The commonest variety of strings on a guitar is six. This quantity is just the results of the pure evolution of the instrument, which has undergone an unknowable variety of transformations over the previous 5000 years or so. After all, whereas six could also be the most typical variety of strings on the fashionable guitar, it’s hardly the one quantity. Guitars of the 21st century can be found in a virtually inexhaustible provide of variations, together with eight-string, ten-string, twelve-string and, as will probably be mentioned herein, seven-string devices.
The seven-string guitar has been used for a minimum of 150 years in numerous cultures, similar to Russian (extra on this later). This historical past is evinced by the dated surviving works written for the instrument, similar to these by Napoleon Coste, a French guitarist of the 19th century. The additional string of this instrument (or strings, relying on what quantity you begin from) is meant to increase the bass vary. On the fashionable six-string guitar, the seventh is often added in certainly one of two methods. The primary and most typical technique is to extend the width of the fingerboard in order that the extra string could also be stopped by the left hand. The second technique is to position the extra string in order that it lies subsequently to the prevailing bass strings, freed from the fingerboard. This system is just like that utilized in stringing the archlute and theorbo. Within the second technique, the seventh string is clearly without frets.
As talked about, Russian tradition can lay declare to a conventional seven-string guitar. This instrument arrived in that nation within the very early 19th century and was in all probability an improvement of one other related instrument. The invention of the seven-string Russian guitar is usually attributed to Andrei Sychra, a distinguished guitarist, composer and instructor of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, though this origin is typically disputed. What is definite is that Sychra wrote each technique and compositions for the instrument, a lot of which nonetheless survive at present. Russian seven-string guitars are lauded for his or her musical flexibility and sound. It’s easy fundamental chords and easy-to-play alternating bass traces make it common with amateurs in addition to professionals. It’s historically performed with the fingers slightly than a plectrum.
The seven-string electrical guitar was initially developed in the US within the late 1930s. It was utilized by many jazz guitarists of the period. The primary our bodies of the primary devices have been hole or semi-hollow, which created the distinctive sound related to the jazz style. It was not till the 1990s that solid-body seven-string guitars have been commercially produced. Throughout this decade, various artists have been launched to the instrument’s prolonged vary. Though it by no means turned as common as its six-string cousin, the seven-string guitar established itself sufficient to turn out to be an everlasting fixture within the music trade.
Right now, the seven-string guitar is a distinct segment instrument, used primarily by progressive metallic and rock guitarists. Its attraction continues to be its prolonged bass vary, which permits for prime melodies and solos performed over deep riffs.