Today I was at my grandparents' house and found a really old guitar. It's kinda small (I don't know why), but it also has 7 strings. Another strange thing for me which I have never seen - the nut is wooden and it's not detachable, like modern ones have (so it's part of the head itself).

The tuning pegs are really hard to rotate; I think that's because the strings are very old. The body itself has some scratches, which I like, because it looks really old and vintage. The guitar also has some sort of strange truss rod, you can rotate it from the back of the fretboard where it meets the body, and I don't know why but it feels very dirty and sticky.

Main problems are tuning pegs, strings, and it needs little bit of truss adjustment.

The guitar is old (it has a date, 12 mar 1955) and I'm scared to do anything because I think that it could break.

What would you recommend?

  • 1
    Where do you live? What nation? Are you in a major city, or a remote rural area? You need to find a professional luthier who restores old guitars, take the guitar to them for an inspection, and obtain an estimate of the cost of restoration. Then you need to do further research and obtain other estimates from other luthiers.
    – user1044
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 16:46
  • 1
    I live in georgia, guitar itself was made in leningrad. I live in tbilisi, the capital but we dont have many guitar shops and less restorators. So that not gonna work, it feels very sturdy and bridge is fixed in place too,i will change string but i wont touch truss rod, because im afraid, but it's at good height for slide guitar, maybe i will use it for that
    – Brsgamer
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 16:49
  • Then you should look for professional musicians who play the traditional Georgian 7-string guitar, show them your guitar, and ask for advice about restoring it.
    – user1044
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 17:58
  • 1
    7-string guitars are known here as "Russian", which would support the fact that it was made in Leningrad. Could you at least post a photo or two of the guitar (particularly of the most strange/damaged parts)?
    – yo'
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 20:40
  • Greetings from the state of Georgia, United States of America, where I live. Welcome to Music: Practice & Theory.
    – user1044
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 23:17

1 Answer 1


It will be a Russian guitar. The extra string is a B under the others.One of the original 7-stringers that are popular now! I was in Leningrad in the sixties, and bought one. £2.50 from memory (in roubles!). The action was, and still is awful. The strings needed to be lighter gauge, to stop the action being too bad.The truss rod is adjustable from the heel where the neck and body meet, using a square socket.

The bad news is - it's probably not going to be a great player. But - it's worth renovating just for posterity. The tuners will benefit from some release oil - duck oil, WD40. With the strings off/loose, do the same with the truss rod, and work the screw.The nut should be fixed, there's no point in it not being, but it's no big deal, as long as it stays still.I don't understand your statement that says most nuts are detachable.Tap the body all over. It shouldn't 'clunk'. If it does, the wood is split, and it'll end up on the wall as a showpiece, like mine.

If it's dated 1955, it'll be a bit more than 30 yrs old!! Good luck!

  • Thanks for advice! I don't have problems with nut. Just it's little bit strange to me because i haven't seen wooden nut yet. What i meam by detachable is that oj most of the guitars you can change it but on this one, it's part of the fretboard
    – Brsgamer
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 10:14
  • correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that Russian 7 string guitars were tuned in thirds; EGBEGBE rather than a low B string
    – Some_Guy
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 16:41
  • I was wrong, it is tuned in a tight (thirds) tuning but, according to wikipedia, the most common tuning is in fact Open G, as in DGBDGBD en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_guitar But yes the real point is that it's not just extended range but a tighter voicing that the 7 string traditionally facilitates. I don't suppose there's any reason that you couldn't tune it with a Low B instead though, or indeed tune it Brazilian style (low C).
    – Some_Guy
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 16:44

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