Bear with me, sorry if this is a bit of a long story. But this is my very first 7 string guitar. Also my first custom…many firsts with this guitar.
Here goes. Near the start of the year I came across Keith Merrow’s Youtube channel, and then Ola Englund’s. For some reason I had never heard people play guitar this way before. I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years, but had never heard any songs played in drop Bb on a 7, ever. Yep, I probably was living in a little bubble.
It wasn’t until I had heard riffs and songs by these guys that I just had to get a 7 string. I wanted to learn their songs. I normally play Dream Theater/Vai/Metallica/Led Zep’esque style music (and write accordingly). The stuff I was hearing from Merrow was like a new candy that I’d never tasted before.
Anyway, it was at this stage that I started looking for a 7. I had 3 Ibanez’s already, so I started looking there. But I’m a fixed bridge kinda guy (now) that hates boring colours and rosewood. So I found nothing there. Then I remembered a local luthier who I had ordered stuff from before. Only custom parts, but never a full guitar. I was shocked to see that he was producing actual guitars. Two caught my eye. The Katana, and the Tomahawk FX7.
Being on a budget I shot Ernie an email, and was surprised that he remembered me! It would’ve been 4 years ago that I last made contact with him. Immediately we got to talking, and before long I had ordered a custom guitar. My first.
A custom 7 string built by Ernie Taylor based on the ET Guitars FX7, but modified to my tastes.
- Mahogany Body
- Maple neck – wenge strip
- Dual Carbon Fibre Rods alongside the truss rod
- Quilted Maple fretboard
- Tree-of-life Inlay (red/black, custom colours)
- Dunlop 6105 Stainless Steel Frets
- Hipshot Fixed Bridge 0.125″ base for 7 string
- Nut – Graphtech Black Tusq
- Hipshot Griplock Tuners
- Bridge Pickup – Bare Knuckle Aftermath 7 (Zebra)
- Neck Pickup – Bare Knuckle Nailbomb 7 (Reverse Zebra)
- 3 way switch, with coil split via push/pull volume pot
- Angled jack
There were a few things that lead me to my choice in style. The first being familiarity with RG guitars. The second being a desire for a quilted maple fretboard (never owned one before). The third being a want for a fancy inlay. The fourth, most important, I didn’t really want to wait. Painted and quilted finishes add to the wait time. I wanted my 7 now. That said, I still had to wait, LOL!
I also originally ordered an extended scale 27″ neck. But then I chickened out. I still want to play some Dream Theater stuff on this, and that 27″ makes me think I probably might not be able to make some of the stretches in the acoustic parts. So this one is a 25.5″ scale. Maybe I’ll go extended next time.
Oh, how’s it play? So nicely. I’m still in that honey moon phase. But boy was I shocked with the neck profile! The transition from an Ibanez JEM neck (like those found on an FP) to this is little to nothing. It feels like a 6. It actually feels thinner than a Universe neck too. The fret work is sooo nice. So slippery. I’m so happy right now!
Anyway, I’m going to go back to playing. I’ve had about 5 hours sleep since getting home and plugging the guitar in. I even learnt Pillars Of Creation! haha. Vids later. Thanks for looking!
Felt silly, so I recorded me playing the Happy Birthday song over some African tribal drum beats