bizarre guitars

Stories about the weird and wonderful world of guitars.

Ice Guitar

Tilman Hoppstock playing an ice guitar

This ice guitar was made by the Ice Sculptor Tim Linhart. The picture was taken at Piteå University in Sweden where the player, Tilman Hoppstock, was a visiting professor. He recounted playing the guitar in an interview with Guitart International in 2006:

The VideoBass

Michael Egger's VideoBass version 2

Michael Egger's VideoBass is an instrument that plays moving images instead of sound. With your left hand you chose a video clip on the strings and you trigger it in rhythm with your right hand. The four strings can play up to four different clips at the same time.

Giant Amplifier Music Store

Southampton music shop shaped like Fender Super Champ amplifier

You can see this giant amplifier shaped music shop on Commercial road, Southampton.  It is based on a Fender Super Champ, and of course the knobs go up to 11. The giant amplifier is inhabited by resident luthier Jamie 'Razor' Goatley and his assistant Wesley. Jamie says that the red jewel light even comes on at night.

Cardboard guitars

cardboard-guitar.jpg

Chris Gilmour is a UK born artist currently living in Udine, Italy, who specialises in life size cardboard scupltures of everyday objects. His work includes three full size gibson style guitars: an ES-335, a single cutaway Jazz guitar and a flying V.
Chris claims his first large sculpture was a cardboard cow, “to sell to farmers in order to replace the cattle destroyed by BSE, so that the fields don’t look empty”.

Weird sound generator guitar

fender-bender-synth.jpg

Dan Wagoner modified his first guitar (a Fender stratocaster) to include a weird sound generator analogue synth. The synth control knobs protrude from a hand made pick guard made from a motherboard. Three switches have been mounted in the fingerboard. This instrument liberates the synth player, allowing them to assume outrageous poses previously reserved for guitarists. The downside is there are no strings.

Link: Dan-Wagoner Guitar Synth Mod.

Hoverbucker

hoverbucker.jpg

The Hoverbucker is a creation of Ronnie Hinton and Daniel Diaz Brauch which started out as a Squier Bullet stratocaster . They took the middle pickup and mounted it over the neck pickup, to give a sound like a humbucker. It is mounted upside down, with the top facing the strings. I don't know what the phase relationship with the neck pickup would be: the middle pickup is usually wound out of phase with the neck, but by mounting it like this the signals from the pickups would be exactly out of phase too.

Giant metal guitar

big_guitar.jpg

Mike Shubic worked in marketing for 16 years, then one day he decided to quit the day job to make and sell outdoor sculptures. This giant guitar is one of his creations: it measures 12 feet by 4 feet (although he can make it to any size). It is made from metal, and Mike says it can actually be played. It is still available for sale for $6500.

The Alumitar

alumitar.jpg

The Alumitar was created by Paul Rubenstein. Imagine a guitar neck with no back, the curve of the fretboard going all the way around, now take away the frets and you have the Alumitar. It looks like it is made from an aluminium tube, it has 10 strings evenly spaced around the outside of the tube.

The Swiss Army Bass

swissbasswide.jpg

This is the musical equivalent of the Swiss Army Knife (the knife with a blade or tool for every occasion). It is the child of an unnatural coupling between an Ibanez destroyer 2 bass and a Yamaha KX-5 midi controller keyboard during the early 90s (those were crazy times - we all did things we would rather forget).

Concrete guitar

warmothconcrete.jpg

I found this one while browsing Guitar Blog , a fertile source for lovers of weird and bizarre guitars. This is a one-off concrete bodied guitar made by Parker Sloan. He made the body himself, by casting the body in a mold. The neck and other parts are from Warmoth. The whole thing weighs 7.5 lbs. Parker is pleased with the tone, a unique sound with surpirsing resonance.

Alesis AirFX guitar

airfx.jpg

This video shows how Carlos Vamos incorporated an Alesis AirFX into a specially designed guitar body. The AirFX is an effects unit that connects to any line-level sound source. You control the effects unit by moving you hand over the black circular bit ( which senses the movement of your hand within an invisible 3D sphere). You can move in any direction to modify the effect number of ways. OK, so you could do this with a foot pedal but where's the fun in that?

Concept 7 string

EDEN.1.3.jpg

This is a prototype instrument from Mr Hayashi, the inventor behind the Atlansia brand. It is a seven string but that is just the start of its weirdness. The frets are fanned (rather than perpendicular to the fingerboard) so you would have different intervals for each string - maybe this improves intonation. The bridge and tremolo unit look unique as far as I can tell; looks like the tuners are on the bridge as well. I don’t know what the wooden block is for, but it looks heavy.

Weird guitars from 10 years ago

CarGuitar.jpg

Although these may be 10 years old now, bizarre guitars never go out of fashion here at guitar-list. Barry Wood, of the website "The Other Room" put together a page of oddities from the NAMM music show in 1998. You have Jackson car and Star Trek guitars, as well as fan-fretted and fretless models. There is also a Lindert baritone guitar, check out the thumbs-up logo.

Link: 1998 NAMM oddities at The Other Room

Teenar the Guitar Girl

Teenar.jpg

Teenar is a guitar made from a girl mannequin. Because she is armless it looks creepily like the player's arms are really her arms. Guitar maker, musician and artist Lou Reimuller from Richmond, Virginia made her in 1986, around the same time as the film Mannequin, a romantic comedy starring Kim Cattrall as the mannequin and Andrew McCarthy as her love interest. There is no record of Teenar's film career, maybe she needs a better agent, but she has probably aged better than Kim Cattrall.

Guitar pickup clock

nixiePickupClock.jpg

Joe Hoffman made this clock in the shape of a single coil stratocaster pickup . Six nixie vacuum tubes display the time, where the pickup's magnets would be.
The top and bottom of the pickup-clock were cut out of stainless steel by the Big Blue Saw Company. You send them a design and they will cut it out using their CNC waterjet and send it back to you.

Les Paul coffee table

Les Paul coffe table

This guitar coffee table was made by self taught metal artist Timothy Adam from Grand Rapids in Michigan. It is an oversized handmade version of a Les Paul around 5 feet long, 2 feet wide and 18 inches high. Made from mild steel it has a blue tinted clear coat.

The Les Paul table in the picture was sold to Barneys department store in New York in May, but Timothy can make you a custom order in any style from fender to the flying V.

With prices at $3,100 it might be cheaper to put your coffee mug on a real Les Paul!

Manzer Pikasso II

manzer.jpg

We love our multiple necked guitars here at guitar-list. This one was made as a custom order for Pat Metheny by Canadian luthier Linda Manzer. Linda Manzer is also responsible for the wedge shaped acoustic: an innovation that makes the guitar more ergonomic.

The Pikasso II has a total of 42 strings. The only problem is by the time you have finished tuning it your audience will have gone home.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - bizarre guitars