NAMM: Ibanez 7 And 8-string Acoustics

ibanez1One of my big ’causes’ is to remind players that 7 and 8-string guitars don’t just have to be for djent – you can play all sorts of styles on these instruments. Classical guitars with extra strings may not be super common but they’re nothing new. Yet when Ibanez makes them, it’s big news. Ibanez knows probably better than anyone how to make extended-range instruments, and these guitars are bound to inspire new musical styles and explorations. At NAMM this year Ibanez showed three extended-range acoustics: two 7s and an 8. Here they are:  Read More …

My New Song ‘Blue Shadow Glow’

a1561738367_2Hey folks. Well, Christmas is over (along with its general pressures and stresses), my massive magazine deadlinepocalypse is now behind me and I can get back to working on the fun stuff. Like music. This week I recorded a track using solely my Ibanez Iron Label 8-string with Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentient pickups. In this case I wanted to just use the Sentient so I could show off just how versatile it is, so that’s all you here here, on every guitar part. Even the ‘bass’ is actually the 8-string with the lowest string tuned down to E. I used IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube 3 for amp sims and T-Racks Custom Shop for EQ and dynamic processing, in Presonus Studio One for recording and mixing. The drums are Drumkit From Hell Superior by Toontrack. And here’s the song, with a little more info about it afterwards…


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REVIEW: Mayones Regius 8

regiusthumbMayones is a Polish company who have been around for quite a while, but recently they’ve really launched onto the world stage with a daring attitude, a knack for choosing ridiculously beautiful woods, and a willingness to work with a variety of pickup companies in order to effectively operate like a custom shop in terms of letting players choose the voicing of their guitar.  The Regius 8 is an 8-string guitar (standard 8-string tuning is F#-B-E-A-D-G-B-E, but you are of course welcome to tune it however you like) made with neck-thru construction – that is to say, the neck continues all the way through to the rear strap-pin end of the body. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Periphery’s Mark Holcomb

Mark HolcombIt seems like just yesterday that Periphery was in Australia – and it pretty much was, if you count ‘March’ as yesterday. Whereas last time around they travelled the country as part of the huge Soundwave festival juggernaut, they’re heading back in January and February for their own tour with like-minded proggy djenty iconoclasts Animals As Leaders. And what better way to prepare for the tour than to have a chat with guitarist Mark Holcomb? I caught up with Mark yesterday ahead of the second-last Periphery gig of the band’s current US tour. And right around the time I’m typing this, they’re onstage playing their very last show before taking some much-needed time off. But it won’t be long before we hear some new Periphery music, as you will see…  Read More …

Keith Merrow, Wes Hauch Tear Heads Off With New Duncans

WESCheck out this new video of Keith Merrow and Wes Hauch tearing off the heads of all and sundry in this as they demo Seymour Duncan’s various 8-string humbucking pickups. Keith’s using his Schecter and Wes is using the new Jackson SLATFXQMG 3-8, the model we looked at a few days ago here and which you can read more about here, and which looks extra-cool with those Duncan passive-in-active-housing pickups, don’t ya think? In the video below you’ll hear Duncan’s Pegasus bridge, Sentient neck, Nazgul bridge, Distortion neck and bridge, Invader neck and bridge, and Blackouts neck and bridge models all put to devastating use by Keith and Wes. Enjoy! Read More …

REVIEW: Seymour Duncan Pegasus & Sentient

Pegasus and SentientAs a seven – and now eight – string guitarist, I’m fully aware that the needs of an extra-stringer are different to those of someone who plays a sixer. You have to have clarity on the low string(s), because what’s the point of having an extra string if it’s virtually inaudible? And you need the rest of the guitar to still sound right, because what’s the point of having the regular six strings if their tone is going to be sacrificed in honour of that one low string? To date most seven and eight-string pickups have been expanded versions of existing pickup models, but Seymour Duncan’s new Pegasus, Sentient and Nazgul pickups are designed from the ground up to cater to the needs of seven and eight-string players. That’s right: there’s no six-string version of any of these pickups. Read More …

REVIEW: Ibanez RGIR28FE Iron Label 8-string

496-1Ibanez was at the forefront of 7-string guitar development when they launched the Universe more than 20 years ago, and they’ve continued to innovate in extended-range instruments at all price points, from inexpensive GIO 7-strings to J.Custom 8-strings. The Iron Label series of 6, 7 and 8-string guitars includes RG and S models all of which are designed specifically for metal players, yet the styling is clean and neat enough to appeal to, if not every player, then certainly a wide cross-section of the guitar community.

On paper, the RGIR28FE 8-string (I bought mine from Ibanez Guitar Centre) reads pretty similarly to much of the RG line: super-thin neck (in this case a five-piece Maple, Walnut Nitro Wizard-8 profile), Basswood body, Maple neck, Rosewood fretboard and Jumbo frets. Read More …

Jackson Unveils Summer 2013 Models

jacksonjsSeven and eight string guitars aren’t going anywhere, by the looks of things. Sure, there’s a bit of resistance from the traditionalists (and here’s how to respond to people who say ‘Seven strings? I have enough trouble with six!) but guitarists have been tuning down for decades now and I like the idea of music dictating the development of the instrument, rather than being restrained by it. So while there’ll always be a place in my heart and guitar rack for six-stringers, I’m glad that companies like Jackson are as serious about their extended-range offerings as the players are who are using them. Jackson is releasing three new models for the summer season, and all of them have an upped string count. Here’s the press release: Read More …