If you’re curious about bands that use 7 string guitars, you’ve come to the right post!
I’m not a 7-string guitar expert, but I thought I’d do some research about this and post it here on the blog!
Of course, Korn comes to mind as the most prominent band on this list. In fact, guitarists Munky and Head popularized 7-string guitars. Everyone was blown away when they emerged with their self-titled debut album. What’s more, they’re well-known for detuning one whole step to A standard. Check out my Korn tuning post to learn more about this band!
2. Morbid Angel
Morbid Angel is one of the most influential death metal bands. This is all thanks to their creative leader, guitarist, and sole original member Trey Azagthoth. And, of course, a huge part of their sound was his use of 7-string guitars.
Just take a listen to a piece like God of Emptiness. These immensely heavy riffs go so well with David Vincent’s vocals. Before you move to the next band, just take a listen for a heavy and sinister-sounding song.
A one-of-a-kind band, Deftones are popular among fans of so many different genres. If you ask me, this is mostly due to guitarist Stephen Carpenter. The guy has a very innovative approach to composing.
Of course, he uses 7-strings and 8-strings. But he’s not just another player of extended-range guitars. He implements them in a very unique way.
Sure, Deftones use 6-string guitars as well. They’re all over the place. But if you want some great 7-string songs, check out their 2003 self-titled record. The song Hexagram is in the Ab standard tuning and is particularly interesting from a musical perspective.
If you want innovative and progressive stuff, look no further than Periphery. This is one of the most groundbreaking modern metal bands. Their approach to writing and performing is just insane.
Guitarists Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen, and Mark Holcomb have used different guitars over the years. And there are some pretty awesome 7-string songs. In particular, I’d single out “Racecar” from their self-titled debut record. This one is tuned to Bb standard.
5. Thy Art Is Murder
The combination of death metal and metalcore emerged during the 2000s. Although the genre grew in popularity, there’s no deathcore band like Thy Art Is Murder.
For the lovers of 7-string guitars, the band’s Sean Delander and Andy Marsh are worth checking out. Their album Human Target shows the instrument’s full potential in metal music.
Although no longer active, we should not forget about mentioning Nevermore. The band featured Jeff Loomis, best-known for his current work in Arch Enemy. Their blend of thrash, prog, and other subgenres made them really unique.
The band officially ended in 2011. And, to everyone’s dismay, all chances of reunion fell apart with the singer Warrel Dane’s death. Nonetheless, their legacy lives on.
And they have plenty of awesome 7-string riffs worth our appreciation. In particular, they used the A# or Bb standard tuning.
Mushroomhead is often compared to Slipknot. However, it seems that the two bands never really got along. But all the drama aside, one of Mushroomhead’s main traits is that they preferred 7-string over 6-string guitars.
The band always preferred the A# tuning. This is one semitone lower than the B standard. It worked pretty well for them. I suggest that you check out their classic “Sun Doesn’t Rise.”
8. Suicide Silence
Formed back in 2002, Suicide Silence is one of the bands that changed metal. By combining death metal and metalcore, they explored new uncharted territories. This was also accompanied by their use of 7-string guitars.
Chris Gaza and Mark Heylum work as an awesome guitar duo. You can notice this on any of their albums. Easily their most popular song, You Only Live Once is worth checking out. It features the band’s original singer Mitch Lucker who passed away in 2012.
Although belonging to the deathcore movement, Whitechapel gravitates more towards conventional death metal. What’s interesting is that they feature three guitar players. Ben Savage and Alex Wade have been there since the band’s beginning in 2006. Zach Householder joined back in 2007.
And they all use 7-string guitars. Just imagine the sheer force and brutality of three of such instruments. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they tune to drop G. The bottom string for such a tuning gets as thick as 0.068 inches. Now, that’s super-heavy.
Initially, Trivium started as a metalcore band. This was a popular trend back in the early 2000s. However, under Matt Heafy’s leadership, they diversified. At this point, they’re one of the biggest metal bands on the planet.
In their discography, they also have plenty of 7-string songs. Matt Heafy, accompanied by Corey Beaulieu, delivers some pretty heavy riffs. You can check out their 7-string stuff on a song like “Silence in the Snow.”
11. Scale the Summit
So is the 7-string guitar good just for chugging heavy riffs? Absolutely not. Scale the Summit proves this.
This band is a very proficient instrumental progressive metal band. Over the years, the band has been led by a highly skilled guitarist Chris Letchford. And, above all, he really knew how to implement 7-string guitars.
Make sure to check out Chris ripping through Blue Sun. This piece is so prog that it would make even King Crimson jealous.
12. Upon a Burning Body
And now we’re back to business as usual with 7-string guitars. Similar to other bands, Upon a Burning Body is a metalcore band. However, they deliver some groove metal elements to metalcore.
The group changed lineups several times over the years, and many consider them a very underrated band. They’re not really that big. However, they have some seriously heavy tunes. One example is Texas Blood Money.
There’s rarely any metal musician that could compare to Adam Darski. Also known as Nergal, he’s quite a controversial figure. Coming from Poland, Nergal bent all the rules in the book. Of course, this doesn’t make him the most popular person in the country. But that’s a whole different story.
Between 1995 and today, he has released 11 albums with his band Behemoth. The musical direction is what we can describe as blackened death metal. But it’s more than just that.
Although mostly focusing on 6-string guitars, they have some great 7-string songs. Slaves Shall Serves is a great example. And it’s an insanely heavy death metal tune.
With Ken Susi and Buz McGrath on guitars, Unearth is one of the most powerful metalcore bands to date. Active since the late 1990s, they’ve delivered 7 albums so far. And, of course, most of their material is on 7-string guitars.
There’s a lot of great stuff to choose from in their catalog. However, I’d single out Last Wish as a particularly interesting tune.
15. Dream Theater
And, finally, we get to Dream Theater. As you may know, many consider John Petrucci to be one of the best and most innovative guitar players of all time. And thus, he was never afraid to experiment and you can hear this in his signature style.
There seem to be no limitations to Petrucci’s guitar-playing and writing skills. As you might expect, over the years, he also played 7-strings. What’s more, he even plays some pieces in the A standard tuning.
But, if you ask me, A Change of Seasons is the song that best shows Petrucci’s 7-string skills. This one features the B standard tuning.
Bands That Use 7 String Guitars: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you discover some of the bands that use 7 string guitars.
Of course, this list is in no way exhaustive.
And if you have some other bands that use 7 string guitars that you think I should add to this list, let me know in the comments!