9 string guitar

United States
April 27, 2009 2:56pm CST
I was at a meeting awhile back and a lady was playing a nine string guitar. At first I thought she was kidding me. I laughed and asked if it was a 12 string missing 3 strings. But it really was a nine string guitar. I have looked for them on line and cannot find one anywhere. It had a perfect sound! Anyone ever seen one? Know where to get one?
1 person likes this
4 responses
@owlwings (34216)
• Cambridge, England
27 Apr 09
If it's what I think, it was a six string guitar with three extra bass strings. Usually the bottom three strings are rarely if ever fingered but played open. They are usually tuned lower than E to accentuate the bass. Here's an article describing the use of non-standard stringing which may help: http://www.earlyromanticguitar.com/erg/multibass.htm Alternatively, here is a description of a 9 string baritone which uses three double courses for the treble strings and three single basses: http://www.bischoffguitars.com/9-string_story.htm Such instruments are mostly custom-made or, at least, made in very small quantities. Acquiring one would be either a matter of pure luck, having one made (expensive) or making one yourself (depends on your skill at instrument making). As you can see from the pictures, many instruments are more or less adaptations of standard instruments but, of course, the extra strain from another three strings needs to be taken into consideration.
• United States
27 Apr 09
Thanks so much for the information! It is definetly out as far as crafting my own... I'm like Jerry Lewis when it comes to things like that. I would get it so screwed up no one could make anything of it!! Thanks for the sites! They are very insightful and helpful! I don't recall where she said she purchased her instrument. I did think she said it was made by Alvarez; but I've had no luck finding one like it there! Thanks again!
@owlwings (34216)
• Cambridge, England
28 Apr 09
Alvarez are a well known and respected classic guitar maker. I have seen a 9 (or 10) string classic guitar many years ago in a shop window but I don't remember when or where or who the maker was, whether it was a special display or anything more about it! The instrument I saw was exactly like any classic guitar but had a wider neck. Lutes were not infrequently built with more than six courses and lute music (which is often written on a tab stave, showing the fingering for each string) can certainly be had for more than 6 courses. I seem to remember being told that the guitar on display was made so that a guitar player could play lute music.
• United States
28 Apr 09
Wow!I am going to have to do much more research! I did check out the sites you sent. They had some very interesting information. I enjoyed the sound tracks they contained as well! Thanks for sharing.
• United States
2 Jun 09
I have an Alvarez Model 5058 9 string guitar which I've had since 1981 and haven't played much in the last 25+ years so I'm considering selling it. It is in very good condition with orginal hard body case. Any takers? Give me an offer I can't refuse.
• United States
2 Jun 09
If you're interested send me an email: mnmostmuscular at yahoo dot com
• United States
3 Jun 09
wow!!! I wouldn't even know what to offer.....
• United States
3 Jun 10
i have one also.if anyone interested.hit me joemillwood75@yahoo.com.its very rare.im trying to find an exact value.e mail and ill let u know what i find out
@commanderxo (1497)
• Canada
28 Apr 09
Alvarez came out with a 9-string acoustic/electric a couple of years ago. (Model# 5058) There's also talk that another company (HALO-Extended Range Guitars) will be coming out with their version (called Framus)fairly soon. Check out the video demonstrations on YouTube. Also apparently now, they're even making BASE guitars available in a 9-string! Cool, or what? cdrxo
• United States
28 Apr 09
whoa!! How cool is that? I loved the sound of the one I played. I was thinking the lady wo whom it belonged told me it was tuned like a 12-string, only minus the extra three top strings like on the 12-string. I'll have to look up more information!
1 person likes this
@owlwings (34216)
• Cambridge, England
28 Apr 09
Ah! So the one you saw had octave courses on the three bass strings (so still only six courses). That would make sense, too, and would give a marvellous sound, though, given the lower tension on a classical/nylon strung guitar could also give problems with buzzing and fret noise. It would take a very experienced lutenist to make a successful instrument.
• Canada
29 Apr 09
Tuned like that of a 12 string, would only make proper sense to me. Octave-wise, it would be a bit of an adjustment...but probably no more less than another learning curve, I'd imagine. No doubt it would take some getting used to. I once owned a 12 sting about 20 some odd years ago...Epiphone it was; solid spruce top, rosewood & maple neck...verrrrry nice! I've got to admit...I really enjoyed the tonality of the instrument, moreover than that of the 6-string. There's just something about that "sound", if you know what I mean? cdrxo
• United States
31 May 09
To whom it may concern: I have an 1980 Alvarez Yairi nine string for sale. It is number 66 out of only 200 made as the orginal prototype. If intrested you may respond to: bob (at) bobferrara (dot) net