With the growing popularity of extended range guitars, we have started adding 7 8 and 9 string guitars to our inventory. These guitars are an entirely different beast from your normal 6 string axe, as they are commonly built with longer baritone scale lengths, even reaching up to 30".
The first difference you will notice is that it is not tuned the same way a normal guitar is, but it is much more simple than people think. These guitars still keep the thirds rule in tuning, so if you are tuning a 7 string, you will be tuning the guitar to B E A D G b e, or if you are working with an 8 string, it will be F# B E A D G b e, or C# F# B E A D G b e for a 9 string. These are just the standard tunings for these guitars- they can be tuned lower if you feel the need to do so.
The next difference that you will notice is that the pickups are wound the same way as a normal guitar. These instruments are commonly used for metal, so companies that manufacture the pickups that are compatible with these guitars usually dial the tones to have a much higher gain and have made adjustments to the EQ so that the output from the guitars will fit nicely with a heavy riff.
String gauges on these guitars are typically much larger than what you would put on a 6 string. This is to compensate for the long scale lengths, and to add much lower notes to your tuning. Many people will often drop to tunings such as Drop F and Drop G with these guitars.
Some brands that sell these guitars offer models with multiscale necks, meaning that one half will have a longer scale length than the other. The frets on these guitars are angled, and this gives the player the opportunity to tune higher on one side of the neck and lower on the other. A few brands that offer these models are Agile, Kiesel, and Halo guitars.
We are working on getting pictures and demos of the 7 and 8 string we currently have at our store, and we are expecting a couple 9 strings to come in soon as well. We will be posting these across our social media and on our youtube channel.