.


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