John Petrucci discusses using an 8-string for the first time ever on Dream Theater's upcoming album

John Petrucci
(Image credit: Neil Lupin/Redferns)

Back in September, John Petrucci revealed he was working with Ernie Ball Music Man to produce the first-ever Majesty eight-string design.

At the time, the Dream Theater axeman told Japan's Young Guitar Magazine he hoped to finalize the design before the band entered the studio to record the prog behemoths' new album, and it appears he's stayed true to his word. 

In a new interview with Ultimate Guitar, Trooch is asked for any updates regarding the new eight-string guitar, to which he replies, “We've been working on an album that is going to come out later this year. It's coming out awesome, and there is, indeed, an eight-string song on the record – it's an eight-string Majesty.”

He continues, “We have two prototypes so far. I was able to use one to write with and record with. We're still working some things out to get it perfect. But it will be on the record and it will be something that comes out at some point.

“I don't have a release date on it yet, but it's awesome. It's totally inspiring and awesome and I can't wait for people to hear it. I'm so glad it made it on the new record. In due time, you'll be able to see it and hear it.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Petrucci discusses how playing an eight-string opened up new avenues for him as a guitarist.

“It was kind of a similar experience to back in the day when I got my first seven-string [for 1994's Awake], which is what I had anticipated,” he says.

“When I got my seven-string, I had never played one before and I didn't know what to expect. The way I approached it was that it was just an extension of the range of the guitar.

John Petrucci

(Image credit: Neil Lupin/Redferns)

“I know that sounds obvious. But instead of approaching it as a stylistic thing, like I've heard bands that play seven-strings and they sound like this, so I have to play it to sound like them. I didn't go into that mentality.

“I just picked it up and, because it's a Majesty, it felt like my guitar already, so I was used to that and there was just one lower string, so I took some riffs that I normally wouldn't be able to play in that key, and play it down there.

“That's the way I approached it. I think that when you hear the first song that I wrote with it, that I recorded with the band, it sounds like Dream Theater, it sounds like me playing what you might expect.

“It doesn't sound like I'm trying to mimic a style or a genre or anything like that. I'm just playing it in my own way, with my own approach. That's the way I did it. It was so comfortable.

“It's just one more string to get used to. The fun thing was that I can play certain riffs in lower keys because I have those lower notes now. It's been really fun. I'm having a great time with it.”

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.