List of extended-range guitar players

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While the six string guitar has been more or less the standard instrument since the mid-19th century, guitarists and luthiers have experimented with additional strings to extend the range of the instrument practically since the emergence of the modern guitar form, sometime in the 15th century. Seven, eight, nine, ten and more strings have been used by guitarists seeking to increase the range of pitches available from the instrument. Some of these guitars are ethnic instruments, specific to different cultures such as Russian and Brazilian guitars. During the 90's the seven string guitar became popular among metal bands such who used the additional string for extra low end. Extended range classical guitars (especially 8- and 10-string instruments) are being seen more frequently, and have found favor with guitarists who play Renaissance and Baroque lute music, as well as those who wish to transcribe piano and orchestral works for the guitar.

There are some classical players of the seven-string guitar who also use an extended treble range by adding more frets at the high end (similar to some Viennese guitars of the 19th century.)

This is a list of guitarists who have made notable usage of extended-range guitars or have played a specifically notable instrument. This list does not include multi-neck guitarists or harp guitarists.

Alphabetical listing[edit]


Jazz guitarist Howard Alden.
  • Tosin Abasi (born 1983) is a guitarist, formerly of Reflux, who has since started his own solo project known as Animals as Leaders. He started playing extended range instruments when a friend recommended an Ibanez seven string guitar to him. He has used extended range instruments almost exclusively since. He is noted for often incorporating elements of metal and shred while also having clean passages in his songs, making much use of his 8-string guitar's range to cover both the bass and guitar tracks for his compositions simultaneously on one guitar. He attended the Atlanta Institute of Music.
  • Howard Alden (born 1958) is an American jazz guitarist who plays a seven string guitar and has been described as the most impressive and creative member of a new generation of jazz guitarists.[1]
  • Jason Amaya (born 1984) is a baller ass player of the 7 string axe. Oh boy can he shred.


  • Gerry Beaudoin is an award-winning jazz guitarist, composer and arranger, and member of the New Guitar Summit. He uses seven-string Benedetto guitars.
  • Matt Bellamy (born 1978) is the lead vocalist and guitarist of Muse. He uses a custom-built seven-string guitar tuned to AADDGBE for the song "Citizen Erased".[2]
  • Wes Borland (born 1975) is the guitarist of Limp Bizkit and Black Light Burns. Borland used seven-string Ibanez guitars during his early days with Limp Bizkit.[3] Borland now uses his six string signature Yamaha model almost exclusively.
  • Lenny Breau (1941–1984) was a Canadian jazz guitarist known for his fingerstyle technique. Late in his career played a custom seven-string guitar with an additional .008-gauge high A string rather than the usual low bass string.
  • Chris Broderick (born 1970) is the former lead guitarist for Megadeth. Previously he was in Jag Panzer and toured with Nevermore.




Charlie Hunter in 2007.
  • Mårten Hagström (born 1971) is most known for his use of seven- and eight-stringed guitars with the Swedish metal-band Meshuggah.[10]
  • Matthew Heafy shares roles as lead guitarist and vocals of metal band Trivium. Heafy used various seven stringed guitars for Trivium's fourth album entitled Shogun. He originally used a custom made Dean 7 string for live performances, but now plays a Gibson Custom Shop 7 string Explorer as his endorsement with Dean expired.
  • Scott Hull is an American grindcore musician, and the current guitarist and producer for Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, and Japanese Torture Comedy Hour. He has also done work with Anal Cunt. He is known for using both eight string and seven string guitars. Until 2013, Pig Destroyer didn't have a bass player, so Hull used a modified amplifier set up to fill the void of having no bassist.
  • Charlie Hunter (born 1967) is a jazz guitarist and composer. Hunter's instrument of choice is a custom built eight stringed built by luthier Ralph Novak.[11] His instrument's wide range allows him to play both lead and bass guitar simultaneously.


  • Ihsahn (born Vegard Sverre Tveitan 1975) is the guitarist and vocalist of the black metal band Emperor and uses both seven and eight stringed Ibanez guitars. He now uses Aristides seven and eight string guitars, a Dutch brand.[12]





  • Tony MacAlpine (born 1960) is an American musician and composer. MacAlpine plays seven and eight string guitars with Planet X.
  • Misha "Bulb" Mansoor is the lead guitarist for Progressive metal band Periphery, who has gained notoriety on the internet as a songwriter, guitarist and producer. Over the course of his career he has played Ibanez, Music Man, Carvin, Mayones, Jackson, Daemoness Guitars, Decibel Guitars, and Bernie Rico Jr. Both 7 & 8 string guitars. He is well recognized for his very rhythm based riffs and leads in his musical compositions. His 7 string guitars are usually tuned down in Drop Ab.
  • Lucas Mann of Rings of Saturn an American technical death metal band from the Bay Area, California. He plays 7 and 8 Strings with blisteringly fast rhythms and leads.
  • Josh Martin is the guitarist for American progressive-folk band Little Tybee. Playing multiple 8 string guitars, he is famous for developing various tapping techniques as well as furthering Tosin Abasi's "Thump" technique.
  • John Mayer (born 1977) is an American musician. He generally plays Fender Stratocasters but has recently been sighted with an eight string guitar. (he now plays a PRS signature model, and is absolutely not known for playing anything more than 6 strings)[16]



  • Christian Olde Wolbers (born 1973) is the former Fear Factory and current Arkaea guitarist. He uses seven stringed Jackson guitars and has his own signature model.[17]
  • Paul Ortiz (born 1984), best known for his work under the pseudonym, or solo project, of Chimp Spanner, uses 7 and 8 string Ibanez guitars.


  • Ralph Patt (1929–2010) played guitars with 7–8-strings beginning in 1963 when he invented major-thirds tuning, which he implemented in 1964–1965.[18][19] Seven-string guitars enabled major-thirds tuning to have the E-e' range of the standard tuning.[20] Patt first experimented with a wide-neck Mango guitar from the 1920s, which he modified to have seven strings in 1963.[21] Later, he purchased six-string archtop hollow-body guitars that were then modified by luthiers to have wider necks, wider pickups, and eight strings. Patt's Gibson ES-150 was modified by Vincent "Jimmy" DiSerio cerca 1965.[20] Luthier Saul Koll modified a sequence of guitars: a 1938 Gibson Cromwell, a Sears Silvertone, a cerca 1922 Mango archtop, a 1951 Gibson L-50, and a 1932 Epiphone Broadway; for Koll's modifications, custom pick-ups by Bill Lawrence accommodated the wide necks and high G.[20] He also purchased a seven-string by José Rubio (1967).[20]
  • John Petrucci (born 1967) is best known for his work as lead guitarist of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. He has used a seven stringed guitar in standard tuning for at least one song per album since 1994's Awake. Currently, he exclusively uses his signature series Ernie Ball Music Man guitars with DiMarzio humbuckers. In the past he endorsed Ibanez guitars.
  • Eddie Pickard of Infant Annihilator a brutal deathcore group based in Hull, East Yorkshire. He uses both 7 and now 8 string guitars.
  • Bucky Pizzarelli (born 1926) is an American 7-string jazz-guitarist known for his work with Benny Goodman and Stephane Grappelli, as well as a string of albums from a solo career dating back to the 1950s.[22]
  • John Pizzarelli (born 1960) American jazz guitarist who plays a seven stringed archtop, best known for his work with his father, Bucky Pizzarelli, another 7-string jazz guitarist.



James "Munky" Shaffer.
  • James Shaffer (aka Munky born 1970) is the guitarist for nu metal band Korn as well as for his side project Fear and the Nervous System. Shaffer was one of the pioneers in using extended range guitars in metal and currently has his own signature model: the Ibanez Apex.[24]
  • Ed Sloan (born 1973) is the guitarist of Crossfade. He uses a Schecter C-7 Blackjack seven stringed guitar.[25]
  • Elliott Sharp: "Sharp is an American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer. A central figure in the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York City for over 30 years, Elliott Sharp has released over eighty-five recordings ranging from orchestral music to blues, jazz, noise, no wave rock, and techno music."[26] Among the dozens of instruments he plays, has built or had built for him, a recent addition is a Koll archtop headless 8string.[27]


  • Fredrik Thordendal (born 1970) is the lead guitarist and founding member of the Swedish technical-metal band Meshuggah. He used seven-string Ibanez and Nevborn models until the recording of the album Nothing, after which he has used Ibanez 8-string guitars.
  • Devin Townsend is a Canadian progressive rock and metal artist. He's used 7 string guitars for several years, including in Strapping Young Lad. He now uses a custom 7 string made by Peavey, which he played on his 2011 album Deconstruction.[28]



  • Brian Welch (born 1970) is a guitarist for Korn. Welch plays various Ibanez seven-string guitars including his and Munky's signature model, the K7. On hiatus from Korn, Welch switched to playing custom-built six-string baritone guitars.[31]


  • Narciso Yepes (1927 – 1997) was a Spanish classical guitarist, virtuoso on the ten string classical guitar.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Howard Alden - Official Website Retrieved:2009-03-20
  2. ^ Matt Bellamy guitar rig Retrieved:2009-03-20
  3. ^ - Wes Borland Retrieved:2009-01-01
  4. ^ Modern guitars article Archived 2008-10-11 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved:2009-01-01
  5. ^ Dino Cazares interview Retrieved:2009-01-01
  6. ^ Guitarplayer - Rusty Cooley Retrieved:2009-03-20
  7. ^ Dino Sete Cordas Bio Retrieved:2009-03-20
  8. ^ - Paul Galbraith interview Retrieved:2009-01-01
  9. ^ - Equipment Retrieved:2009-01-01
  10. ^ - Mårten hagström interview Retrieved:2009-01-01
  11. ^ - Gear Archived 2008-04-25 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved:2009-01-01
  12. ^ Ibanez artist - Ihsahn Retrieved: 2009-07-08
  13. ^ Slayer biography Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: 2009-07-08
  14. ^ Metal Injection - Wow: Arch Enemy Announce New Guitarist Jeff Loomis
  15. ^ - Bio Retrieved:2009-01-01
  16. ^ Battle Studies - Stitched Up - Slight Return Retrieved:2009-04-15
  17. ^ Christian Olde Wolbers (Fear Factory) guitar rig Retrieved: 2009-07-08
  18. ^ Griewank (2010, p. 1): Griewank, Andreas (1 January 2010), Tuning guitars and reading music in major thirds (Postscript file and Pdf file), Matheon preprints, 695, Rosestr. 3a, 12524 Berlin, Germany: DFG research center "MATHEON, Mathematics for key technologies" Berlin, MSC-Classification 97M80 Arts. Music. Language. Architecture
  19. ^ Kirkeby, Ole (1 March 2012). "Major thirds tuning". cited by Sethares (2011) and (Griewank 2010, p. 1). Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
    Sethares, William A. (2011). "Alternate tuning guide". Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin; Department of Electrical Engineering. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  20. ^ a b c d Peterson (2002, p. 37):
    Peterson, Jonathon (2002). "Tuning in thirds: A new approach to playing leads to a new kind of guitar". American Lutherie: The Quarterly Journal of the Guild of American Luthiers. 8222 South Park Avenue, Tacoma WA 98408: USA.: The Guild of American Luthiers. Number 72 (Winter): 36–43. ISSN 1041-7176. Archived from the original on 21 October 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  21. ^ Peterson (2002, p. 36)
  22. ^ - Jazz Guitar Legend Bucky Pizzarelli Still Swings Retriced:2009-0-20
  23. ^
  24. ^ - James 'Munky' Shaffer APEX model Archived 2007-08-15 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved:2009-01-01
  25. ^ Schecter Guitars - Artist Archived 2009-02-09 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved:2009-03-20
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-25. Retrieved 2010-12-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ Steve Vai Archived 2007-09-04 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved:2009-01-01
  30. ^ George Van Eps biography Archived 2009-01-26 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: 2009-07-08
  31. ^ Gearwire - Custom Ibanez Baritone: A New Guitar For A New Album With Korn's Brian "Head" Welch Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved:2009-03-20

External links[edit]