If you’re interested in 9 string guitar songs to learn or listen to, check out this post!
I’m not the biggest fan of most 9 string guitar songs.
But that’s mainly because I’m not a big fan of the metal genre and its sub-genres.
That said, I know many people are curious about this instrument and popular songs played with the 9 string guitar.
(If you’re interested in other extended range guitars, check out my post about 8 string guitars.)
So I hope this list helps shows you what’s popular with the 9 string guitar!
1. Slave by Leprous
Coming from Norway, Leprous has been pushing the boundaries of progressive rock and metal music. Their lineup has changed somewhat over the years. But Singer Einar Solberg and guitarist Tor Oddmund Suhrke have led Leprous since the beginning.
At some point, Tor started using extended-range guitars. 2015 album “The Congregation” was especially interesting. One of the most powerful tracks on it is “Slave.” The entire record is full of dark-sounding doom-filled riffs. But this song just takes it to a new level.
For “Slave,” you’ll need to have full control over string bending. It gets hard to control the intonation with low strings.
2. BFG Division by Mick Gordon from Doom OST
Mick Gordon became famous for his involvement with the “Doom” franchise. In fact, his music has become an integral part of these video games. Without Mick, “Doom” probably wouldn’t be as popular as it is now.
Many think 2016’s “Doom” is the best combination of metal music and action. For this soundtrack, Mick used 9-string guitars. The game’s soundtrack is full of djent bangers. But the “BFG Division” really stands out.
The riffs seem simple at a first listen. But there are so many intricate details in it. “BFG Division” features guitar parts that are more rhythmic than melodic.
3. Envy by Rob Scallon
Rob Scallon is one of those guitar players that became famous through YouTube. He has proven himself to be a very potent musician and songwriter.
We all know that extended-range guitars are popular for their bottom strings. Sure, chugging the bottom string is awesome. But Rob Scallon wrote a song that implements all nine strings! Titled “Envy,” it’s a very challenging one.
But at the same time, it’s not complex for the sake of being complex. If you’re into 9 string guitar music, I bet you will enjoy this piece.
4. Emmure by Ice Man Confessions
Emmure is one of those bands that started during the nu metal era. They fused the subgenre with metalcore but kept their own style. Of course, this comes with an addition of 9-string guitars. In 2016, they hired guitarist Joshua Travis who began implementing the instruments.
There are a few very interesting Emmure songs with 9-string guitars in them and Ice Man Confessions is one of them. Although defined as “nu metalcore,” the song showcases the band’s unique style. It has some of the heaviest riffs you’ll hear in modern metal music. If you love the sound of chugging bottom strings, this is a great tune for you.
5. Private Visions of the World by Animals as Leaders
There’s no band out there like Animals as Leaders. And there’s no guitar player like Tosin Abasi. The whole djent movement brought some interesting elements into music. However, Tosin gave it a completely different twist. His use of extended-range guitars isn’t just for the sake of it. He actually implements these instruments to their full extent.
There’s hardly anyone who can reach Tosin’s musicianship. You can hear this in a song like Private Visions of the World (even if it’s not your favorite genre). His music may be labeled as “djent,” but most consider him a prog-metal master.
There are a couple of very interesting things about Private Visions of the World. First, there are full-on jazz fusion parts. Secondly, it gets into high-gain territories only in its last section. For the most part, the guitar tone is either clean or crunchy.
A 9-string guitar is more than just a tool for aggressive djent. Using its full potential to serve the song is really challenging. But Tosin Abasi and his bandmate Javier Reyes sure know how to do that.
6. Pustules by Rings of Saturn
It’s really difficult to define the style of Rings of Saturn. Formed by guitarist Lucas Mann in 2009, many defined them as either metalcore or technical death metal. But Mann is a real master of his craft. His music with Rings of Saturn is a full-on shred fest. If you’re up for incredibly fast solos and mind-blowing riffs, then definitely check out his music.
Extended-range guitars have always been his thing. But looking at the Rings of Saturn catalog, we’d single out “Pustules” as one pretty awesome song. Lucas and his bandmate Joel Omans rip through the song and use their guitars’ full potentials. You’ll hear both chugging “djent-meets-death-metal” riffs and scorching leads.
7. Trapped Like Rats by Glass Cloud
Although a short-lasting one, Glass Cloud was a band that brought innovation into modern metal. Once again, we have Joshua Travis who later joined Emmure, automatically ending Glass Cloud. Between 2011 and 2015, this quartet released one full-length studio album and one EP.
The 2013 EP Perfect War Forever has some pretty awesome stuff on it. In particular, the opening track Trapped Like Rats deserves attention. As is the case with the rest of the songs on the EP, it features 9-string guitars.
Compared to the previously mentioned song, this one is straightforward. Trapped Like Rats focuses on heavy riffs and slower tempos. And, of course, there are classic djent parts with the open 9th string. If you’re into super-heavy stuff, you’ll like this one.
8. Neo Seoul by After the Burial
For the fans of more progressive-oriented stuff, check out After the Burial. Formed in 2004, the band is led by guitarist Trent Hafdahl. Although there are clear metalcore and djent elements in their music, the band takes it to a new level.
Their use of extended-range guitars is more than just for chugging djenty riffs. Nonetheless, they still implement them very tastefully in their music. This is something that you can hear in Neo Soul from their 2013 record Wolves Within.
9. The Spell of Mathematics by Deftones
Deftones are one of the longest-lasting metal bands on the scene. Although lumped into the nu metal subgenre, they’re a bit more advanced. A huge part of their music is guitarist Stephen Carpenter. He has been keeping things interesting over the years with his innovative ideas.
Despite going deep into their career, Carpenter kept experimenting. On their 2020 album Ohms, he implemented 9-string guitars. He already had some pretty innovative stuff on his older ESP guitars. The company, once again, provided him with an extended-range instrument, this time with 9 strings.
From the Ohms record, many single out The Spell of Mathematics. Sure, they went into these djenty territories on the song. Nonetheless, Carpenter and Deftones kept their recognizable style.
10. The Apory of Existence by NYN
If you’re a fan of 9-string shredding, then check out Noyan. The musician had a few projects over the years. Although not super-famous, NYN caught some attention using 9-strings back in 2012. This easily makes him one of the pioneers of the instrument.
For this list, check out Temperament. It’s hard to describe the song without listening to it. Maybe you could call it a blend of death and progressive metal. Noyan actually implements his 9-string guitar to its full extent. Expect death metal riffs, blast beats, as well as some unusual progressive rock elements.
9 String Guitar Songs: Conclusion
I hope this has given you a taste of what you can expect from 9 string guitar songs.
Again, this genre isn’t my favorite.
But it’s definitely interesting to see what’s possible with extended range guitars.
Are you into metal music or 9 string guitars?
Let me know in the comments!