When six strings aren't enough

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Lopez plays eight-string electric guitar and seven-string acoustic guitar at wine bars, restaurants and other venues around Sonoma County. He often plays as part of a duo, using any one of several drummers, including Geoffrey Whyte and Sean England.

Along the way, Lopez has picked up some loyal local fans. One of them is Santa Rosa realtor Timothy Brown.

"I'm a struggling guitarist from way back," Brown said. "I encountered this guy Nate Lopez playing this wild instrument I'd never seen before, and I was kind of amazed. So now I keep up with where's he playing."

The Lopez Duo plays Feb. 1 at the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, and Lopez plays solo Feb. 8 at the Station 1870 wine bar in Santa Rosa. His repertoire includes music by the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Marley, Maroon 5 and more.

Lopez said his global Internet searches have turned up only a few guitarists playing the same kind of instruments he does, including one in Germany and another in Australia.

Now that he's committed himself to play seven-string and eight-string guitars, will Lopez go back to more conventional instruments? Probably not.

"A six-string guitar sounds almost like a ukulele to me now," he said.

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