Classical guitar with additional strings

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A seven-string Russian guitar
Ten-string classical guitar

A classical guitar with additional strings is a classical guitar with more than six strings.


Main article: Seven-string guitar
See also: Russian guitar

Its invention is attributed to Andrei Sychra, who also wrote a method for the guitar, as well as over one thousand compositions, seventy-five of which were republished in the 1840s by Stellovsky, then again in the 1880s by Gutheil. Some of these were published again in the Soviet Union in 1926.


Main article: Eight-string guitar

Eight-string classical guitars are generally tuned with two extra basses ([BD]EADGBE) that vary in pitch depending on the piece being played. Another common variation is to add an extra bass and treble string. The extra treble is almost always tuned to A, while the added bass string usually falls on A,B, or C.

Paul Galbraith and Alexander Vynograd are two of the most notable 8 string players who use the extra high and low string tuning. Galbraith generally tunes (B)EADGBEA which puts standard 6 string guitar chord voicings and scale shapes within the neck and allows him to read lute tablature directly (a whole step higher). Vynograd chooses to tune AEADGCEA (notice the b string is tuned up a half step) which allows him to play the top 6 strings like a guitar a 4th higher. Vynograd writes his music on a grand staff in a different key and plays as if the guitar was tuned EBEADGBE.

The Brazilian guitarist Raphael Rabello also adopted the 8 string guitar on many of his presentations also Australian guitarist Sirsom Solo-Jazz plays the 8-string Classical guitar (B.E.A.D.G.B.E.A tuning).

Brahms guitar[edit]

Main article: Brahms guitar

The Brahms guitar was developed by guitarist Paul Galbraith and luthier David Rubio to allow the music of Brahms to be played more comfortably on the guitar. Information: 8 string guitar


Main article: Ten-string guitar

Includes the Decacorde - a historical romantic guitar - which was tuned C-D-E-F-G-A-d-g-b-e' and the modern 10-string guitar, which has various tunings.

Yepes Ten-string[edit]

The Yepes 10-string guitar adds four strings (resonators) tuned in such a way that they (along with the other three bass strings) can resonate in unison with any of the 12 chromatic notes that can occur on the higher strings; the idea behind this being an attempt at enhancing and balancing sonority.

Yepes Ten-string Guitar Tuning

The tuning of the Yepes ten-string guitar is:

  • e' - b - g - d - A - E - C - Bb - Ab - Gb

Or, written enharmonically:

  • e' - b - g - d - A - E - C - A# - G# - F#


For more details on this topic, see eleven-string alto guitar.

The eleven-string alto guitar was developed by Swedish luthier Georg Bolin in the 1960s, and Bolin altgitarren (Swedish for the alto guitar, plural altgitarrer) are now rare and valuable. The Bolin alto guitar most often has eleven strings, but a thirteen-string version also exists.

The eleven-string alto guitar is played by guitarists such as John Francis, Stefan Östersjö and Göran Söllscher and is often used in performances of Bach on the guitar.

The Godin Glissentar is another type of eleven-string guitar and is fretless.

The 11-string archguitar built by American luthier Walter Stanul is played by guitarists such as Peter Blanchette [1].

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The 13-string "Chiavi-Miolin" guitar is played by Anders Miolin and created by Swiss luthier Ermanno Chiavi.

Luthier Michael Thames has developed the 13-string "Dresden" designed to function as a baroque lute for guitarists.

Bolin created a thirteen-string version of his eleven-string alto guitar, but the eleven-string version has been the one adopted by other makers.

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Harp guitar[edit]

Main article: harp guitar

The harp guitar is a classical guitar combining features found in the guitar and the harp. The Harp style strings are used as bass or drone strings, and add to the harmonic reverb.

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