The Real Paul Jones

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Win a McGuinn 7 string

HD-7 Roger McGuinn Martin Head
As the stripper said, “Two G strings are better than one.” Guitarist Roger McGuinn believed her and designed a Seven String Guitar with two G’s. One is tuned an octave higher than the other so’s you get the jingle jangle 12 string sound whilst being able to do blues bends, slides and single string runs. The guitar has just been released by Martin as the “HD-7 Roger McGuinn Dreadnought Signature Edition.”

Camilla McGuinn writes to make sure we know that we could win one! Acoustic Guitar magazine and Martin Guitars are running a giveaway contest. You only need to register to get a chance of winning. Acoustic Guitar would love it if you also subscribed, but that’s not required.

Note: ibiblio has been host to Roger McGuinn’s Folkden for most of the decade of its existence. This month’s song is “So Early in the Spring.”

O’Reilly digitalmedia has a nice interview with Roger about the 7 string and more in an article by Randy Alberts from March of this year.


  1. Steve Beeney

    5/6/2006 at 11:40 am

    7 string guitars are not new, but THIS one is.
    The 19th century Eastern European 7-string guitar had
    a lower bass string. (I hope Martin is developing one.)
    But this Martin 7 is a whole different creature, with
    notes added to the high side, where you use and hear
    them most–just a touch of the 12 string sound, not
    too much though.

    I especially like the high A it adds to a basic D chord.
    You get both the F# and the A. Great for drop D tuning.
    Then there is open D and G tuning and of course DADGAD.
    I salivate.

    Martin and McGuin have solved two problems associated
    with the 12 string: 1, the extra pressure needed in the
    left hand; and 2, the overly complex EAD octaves that
    tickle the ear in the first few minutes of listening
    but that clog the ear later in the evening.

    For serious acoustic fingerstyle players, this is
    guitar is no small advancement. It is important.
    I want one as my primary instrument.

    My thanks to RM and the Martin Co.
    Steve Beeney, OKC

  2. I saw Roger McGuinn at the Mondavi Center in Davis and he used the 7 string for many songs, that was the first I heard of his variation (I have seen 7 string guitars with all seven strings as seperate courses), as well as other instruments from other cultures which employ mid register octaves.

    It sounded pretty good, but keep in mind Roger doesn’t play like an ordinary finger picker or flatpicker – he holds the pick with his thumb and forefinger and picks with two of his other fingers. Which for his style works very well, may not be as useful to other players.

    Also, even the lower end one costs a small fortune: I have a suggestion – I looked at the pictures and it would be pretty easy to build a guitar like this using a regular 6 string acoustic. You are only adding one high G string – this means it would be easy to cut the nut and saddle for the extra string, the bridge plate only needs to hold one more peg, and the neck should be able to handle the tension of a single high string, especially if you down-tune like Roger does to Eb.

    But don’t go drilling in your Martin, Taylor, or whatever axe you sling, instead try it out on a mid priced acoustic you don’t use anymore. I plan to make one just to do it and show Martin wahta luthier on a budget can do.

  3. Paul

    2/3/2008 at 9:06 pm

    The D-7, the less expensive version of the HD-7, is not much more that a standard Martin 6 string. You might save your drill for another day if it’s a 7 string you want. Here’s a nice review of the D-7 by Todd Phillips here.

  4. I have owned a used HD-7 for over 2 years now, and absolutely love it. I admit it sat in the case all summer and fall while I was busy with electric gigs and outdoor projects. That being said, I pulled it out of the case this winter to humidify it, and it was perfectly in tune! How many guitars can you say that about? Playing it has always been a joy, and if I had it to do over again, i would buy it in heartbeat!

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