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Eugenio

My 7-string guitar and other related things

31 posts in this topic

Hi Pridrico, welcome to the forum.

Not sure if I understood the question, but the guitar is not for sale.

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I was lucky enough to find this old topic that answered some of my questions, thanks Eugenio for posting the article.

But one question that remains in mind is, why 7 strings? Why not 8, 9 or 10? If the underlying idea is to create bass lines, more basses would give the musician even more possibilities, correct?

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That's a very good question. :)

Not sure if I can answer properly, as it might require more knowledge of history than I may have at this point, any help from other more knowledgeable forumites will be greatly appreciated.

There's some speculation about an influence from Russian Gypsies, they already played with a 7-string instrument.

But the 7-string guitar also does harmony, it's not just about doing bass lines.

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in my albeit limited observation, brazilian 7 string players extend the technique of the guitar to the 7th string, incorporating the (fretted) notes on the additional string into chord voicings and contrapuntal lines, as contrasted with the "lute style" used by players of instruments of 8 to 14 strings, which is mostly the use of open strings for the additional basses.

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You're right, all fretted notes, chord voicings and contrapuntal lines. :thumbsup:

I did some more digging and came across this paper (in English, btw), where the origins of the 7-string guitar are studied, but there's no conclusion.

http://www.violaobrasileiro.com.br/files/uploads/texts/text_28/biblioteca_advb_arquivo_28.pdf

The gypsies are mentioned, but there's no direct proof that they were the primary influence.

But it's interesting to ask why not 8 strings. That question is still in the back of my mind.

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In my opinion the 7-string guitar is a case of tradition. If Tute played an 8-string guitar instead the 7-string, maybe we'd have the 8-string tradition, it's something that was build through the decades. Today we have some guys like Mauricio Marques that use the 8-string with success, but honestly I can't see the 8-string guitar being so strong as the 7-string is for brazilian popular music.

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Thanks for posting the article! So, it sounds like there was no special reason for the number 7, correct? Or at least none that we know of. I've seen this 7-string guitar topic as a recurring one in this forum, that's why I got curious. I can barely play 6 strings, but I'd very much interested in trying 8 or 10 string guitars. Just for fun and frustration!

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I think that play a 10-string guitar would be very interesting! When I received my 7-string guitar, I noticed the seventh string vibrating by sympathy, and the emanating harmonics gave a different sound that I was not used to. Could you figure out with a 10-string guitar? Harmonics would drive me nuts! :18:

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