I just recently bought an 8 string. I have tried every tuning I have read or watched videos on. For some reason my f# sounds to loose and there is a lot of rattle on the guitar?all the other strings sound fine???any thoughts?

  • 3
    You're only a tone above the E on a bass guitar. I would guess the problem here is the string needs to be heavier to give it the proper tension, but that may not be possible. Trying to get such a low note out of an instrument with the scale length of a normal guitar is technically tricky for reasons of physics. I suspect that is the root of the problem. Mar 15, 2014 at 3:40
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    What is the make and model of the guitar, and what is its scale length? Does the manufacturer list the gauge of each string that comes with the guitar? It would help us to know these things
    – user1044
    Mar 16, 2014 at 12:43
  • Is there a whammy bar or a tremelo system on your guitar? Apr 15, 2014 at 9:06

3 Answers 3


On a standard scale length guitar this is a problem - you want to look at really increasing your gauge on that low string, but no matter what, it is going to be much 'flappier' than the higher strings.

You can raise the action to compensate for this or change your playing style. I play a 7 string with an ADADGBE tuning, and I have to be really delicate with the low A or else it sharpens a lot on picking, and clatters all over the place.

That said, it can be an excellent feature sound. There are a few bands who work with a loose bottom end with great success. It can sound incredibly heavy if done well.

  • Ah, a fellow 7 stringer. Good man! Apr 15, 2014 at 9:49

String gauge is much up to personal preference. In my experience, the strings guitar manufacturers put on their instruments are on the thin side. Try a thicker string. There are no eight string sets that I'm aware of, but e.g. .074 strings are available from manufacturers like D'Addario. What gauge do you use for six string guitars?


Your low E (or F#) needs at least .074, never smaller than a .070. I highly recommend having 3 Es. But if your picks just aren't having it, settle for F#. Always have bright strings for such a tuning. Prepare to minimize chords from your playing style.

  • "Prepare to minimize chords from your playing style." -- I'm not sure what you mean by this. In fact, I also don't know what you mean by "but if your picks just aren't having it,..." and "always have bright strings for such a tuning." The only thing that I understand here is that you recommend a minimum string gauge for the bottom string, but you don't explain why this might be a good recommendation.
    – user39614
    Apr 13, 2018 at 11:36

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