Well, it's a one-of-a-kind, the only seven stringed guitar Matthias ever built (1997). He did build some ten-string guitars, though. And unfortunately he will never build another one. Besides, from what I heard it looks like he stopped building guitars altogether if your name is not Barrueco or Russel or so. But I was really lucky. The idea of a seventh string came to me very early as a student. First there were only isolated occasions: when preparing “Nocturnal” for my exams, playing the “Restless” movement I of course missed another string (you know the problem: p. 5 of the old Faber Music score, first system, m. 5). Then in Ponce’s “La Folia Variations” m. 7/8 of the theme. And Giuliani’s op 30 concerto: second theme, m. 3/4 after the seven measures tacet the bass line goes E – d# – E, which sounds quite lousy. I can play E – D# – E. Besides the seventh string tuned down to D# facilitates (facsimile edition) page 2, line 10, m. 4 – line 11, m 1. Very soon I discovered my predilection for chamber music with voice and especially the songs of John Dowland. So I tune the 3rd string to f#, 7th string to B, capo 3rd fret and play from Dowland’s original tab. And meanwhile (after having mastered the biggest problem with the additional bass string: first study by Villa-Lobos!) I will never play on a six-shooter again. The guitar is spruce, which I always preferred to the more percussive cedar and which blends much better with flute, violin and tenor voice especially. But when a friend of mine compared my instrument to his own cedar by Matthias he found the difference not to striking. Matthias’ guitars as a rule are very percussive! Of course Matthias is right with that. 99 % of what you can do with a note on a guitar happens in the moment you pluck the string; in case of an empty string it’s 100 %. Unfortunately the guitar is not quite as well crafted as Matthias most other instruments. However, it’s still in a league of it’s own. Well, nobody is perfect.
But, believe me, I’m really glad to own such an exceptional and singular instrument. I haven’t mastered the mp3 yet, but if you give me your e-mail address I’ll send you a .wav!
"...si nos quedáramos cuarenta y ocho horas seguidas sin música, habria una catástrofe mundial." Leo Brouwer
7stringed Matthias Dammann 1997; 9stringed Neuner&Hornsteiner ~ 1880
7stringed 1829 Staufer/Legnani replica by F. P. Dietrich 2007