Many players have a preference for the different sound and playing style that a 6 string vs 8 string acoustic guitar can offer. If you’re wondering which one is better for you, read on to learn about the differences between each type and see if one might be a better choice for your playing.
The Main Differences Between 6 And 8 String Guitars
There are several things you will find when comparing these two types of guitars. The main difference between six and eight stringed acoustic guitars is the obviously number of the strings and their tuning.
A scale is the distance from the nut to the bridge on a guitar. The longer a scale is, the deeper your notes will be. The longer length of an 8 stringed guitar also means it will typically be more tiring for smaller players to play because it requires more finger strength and ability.
Some 8 stringed guitars are made with longer scale lengths, but they are not typical. If you buy an 8 string guitar, then you will want to know the scale length before deciding if it will fit you.
Strings And Tuning
The tuning and number of strings can also be a large difference between these two types of guitars. A 6 string guitar will have two less bass strings than an 8 string, meaning the low notes aren’t as deep.
- Standard 8 string tuning – F#BEADGBE
- Standard 6 string tuning – EADGBE
What Can You Do An An 8 String That You Can’t On A 6 String?
There are a number of things that an 8 string guitar can do that a six string cannot:
- You can create a much bigger, deeper sound.
- You will gain the ability to play some extra chords and not just simple melody lines.
- You can play a lot more progressions.
Of course, you will be able to play some of the same things as you would on a six string like:
- Creative melodies
- Deeper chords and note progressions.
- Expanded chordal abilities.
Pros Of An 8 String Vs A 6 String
There are a number of advantages that having two extra strings gives you:
- Bigger sound
- Ability to play more chords and progressions.
- Creative melodies.
- More options for playing more types of music.
Cons Of An 8 String Vs A 6 String
Takes a lot of finger strength and tends to be too large for most small framed people. It can be very hard playing if you don’t have the size or strength to back it up.
The only real disadvantage to an 8 string vs a 6 string is that it just won’t be as easy to play. If you can get around this, then you will be able to make the most of the added sound and scale length that an 8 stringed guitar can offer.
Looking for a new 8 string? Check out these best 8 string guitar recommendations.
W also have an article answering the question – Should I get a 7 or 8 string guitar here.
Both types of guitars are good for different reasons. The only real advantage to consider when buying an 8 string over a 6 string is if you feel like you want deeper sound with more options for chord progressions.