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I got a 9-string guitar.... nuts but hear me out! - Gearspace.com
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I got a 9-string guitar.... nuts but hear me out!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I got a 9-string guitar.... nuts but hear me out!

I've been an extended range guitar fan for years now, ever since they started releasing 8-strings in 2007 or so. Of course I'm a fan of Meshuggah, they were a huge inspiration for getting my first 8-string. I know some of you might probably think that I'm crazy. That's the bass player's range, why not get a harp? etc. But honestly, it feels so good to have an instrument with such a big range because it gives a lot of creative freedom and it allows you to be creative in ways that you may never have dreamed of before. That's how it works for me anyway...

You don't see many 9-string around so I'll explain briefly what the idea is: it's basically like a "normal" 6-string guitar but with 3 extra low strings. The standard 9-string tuning from low to high is C#-F#-B-E-A-D-G-B-e. Sure that low C# is very low and I don't see myself going much lower but it's still higher than a 5-string bass's low B. With these low notes I usually play in unison with the bass and the bass definitely still has it's own place in the mix. A guitar just doesn't sound or work like a bass so you still need a bass guitar to fill out those thick (low)mids and lows.

I use this guitar primarily for heavy music but they are also great for jazz and two-handed tapping etc. The heavy distorted tones are sweet and very heavy but the clean tones are very nice too! Dialing in a tone for such a guitar works a little different from a normal 6-string as you usually have to do some boosting or pre-filtering to tighten up the low-end a bit.

9-string guitars are usually baritone guitars with a longer scale and the one I have is 28 inches long and I think that it's a fine scale length for C# standard. The model 9-string that I have is the Ibanez Iron Label RGIR9FME. It's made in Indonesia and I'm pleasantly surprised at the quality of the materials and built. It's a really good instrument. HUGE neck, wide fretboard with a flat radius, Nyatoh body (kind of like Mahogany), Rosewood fretboard, 5-piece maple neck, flamed maple top and 2 EMG909 pickups. The EMG909 pickups sound surprisingly good in this guitar!

I made a video too with a little demo track and review if you're interested. Some of you will probably think that those low C# notes are too low but maybe some of you will get a kick out of this:

Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Farmboy presents's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
i like it
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Huh?

I thought this was going to be about the REAL, ORIGINAL 9 string as played by the great, immortal, Big Joe Williams.

His guitar did not have useless, annoying extra bass strings that are to low in pitch to be reproduced accurately by most speakers. His guitar had doubled strings on the high E, B, and D strings for more unique, fuller sound on the acoustic blues (later amplified with a DeArmond pickup) he played on street corners in the South and later Chicago.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Guru
Mark Lindsay of the Raiders had a custom BC Rich purple 9 string guitar made in 1979. It had doubled high strings like a 12 string.

Garry Goodman plays a 12 string bass. The low string is a .195 gauge low C at 16 hz, the high string is G above the high E, a .006 gauge. It has 36 frets and it's the widest range instrument I've seen. He also winds and sells wide range strings down to .004 gauge.
www.garrygoodman.com
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Farmboy presents's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein ➡️
Huh?

I thought this was going to be about the REAL, ORIGINAL 9 string as played by the great, immortal, Big Joe Williams.
.
my wife says "expectations breed resentment". the internet has lowered my expectations.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Fay Smearing's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
That's quite a small piano.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #7
Gear Guru
 
John Eppstein's Avatar
 
58 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmboy presents ➡️
my wife says "expectations breed resentment". the internet has lowered my expectations.
Too bad....
Old 3 days ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 
I like the concept of more than 6 strings because, as you said, it opens up more creativity - and more creativity, by and large, is good in music. Unfortunately I'm held back by a couple of things:
1. I'm pretty old so I struggle with new concepts - even though I hate that limitation in myself. All my favourite music was made on guitars with 6 (or 12) strings and basses with 4 strings - so subconsciously it's hard for me to 'get' 5 or 6 string basses and 7/8/9 string guitars.
2. I'm still struggling to master the 6 string version. I'm afraid more strings is beyond my own capability

Despite all that, thanks for the vid. Always good to see people doing new stuff and pushing the limits.
Old 2 days ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
I generally like even numbers of strings, 4 and 8 best, but 6 and 12 good, and 5 is fine, even 3 occasionally... not convinced by 9 though ...

(Mando's, tenor, bass and 6/12 guitars, fiddle, banjos, balalaika)
Old 1 day ago
  #10
JES
Lives for gear
 
JES's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Sounds great. I play an 8-string 34” scale instrument tuned Bb0-D4 so I’m on the OP’s side, extended range is wonderful. Needless to say, it’s not for everybody.
Old 1 day ago
  #11
Gear Nut
 
I'll see your 9 strings and raise you 3 strings. That's 12. Tune it however you want to, its still 3 more than 9.
Old 1 day ago
  #12
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