Harley Benton R-45 8BK Progressive 8 string Fan Fret Guitar

My God!
How do I play that!!
8 strings and Fan Frets

x Top x Back x Under
Tuned g~C~E~A


Harley Benton R-458BK Fanfret

There is an 8 string Guitar at the local pawn shop and I have been kind of lusting after it, as it has an almost comically fat neck and that the Guitar has 8 strings! That is 8 single string courses not some double string course Plectrum Guitar/ Mandola/ Taropatch thing. It was a bit expensive though for what I'm sure would end up a bit of a novelty Guitar; I have enough trouble with 6 strings, even more so 7, so 8?? Anyway having wanted the one in the shop I thought I would look on the Internet and see if I could find something that ticked the lust boxes but was not quite such a big invite. I did find something on eBay that was "buy it now or best offer" and not only was it 8 strings, (tuned F#~B~E~A~D~G~B~E), it has Fan Frets!! That is right, the scale length of each string is different and the fret bars are not in parallel, or perpendicular to the strings. This is suppose to improve intonation, but never having played one before I don't know how tricky it will make chords; especially barre chords?.

The Guitar itself is branded as a Harley Benton R-45 and though it is new it is not coming directly from Thomann. It was put up on ebay, and not listed as a Harley Benton, so after a couple of cheeky offers my price was accepted. It was only then that I noticed while examining the photos that it was a Harley Benton and when I checked on the Thomann website I found that my offers were not cheeky, the original asking price was! Even with a substantial discount from the buy it now price I was still probably a fiver more than buying it from Thomann, (though with currency exchange rates and commission fees it may well have been closer), so not the bargain I first thought. Still it's not excessive and I do love the FAT, FAT neck of an 8 string Guitar, (maybe I need to look a a 9 string now?) Still no idea how to play it though?

It's arrived now and boy does it have a fat neck! The fan frets don't seem to get in the way when playing chords but like with the 7 string, the extra strings make it easy to lose you place when doing C and G chords, and the fan frets are not a problem with barre chords but covering all 8 strings is.