Many people may be overwhelmed by extended range guitars as it is something they're not used to, however there are a number of artists using them to help extend the bass or sometimes treble range of their playing which can create more contrast and a more unique sound. When an additional string is added, the width of the fret board is increased so it can be placed next to the rest of the strings, some people might take a while to get used to an extra string while others may never like it, it all depends on the persons playing style and what sort of sound they want to obtain.
While they might seem relatively new to some people, seven string guitars have been around since the 19th century,the first example of it being the Russian guitar which is a seven string acoustic tuned to Open G tuning. This is similar to the Brazilian guitar which is tuned like a standard classical or acoustic guitar but with an extra low C.
Semi-Hollow and hollow body seven strings came about during the 1930's when a Jazz guitarist called George Van Eps had his own signature guitar built by Epiphone as well as Gretsch. Most players had the extra string tuned to a low A or a low B. More Jazz guitarists from the 30's to the 80's such as Bucky Pizzarelli or Ralph Patt also began using seven strings.
During the 80's, seven string solid body electrics started being made which guitarist Steve Vai picked up on and had his own guitar with a high A. Later on, Ibanez and Vai worked together to mass produce the UV7 which was a seven string with the low B instead of a high A.
Seven strings started becoming more popular within the Rock and Metal scene as bands like Korn began using the instrument which was perfect for their low end riffs and still allowed them to have the full range of a six string for leads and solos.
We here at Rose Morris have a selection of seven string guitars in a variety of styles- so come and try one today!
And remember- you can never have enough strings, like this guy:
Narciso Yepes playing a 10-string classical guitar; via youtube.com