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The Medley Guitar
August 21, 2011 7:26 PM   Subscribe

Luthier Keith Medley plays his custom 27-string guitar.

Other songs:
Ride
Hall of the Mountain King

Pictures of the build process
posted by specialagentwebb (29 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was a lot less ridiculous than I was expecting it to be.

Neat!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:38 PM on August 21, 2011


Big whoop, Rick Nielsen has a 36-string guitar.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:42 PM on August 21, 2011


Does Nielsen ever use the lower necks?
posted by rahnefan at 7:43 PM on August 21, 2011


And if so, how?
posted by rahnefan at 7:43 PM on August 21, 2011


Probably should have built himself a drummer, too.

Kidding. This is cool. Thanks!
posted by koeselitz at 7:53 PM on August 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Has this slacker never heard of GarageBand?
posted by Rykey at 7:54 PM on August 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would that be Lex Luthier?

I'll just show myself out.
posted by hippybear at 7:55 PM on August 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It saddens me that this obvious talent is wasted on such godawful gag-inducing music. Blech *shudder*
posted by greta simone at 7:58 PM on August 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


You really only need six, though.
posted by Rinku at 8:03 PM on August 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


And Pat Metheny has a 42 string guitar, the Pikasso, built by Canadian Luthier Linda Mezner. There was an awesome documentary about their longstanding collaboration on the CBC just last week. You can listen to the whole thing here.

(More Metheny and Pikasso here and here. Not really to my taste, but admirable nonetheless.)
posted by maudlin at 8:04 PM on August 21, 2011


It's cool and all, but all I could think was, he's built himself an autoharp.
posted by easily confused at 8:09 PM on August 21, 2011


It's cool and all, but all I could think was, he's built himself an autoharp.

Whuh? It's nothing like an autoharp, aside from the fact that it has strings.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:13 PM on August 21, 2011


Oh I know it's not really an autoharp: that's just what all those extra strings made me think of.
posted by easily confused at 8:17 PM on August 21, 2011


I want to hear Jimmy Page play Bron Yr Aur on that thing. Without the drum machine.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:31 PM on August 21, 2011


It is kind of like a regular harp, though. Or, to get really geeky, it sounds a lot like a kantele, a Finnish folk instrument. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSYrAaysI0Y I'm only familiar with the instrument from a very mellow kantele cassette (called Ice Flowers Melting) that we had when I was a kid, so I was delighted to learn that some Finnish metal bands also use them.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 8:32 PM on August 21, 2011


Sorry, Youtube link is here
posted by Nibbly Fang at 8:32 PM on August 21, 2011


I never realized how much I miss Michael Hedges.
posted by not_on_display at 8:33 PM on August 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Paolo Angeli has got your oddly built guitar needs covered.
posted by kenko at 8:59 PM on August 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


kinda more impressed that he does intricate woodworking with those fingernails.
posted by bendybendy at 9:18 PM on August 21, 2011


He just plays it with his hands though. Piece of cake compared with this.
posted by squalor at 10:09 PM on August 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Very neat instrument.
posted by Anything at 2:21 AM on August 22, 2011


Bob Culbertson plays Toccata & fugue on the Chapman stick
posted by Anything at 2:23 AM on August 22, 2011


Both the autoharp and kantele are technically zithers because the strings do not extend beyond the soundboard, as opposed to a guitar where's a neck extending beyond the soundboard, or a harp where the strings are position vertically with respect to the soundboard. (Although 'zither' and 'guitar' have the same etymological root, just to confuse things a bit more).
posted by unSane at 5:36 AM on August 22, 2011


Now is probably the time to link to some Andy McKee on his Harp Guitar...
posted by benzo8 at 6:18 AM on August 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that Andy McKee link, benzo8. I immediately thought of Beppe Gambetta playing the same instrument, which I can't find video for. I had the good luck to see Gambetta perform live and really enjoyed his work.

Seeing all these different instruments reminds me a lot of some of the early music I've seen where there are about a jillion minor variants on the guitar and lute. These are less minor in terms of variations but most of them are similar to each other (and intimidating as hell to me as someone who only dabbled in guitar lessons as a girl).
posted by immlass at 8:37 AM on August 22, 2011


Re: Bob culbertson above: Bob is bee's knee's here he is playing on of the few acoustic chapman sticks.
posted by MikeHoegeman at 12:00 PM on August 22, 2011


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcZ7Deu0V9A
posted by MikeHoegeman at 12:00 PM on August 22, 2011


This reminds me of the Theorbo or Archlute - Take an ordinary tenor or bass lute, and graft on an extended neck, with strings that aren't over frets. The result is an instrument that you can play continuo with yourself, picking out the melody on the fretted courses, and the bass line on the open strings. http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~lsa/aboutLute/Theorbo1.jpg is typical. (its the rare lutenist that is taller than their theorbo case)
posted by rjnerd at 1:23 PM on August 22, 2011


That's about 25 more strings than I'm usually comfortable with.
posted by malocchio at 1:18 PM on August 24, 2011


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