Many musicians speak of 7-string guitars as instruments with special romance and mystery. In addition to Russian, they include the classical seven-stringed, where the additional string only extends the bass range, and the Brazilian string – a close fellow classical, different from it at the level of small design features.
The history of Russian guitar
The wide popularity of the Russian seven-stringer came in the 60s of the last century, but its history has nearly two and a half centuries. The first mentions of this instrument have been known since the end of the 18th century, however, they traditionally consider Andrei Osipovich Sykhra, who lived somewhat later than those times, to be the ancestor of the Russian seven-stringed instrument.It would be unreasonable to assume that only the number of strings differs a 7 and 6 string guitar. In addition to the strings, there are several design differences. For example, the 7-string has an adjustable screw connection at the junction of the neck and the body – the stronger the heel of the neck is pressed against the body, the more noticeably the head of the neck drops and, as a result, the strings become closer to the nut. Another important difference is the location of the bars (springs) inside the case: for a seven-string guitar, parallel to the location of the bars relative to each other across the top deck (Scherzer system) is considered acceptable.
Basically, metal strings are placed on 7-string guitars, although sometimes you can also find nylon on them. You can endlessly talk about the unique structure of the Russian seven-string guitar, noting the completeness and variety of sounds produced, the originality and complexity of arpeggiatures, and about famous musicians such as Vysotsky and Okudzhava, who left us a legacy of many melodies performed at that time on this instrument. Many enthusiastic guitarists manage to perfectly play 7-string guitar, for example, the music of Paul McCartney.
The 7-string guitar performs perfectly when accompanying Russian romances, folk songs and ballads, the music of the so-called Russian gypsies, as well as as a solo instrument for performing works by some Russian composers.
Russian guitar manufacturers
With production in Russia has always been difficult. The oldest factory for the production of domestic guitars in Russia was previously located in the suburbs of Moscow, in a village with a rich history – Shikhovo. However, time and various processes turned the activities of this workshop to nothing. Bobrovsky guitar factory, located in the Voronezh region, still produces acoustic guitars of the “Soviet” type – pear-shaped body, traditional and easily recognizable flowers around the resonator hole. These are classic six-strings, several western models and 12-string guitars of domestic production. Despite the external small attractiveness, they are distinguished by a rather solid quality.
Acoustic guitars of Samara production are very popular. The classic look, good quality and relatively low price, quite consistent with the declared characteristics.
Among the manufacturers of our northern capital, the factories “Arfa” and “Muse” can be especially distinguished. “Harp”, it’s the former “Lunacharka” became famous at the time for the sensational “Leningrad guitars”. Production is still built on following traditions. “Muse” produces quite popular and high-quality instruments, previously known under the brand name “MuzDetal”. It is worth noting that Russian-made guitars, as a rule, are acquired only at the beginning of training, later changing their imported musical instruments.