The Alumitar

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.

Paul says it can be played with a bow or plucked. It is fretless and it looks like it would be difficult to play, perhaps you would rely mostly on open tunings. I don't think it uses a conventional guitar pickup, maybe some sort of microphone or piezo transducer. The bridge is a ring around the tube, the strings are secured by their ball ends in holes drilled into the tube: simple and effective. The foot protruding from the bottom of the instrument suggests Paul plays it standing up, like a double bass.

Paul teaches kids how to build and play electric guitars and amplifiers in an after-school program. He is also a performing musician who has built an lots of unusual instruments and recording engineer. He experiments with microtonal scales, multiple strings and unusual tunings (a bit like guitar inventor Yuri Landman ).

Link: Paul Rubenstein's web page
Via: Guitar Blog

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1 Comment

thanks for the mention...

Just to clear up a few things... it's not that difficult to play, except for getting used to being fretless. The pickups are electromagnetic-- I coil them myself. They are a little different from regular guitar pickups, which helps with picking up the bowed strings. The signal is actually louder when bowed than plucked. In addition, there is a piezo for the three highest strings, to add some treble and for the 11th string... there are 11 strings, not 10. It's tuned A, D, G, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B. The 11th string is made of Kevlar, which sounds good and stays in tune well, but doesn't last long as a string, so most of the time I do use it with only 10 strings. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a better idea for a material that can take that high B tuning (same as 7th fret on a high # guitar string). If you have any more questions, just ask. My email address is on my website, linked above. --Paul