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I can remember with vivid memory the first person I saw playing an 8 string guitar, it was world renowned jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter. And at the time, people thought he was crazy and pretentious, then they heard him play a walking bass line while comping and soloing, they all fell silent.
Then Korn and Deftones became famous with the new-metal wave of the mid 90's around the same time. Yet, everyone forgot that Steve Vai had been using a 7 string long before they had made them famous. Other jazz players were using 8 string then too and as bassists moved towards 5 and 6 string instruments over the traditional 4 strings, guitarists followed suit.
I have played bass, electric and upright, for 20 years. I fought against the 5 string and up trend for years, but realized eventually that it was unavoidable as a professional. In truth, the musician defines the genre, not the instrument and I love metalcore and DJent, just as much as I love Chopin, Schubert, Ornette Coleman and Charlie Feathers.
Just my two-cents, you need not be a fan of heavy music to appreciate or want to play more than 6 strings on a guitar. Thanks to everyone for joining in the discussion!