8 String T(hall)uning Logic

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fsociety
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Alright so learn me some 8 string tuning strategies!

-F# B E A D G B E (standard correct? so I guess you would riff in the key of F# so you can keep punching with that low string, or riff in B and just use the F# string to form lower chords if needed.)

-E B E A D G B E (drop E yes? so you could I suppose riff in the key of E mainly off of the 6th string to keep your palm muting and chords brighter and vibrant then instead of forming an E power chord as you would with a 6 you just dj0nt instead on the 8th E.)

-D A D A D G B E (double drop D? this confuses me a bit. so you can use only the top 6 strings and just be riffing in normal drop D, but then come in and punch with the 8th string D from time to time to keep the listener guessing? with this tuning however a chord wouldn't form by strumming the lowest few strings so using the 8D and 7A would be awkward.)

So what tunings do you guys (as well as the big names in progressive thallcore) utilize regularly? Also what is your logic behind your tuning?

*Lastly, do any of you ever even play power chords using the lowest 3 strings or usually just stick to using that 8th string for dj0nting purposes? Chords that low seem muddy.

donzilla
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I've just started using 8 strings...I use the drop E with every thing down a half step across the board...I don't know it just suits me.

mzhgamadze
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I really enjoy the Meshuggah tuning (1/2 step down, sot it would be F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb). I can't really understand why, but i don't like drop tunings on my 8 string

fsociety
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Yeah, I mean drop tuning on an 8 gives you 2 nice octaves to bounce between at least but I don't get these people tuning where every other string is an octave. I feel like it would be hard to riff that way.

Isotropy
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I personally like just the dropped-standard tuning on whatever guitar your playing. I play a 7 so I just play in drop A. I know ALL the cool kids tune it a half step down, but I don't really like how my guitar itself handles that. I've tried several tunings and this is the one I keep going back to for 7.

Granted my 6 string is in drop C but that's always been my go-to 6-string tuning. If I were you, I'd personally go with the Drop E tuning, but that's me.

Also Key is totally dependent on the song, so just because you're not playing in the key of E doesn't mean you can't continually slam that low E string. I'd love to get an 8-string one day. Loving the stuff Ibanez seems to offer.

Booby Miles
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I don't have an 8 string, but if I did I'd probably tune it 1 of 2 general ways.

1) The Monuments tuning: F A# F A# D# F A# D# (it's essentially a Drop A# adaption of DADGAD tuning plus an extra high D# and low F)

2) Drop A# on the top 7 strings w/ a low F.

Both ways utilize different variations of a Drop A# style of tuning, so you could riff around in that while having that extended lower register at your disposal. You can also drone away in the lower register, and then use the higher strings to come up with chord progressions and more complex chords. And if you wanted to use just a regular Drop F tuning, all you'd have to do is tune that A# up a full-step to C. You could also take these tuning concepts and just drop everything down a half-step (or however low you want to go) if you wanted it to be Drop A w/ a low E, or whatever. I think power chords on the low strings work fine in some cases, like when I'd usually use inverted power chords, but I'd leave the more complex chord voicings to the higher strings.

paulyrhythm
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To go low it really helps to have the longest possible scale you can comfortably play; so many people forget this. It makes a world of difference playing double drop e on a 27/28" scale vs a 30" scale. So much more clarity with a 30" scale. Of course, the longer the scale the smaller gauge strings you need- so I just have a 74 on my low e string on 30" and almost a 90(?)/high 80s on my 28". I tune (low to high) EBEADGBE- commonly referred to as Tosin tuning. This made for a very easy transition from 6 string to 8 because the tuning allows for a lot of the same chords I am used to. I sometimes take that tuning and drop all the strings a half step- anything below Eb is pushing it for me

Isotropy
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Keep in mind crazy tunings may require crazy sets of strings. I'm practical, so another reason I really like drop A on my 7-string is because the D'add EXL110-7's are PERFECT for it. Wink (my guitar is a 26.5" scale - actually the exact same one as Booby's Smile Thanks again for that tip btw, Booby!)

paulyrhythm
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Not doubting you but wondering if you actually used a tension calculator?
A lot of the time I'm buying a typical 6 string set then adding two separate strings from juststrings.com to get things just right. There hasn't been an 8 string pack released that fits my guitar and playing style

Isotropy
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http://hikkyz.net/misc/stringassembler/ Smile

That thing is pretty useful. Though I have to be honest I gave up on getting the "perfect" tension based on these numbers and just went with feel for these strings.

I think I saw Misha Mansoor post somewhere that he liked the 110-7's for his 7 string but he plays in drop Ab usually and I think his guitar was a 27" scale (slightly longer than mine). Hence I feel comfortable with Drop A on my 26.5" using these. and I like when the lowest string is just ever-so-slightly more twangy than the rest.

I'm also minimalist and really hate having to go all over the place to piece together a set of strings. Honestly, if I have to alter the tuning I play in just to have a decent set of strings that won't sound crappy on my guitar, I'll do it Wink Plus drop A sounds good to my ears. Not quite as nice as Drop G, but hey, not a lot of people play in Drop A nowadays, as far as I know, so it keeps me at least a little bit original eh? Idk, I change my mind all the time on this.

fsociety
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I'm with you, drop A is just tight enough yet low enough that it really hits hard and thick. Big reason I love deathcore, a lot of bands limit their 'drop' to A so they can still riff pretty speedily with fast moving chords, etc.