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Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)

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Bee-dubya-ell 24 Apr 07 - 05:43 PM
PoppaGator 24 Apr 07 - 06:14 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 24 Apr 07 - 07:28 PM
Roger in Baltimore 25 Apr 07 - 08:05 AM
PoppaGator 25 Apr 07 - 11:11 AM
John Hardly 25 Apr 07 - 12:02 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 25 Apr 07 - 12:23 PM
Wesley S 25 Apr 07 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,SeattleMichael 19 Jan 10 - 04:44 AM
Murray MacLeod 19 Jan 10 - 07:09 PM
Stringsinger 20 Jan 10 - 04:02 PM
Lonesome EJ 20 Jan 10 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,number 6 20 Jan 10 - 10:22 PM
PHJim 21 Jan 10 - 03:06 PM
PoppaGator 21 Jan 10 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Todd in Sacramento 16 Mar 10 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,keh calif 05 Aug 10 - 01:11 AM
PHJim 22 Mar 11 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,Tfrebol 01 Sep 15 - 10:12 PM
PHJim 01 Sep 15 - 11:20 PM
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Subject: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 05:43 PM

Anyone else checked out the new Martin D-7 and HD-7 models? They're seven-string hybrids, essentially a regular six-string D with an extra octave-tuned G string, like on a 12-string. Roger McGuinn cooked up the idea as a custom order and Martin decided to put it in production. (Blurb from Martin's website HERE.) The D-7 is essentially a modified D-28 while the HD-7 is a modified D-41.

I tried out an HD-7 today and will admit to being quite impressed. It has just enough "jangle" to be interesting without sounding too much like a 12-string. I use a lot of three-finger banjo technigue in my guitar fingerpicking and the octave G string really jumps out.
   
No, I don't have the money to buy the real thing, but I like the idea enough that I'm seriously considering finding a suitable inexpensive used six-string and doing a modification on it.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 06:14 PM

Hey, you could save a cool grand-and-a-half by settling for the basic D-7 as opposed to the fully-tricked-out HD-7 ~ why not go for it?

Just kidding of course ;^)

I'd love to give one of these babies a try, although it's hard to imagine having to hit one specific string/pair, the "G," in order to activate the guitar's characteristic sound.

I don't think it would work too well for many of the pieces I currently fingerpick ~ I'd only get that full-octave "doubled" overtone on a random selection of notes. Depending upon the specific piece, the distribution of notes played on the pair of "G" strings (among the many other notes played on the conventionally single strings) may or may not make any kind of musical/logical sense.

I suppose it would work nicely if you treat the "G" as a bass string (alternating bass), downstroking it with the thumb on every 2 and 4. And of course, when you're simply strumming full six-string chords throughout a song, you would certainly achieve a consistent tone featuring that understated little "jangle" in every measure.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 07:28 PM

Actually, PoppaGator, the HD-7 I played was ticketed around $4,500 and the salesperson said they's knock another $1,000 off. Not that I have $3,500 to spare either...

The reason I was so impressed with the thing is that, in my fingerpicking, I do tend to treat the G as a bass string. It's courtesy of being self-taught and having a bunch of banjo stuff pollute my guitar style. On banjo, the G string is a bass string. In fact, playing that HD-7 made me more aware of that quirk in my playing than I had been before. I guess it's that close fit to my style that made it so impressive to me. But I can easily see how players who don't have a "G string heavy" style wouldn't get much advantage from the instrument at all.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 08:05 AM

McGuinn did not cook up this idea on his own. The idea of doubling just a string or two has been around for a while. Spider John Koerner primarily used a 7 string guitar with a doubled G - String on the records he did with Dave Ray and Tony Glover. He credited some older blues person with the idea.

I expect Art Thieme to jump in on this thread. I think it was a 9-string he retrofitted to get more oomph from his guitar. Again, he got the idea from an older bluesman.

The names of the bluesmen escape me. I expect someone will come up with the answers.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 11:11 AM

Roger (in Baltimore, that is) is right. I thought of "Spider" John Koerner right away when I saw this post yesterday. I remember reading that Koerner played a 7-string guitar (in Sing Out, way back around 1963-64) and wondering what the hell that was, and then learning several years later that the 7th string was an extra "G," doubled up and an octave higher, just like on a 12-string.

I would certainly be interested in hearing and seeing Roger (McGuinn this time) play this monster. Could he conceivably use it for an entire show, or even set, of acoustic performance? Or ~ as I would suspect ~ does he just haul it out for selected numbers whose arrangemens allow him to play that double-G throughout (or on a very regular basis).


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: John Hardly
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 12:02 PM

I know it seems goofy, but for some reason it's awkward for me to play. One silly little string extra, and it throws me off. No doubt I could get used to it. First time I ever picked up a 9 string I couldn't play a blessed thing.

It's an okay idea but one that doesn't really appeal to me. Of course, 12 strings don't appeal to me.

I have a friend with one of the McGuinn 7s and he loves it.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 12:23 PM

Not surprised to hear the idea's been around a while. It's too simple a concept not to have been done before.

One old bluesman noted for using a guitar with added strings was Big Joe Williams, composer of the blues classic "Baby Please Don't Go". Pictures of his nine-string guitar HERE.

BTW, the salesperson at the store where I tried out the HD-7 said that McGuinn had the guitar built because his aging hands were having trouble handling the larger neck of a 12-string. He wanted something that was easier on the hands while keeping some of his signature sound.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: Wesley S
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 12:35 PM

I can think of a whole lot of other guitars I would have to own before I could justify buying for one of these. It's just too limited in my mind. YMMV.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: GUEST,SeattleMichael
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 04:44 AM

Saw McGuinn in a recent small venue concert near Seattle. It was wonderful. Equally played the HD-7, acoustic Martin 12-string and red Rickenbacker. The HD-7 sounded great as he did some very fast flat-picking, banjo style fingerpicking, and full-chord rhythm. The seventh string was noticeable and really filled out the sound.

If you ever get a chance, go see his one-man performance. He sits on a bench in front of his guitars, and tells the story of his life as he plays every song you love, and songs and styles that influenced him. You'll feel like one of the family.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 07:09 PM

I can second that post above from GUEST Seattle Michael.

McGuinn's one man show is a veritable tour-de-force, although when I saw him he used only the one guitar, the Martin 12-string.

He does indeed have the knack of making you feel like one of the family.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 04:02 PM

Roger's 7 string came out of the technique he uses on the 12. The third octave doubled G string works as a melody string because the thin string is higher than the first string E.

There is a rolling twelve string finger picking style that Roger uses as well as Pete Seeger.
I know something about this.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 07:07 PM

I believe you do, Frank!

How long before Rickenbacker comes out with an electric 7?


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 20 Jan 10 - 10:22 PM

for those that are interested ....

Mcguinn - James Alley Blues on an HD_7
biLL


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: PHJim
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 03:06 PM

This is a picture of the guitar Spider John used on the Blues, Rags & Hollers and the Lots More Blues, Rags & Hollers albums in the sixties. These were very popular albums back then and I can't believe that Roger McGuinn (Jim McGuinn in those days) wasn't familiar with them. I think John made his own 7-string by putting a banjo tuning peg on the peg-head of a six-string with a tailpiece.


http://www.ithacatimesartsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/koerner.jpg


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Jan 10 - 05:41 PM

I remember seeing that picture of Spider John 'way back in the old days, but I was always puzzled about just where the extra string appeared on the fingerboard. It has only been in recent years that I learned that the extra string was an "extra' octave-higher "G."


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: GUEST,Todd in Sacramento
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 03:58 PM

I was intrigued by the idea of a piggy backed G string so I read about a guy selling his 12 string Martin DM-12 on craigslist where took his twelve string and removed all high and doubled strings except the extra G string. So I took my Martin DM-12 and did the same. It sounds incredible! And it is easier to play, tune, and I have no problem with the wider neck. It's only a few millimeters wider than my Martin 16GT.
What a great idea! Perfect sound and it doesn't cost a fortune either.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: GUEST,keh calif
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 01:11 AM

I just purchased a martin d7 from a guitar shop in Conn. I usually strum through most of my songs and found this 7 string setup great for that.I also play 12 strings ,but can get a little twang now without using my Alverez 12. It reall sounds great and is easier in my hands as the Martin is much smaller. Good Job Martin /Roger


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: PHJim
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 12:23 PM

Is Spider John still playing? The last time I saw him he was playing a 12-string. I wonder if he still has the 7.


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: GUEST,Tfrebol
Date: 01 Sep 15 - 10:12 PM

Go to elderly.com Look up "Addstring"    It's a super cool module that attaches in moments an adds the octave G string to the guitars you already own. $80.00. I've invested in a couple and they are GREAT! Ty


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Subject: RE: Martin D-7 & HD-7 (Roger McGuinn)
From: PHJim
Date: 01 Sep 15 - 11:20 PM

If you have an extra guitar that's quite playable and you don't mind modifying it, it would be a cheap mod. You could groove the saddle and put two strings in the third string hole or drill a hole for an octave G slightly behind the other strig holes. Make a groove in the nut and put a banjo peg in the middle of the peg head.
I've seen Yamaha FG75s for around $125 that would work well here.


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