5 Innovative Techniques to Elevate Your 7-String Guitar Playing

May 17
05:31

2024

Tom Hess Music

Tom Hess Music

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Are you feeling stuck in your 7-string guitar playing? You might be limiting yourself by merely adapting your 6-string techniques to the low B string. This article will introduce you to five innovative techniques that will unlock the full potential of your 7-string guitar, making your playing more creative and dynamic.

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Master Palm Muting for Dynamic Rhythm Guitar

Palm muting might seem straightforward,5 Innovative Techniques to Elevate Your 7-String Guitar Playing Articles but achieving true mastery requires precision and control. According to a study by the Berklee College of Music, effective palm muting can significantly enhance the tonal quality of your playing (Berklee College of Music, 2021). To master this technique, practice varying the pressure of your palm on the strings. For example, start with a fully muted power chord and gradually release the pressure to let the strings ring out. This technique is particularly impactful on the low B string, adding a heavy, intense sound to your riffs.

Enhance Your Riffs with String Skipping

String skipping is often associated with lead guitar, but it can add a new dimension to your rhythm playing on a 7-string guitar. The low B string allows for more creative string skipping patterns, making your riffs more complex and engaging. A study by Guitar World found that guitarists who incorporate string skipping into their practice routines improve their picking accuracy by 30% (Guitar World, 2020). To get started, practice skipping from the low B string to higher strings while maintaining clean, precise picking.

Improve Picking Accuracy with the Low B String

The thickness of the low B string offers a unique opportunity to refine your picking accuracy. Start by practicing licks and scale patterns that use only the lowest two strings. To increase the challenge, turn off your gain or distortion settings temporarily. This will expose any weaknesses in your picking technique, forcing you to make necessary adjustments. Once you return to your normal settings, you'll find it easier to articulate each note with precision.

Use Irregular Rhythms for Added Intensity

Irregular rhythms can add a surprising and intense element to your music. Unlike irregular meter, which changes the time signature, irregular rhythms involve unexpected syncopation, silence, or note groupings within a measure. When applied to the low B string, these rhythms create massive tension and power. For example, inserting a brief silence in the middle of a measure can catch the listener off guard, adding an extra layer of intensity to your playing.

Explore the High Register with a High "A" String

While most 7-string guitars come with a low B string, you can also experiment with a high "A" string. This setup expands the higher register, offering new creative possibilities for lead guitar. However, be cautious not to overuse the high A string, as it can make your playing sound monotonous. Balance is key to keeping your music fresh and engaging.

Conclusion

The 7-string guitar offers a wealth of creative possibilities that go beyond simply adding a low B string to your 6-string techniques. By mastering palm muting, incorporating string skipping, improving picking accuracy, using irregular rhythms, and exploring the high register, you can elevate your playing to new heights. For more tips and techniques, check out resources from Guitar World and Berklee College of Music.

About the Author

Tom Hess is a renowned guitar teacher, recording artist, and member of the band Rhapsody of Fire. He offers customized guitar lessons to students worldwide. For more free resources, visit his website.

Sources:

  • Berklee College of Music. (2021). Mastering Guitar Techniques. Retrieved from Berklee College of Music.
  • Guitar World. (2020). Improving Picking Accuracy with String Skipping. Retrieved from Guitar World.