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Introduction to the Seven-String Guitar

Excerpt Complete 7-String Guitar Method

by Chris Buzzelli

Aren't six strings hard enough? Of course, they are. You can obviously make a lot of great music on a six-string guitar. Early in the 20th century, the four-string guitar and four-string banjo were very popular and a lot of music has been played on those instruments as well. Having only four strings doesn't seem to bother violinists or cellists either, and there's certainly nothing easy about those instruments. Still, you don't see many six-string guitarists cutting off two strings because "four are hard enough." To ask this question is really missing the point of the seven-string guitar. The seven-string guitar is simply an enhancement of the six string guitar. Not only does it give the instrument some extra range (which is handy for walking bass lines, etc.), but it will allow you to play chords with a greater "spread." One can play a low "F" and a high "E" on a six-string guitar, but not at the same time. One a seven-string guitar, this can be done easily. Whether or not the seven-string guitar is for you depends on the type of playing you like to do. Most guitarists who play seven-string will tend to use it in any musical setting. Remember, there is virtually nothing you can play on a six-string that you can't play on a seven-string. But, the seven string really shines as a solo instrument, in duos, with other guitarists, vocalists, or other instruments, and even larger groups without a bass. So, if you enjoy playing in this type of setting, or hope to in the future, then seven-string guitar might be for you.

About this book:
This book is designed for guitarists who already play six-string guitar but have an interest in delving into the increasingly popular and satisfying world of the seven-string guitar. It is geared toward the intermediate to advanced student. Those who already have an understanding of scale and chord construction, and other basics of jazz guitar playing, will probably benefit the most from this book. In order to offer the most comprehensive view possible of the seven string guitar, only topics that are unique to the seven string guitar will be covered. Any student that needs a more general approach should consult Mel Bay's Complete Jazz Guitar Method by Mike Christiansen, or one of the other jazz guitar books offered by Mel Bay Publications. The book will be divided into three parts: Part One will cover scales, Part Two arpeggios, and Part Three chord voicings. The parts may be studies in any order, or concurrently, but within each part, the chapters should be taken in order as each chapter will build on the previous ones. While examples and diagrams will be numerous, no attempt will be made to provide every possible scale fingering, arpeggio fingering, or chord voicing, as that would fill many books the size of this one. Instead, the most common and useful examples will be provided along with a clear and concise explanation so that the student can apply the concepts presented here in whatever directions they choose.

Listen to Example

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