John Petrucci said he working on utilizing 8-string guitars in his playing and on upcoming Dream Theater music, telling Andertons:
“I haven’t played [an 8-string guitar]. This is my plan.
“In the same way back in 1994 when ‘Awake’ came out, when I got that first seven string – literally in the studio, in front of the guys, ‘Hey check this out!’ – we started writing, and that music came out of me playing that guitar; I want to approach the 8-string the same way.
“So it’s something we’re developing now. There’s no schedule. When it happens one day and I get it, I want to be in the studio, pick it up, start writing, see what happens, and not really think to much about it.
Focusing on his first contact with a 7-string, John noted:
“That was when we went into the writing sessions for ‘Awake’ album. We were in NYC, I got delivered to me a Steve Vai seven string, that was the only one that was really around.
“It was black with green pickups, and I picked it up and we wrote ‘The Mirror’, which is on that album.
“The way that I kind of look at seven string guitar, eventually 8 which we’re working on… [Laughs] The way that I approach it is an extended range of the instrument.
“So anything I would play on a six-string is I was doing a line, and let’s say that line was in C#, and you know… *plays ‘Change of Seasons’ riff* I wanted to do something like that, but it sounded too wimpy down here. *plays the same riff an octave higher, and then the right way to show the difference*.
“It just gives me more range. I mean, John Myung plays six string bass, he’s able to go down there, so why can’t I?”