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To Design An Innovative New Instrument/guitar


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Hi i am doing a project for my final year at college it involves innovating the musical instrument. Obviously i want to base the designs around the guitar/bass guitar. SO what strange things would you like to see on your instrument, what do you feel is unnescessary or what is functional but could be done better?

is there something youve always wanted to be able to do with your instrument but never could? What would you like to see built in to your guitar, and what just plain annoys you?

If you have any ideas, complaints or storys post them here and i may be able to help!!!

all input will be incredibly helpful!

thanks

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Hi i am doing a project for my final year at college it involves innovating the musical instrument. Obviously i want to base the designs around the guitar/bass guitar. SO what strange things would you like to see on your instrument, what do you feel is unnescessary or what is functional but could be done better?

is there something youve always wanted to be able to do with your instrument but never could? What would you like to see built in to your guitar, and what just plain annoys you?

If you have any ideas, complaints or storys post them here and i may be able to help!!!

all input will be incredibly helpful!

thanks

I would like to see classical type tuners on electric guitars. The tuner knobs pointing backward are much more ergonomic than the ones regularly used. Maybe not the entire mechanism, but the attitude of the tuners.

That is all.

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I would like to see classical type tuners on electric guitars. The tuner knobs pointing backward are much more ergonomic than the ones regularly used. Maybe not the entire mechanism, but the attitude of the tuners.

I saw that on a Washburn guitar maybe 8 years ago, looked pretty snazzy. It had one big cutout in the middle of the headstock, kind of like the new Floyd Rose guitars.

I'm always thinking of what can be changed/improved on traditional electric body styles. Should be an interesting thread. :D

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One of the things that I'd like to see is more instruments made out of alternate materials. Alot of guitars are made of the typical maple/mahogany/alder/ash types of woods, but there have to be alot of alternatives, and not just woods. Steinberger started alot of the carbon/graphite thing, and I know that Kramer originally started making aluminum neck guitars. When i first started playing in high school, I had a friend who's dad was a machinist, and he made an entire guitar out of aluminum and gave it a polished finish. It was a really unique instrument with a long (probably like 30-36 fret) neck that was ridiculously thin and ended just before the one bridge pickup, and it had a scalloped fingerboard that was machined out of aluminum. It was almost like he machined it out of a solid peice of aluminum, but it had to be chambered or something because it didnt seem to heavy. I didn't realize how unique of an instrument that was until years later, after my friend had moved away and I hadn't kept in touch with him, but I'd love to know how that guy built that thing. It had an incredibly bright tone and it seemed almost too easy to play. I'd love to know how he ever came up with that thing though... i've never seen anything like it since.

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In this day in age, I think the most innovation is going to be in the way electronic devices are employed in guitars. I think that in the past 100 years or so we have more or less perfected the balance between ergonomics and aesthetics (anything "new" from here on will be mainly aesthetic trends and fashions, rather than true innovations).

Also, by basing a new instrument on an existing one, you kind of limit your possibilites. One thing that comes to mind is the motograter that the band Motograter (hmm.. wonder where they got the name!) used instead of a bass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motograter#The_instrument

You could always try some cool things with PVC!

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3 words-

a plasma screen! .....

hows about, this will be hard to explain,

its athing that makes wierd noises when you wave your hands infront of them, like sound to motion;

the beatles used them and the sitar player from claypools band has one;

anyways, mount one of those between the pickup and bridge (i dont know how big they are) so the crazier your plucking hand is going the more sound of this thing will happen!?

or hows about a headless string thru, with the tuners recessed into the back of the body?

i was asked once to make something that peeked my interest but had to turn down;

a fully functioning 'bong guitar'

the concept was a semihollow guitar that acted as a smoke chamber with a line through the neck along side the truss rod so the player could smoke and jam at the same time; he got a lot more into detail about lighting methods and lots of things; believe it or not he was very professional with accurate (as i could tell) drawings and everyhting!

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anything "new" from here on will be mainly aesthetic trends and fashions, rather than true innovations

Can't really agree. Hava a look at the Teufel Birdfish :

http://www.teuffelguitars.de/instrumente/b...birdfish_e.html

That is genuine inovative. You can change pickups on the fly (that is not new, could be done on the Armstrong Plexi guitars) but you can also change the tone bars (changing tone woods), thus changing the fundamentat accoustical response (and amplified sound) of the guitar.

Innovative, but not for anyone.

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It`s a little different.I know it`s not strange or new to builds but ,I am actually carving a wooden bridge for my bass build right now.I didn`t like the way the Hipshots individual bridges looked with the woods I picked.

It is changing as I go along but I am going to have two types of saddles(All wood and wood with brass tops),just to see the differences in the sound.

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its athing that makes wierd noises when you wave your hands infront of them, like sound to motion;

the beatles used them and the sitar player from claypools band has one;

I don't know, but maybe this is what you're referring to, the 'Theremin'. Probably most famous for its use in the Beach Boys song 'Good Vibrations'....

Theremin on Wikipedia

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ok

down my way there was a guy who made a clear guitar which had tunnels all through it and he had plugs for the ends

then he put spiders and crap in there it was pretty cool

or

ive seen some were which has digital tuning like press a button and it tunes almost insatanly to anything do that

or

like made heaps of string and put them on reels in the bass and have like a clamp for them on the bridge so when u want to change the strings u just un do the clamps and rell out some new string

or

have a least 12 strings that are tunned to every note and then just pluck em think about it u could play twice as fast and the would be no neck

you could go crazy with body designs

ok im done with all these ideas

Edited by tim_ado
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The theramin built into a guitar is not a new idea, Hugh Manson did a guitar for Matt Bellamy of Muse that had a Zvex wah-probe's copper plate under the neck pickup. As your hand gets closer to the pickup - the wah gets brighter.

Here are the details of all the circuitry on that guitar:

muse guitar

A lot of these things have been done and are not really innovative anymore and if i get any ideas that are truly innovative i will keep them to myself, sorry.

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I can't really think of anything that's genuinely innovative (not gimmicky) that isn't being done/hasn't been done and discarded already by several people. You can make great instruments without having to innovate the pants off of everything, and/or create something new by combining innovations in a fresh, interesting way. Materials selection (including carbon, kevlar, fibreglass) have all been done before, on-board electronics, preamps, effects have all been done before (and will mean your instrument will age rather fast; digital effects have a quick turnover rate).

I'm not saying the field is a static one; far from it! Compared to almost all other intstruments, what we call 'gutiars' and 'basses' are a decidedly pluriform, multicoloured bunch.

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The theramin built into a guitar is not a new idea, Hugh Manson did a guitar for Matt Bellamy of Muse that had a Zvex wah-probe's copper plate under the neck pickup. As your hand gets closer to the pickup - the wah gets brighter.

Here are the details of all the circuitry on that guitar:

muse guitar

A lot of these things have been done and are not really innovative anymore and if i get any ideas that are truly innovative i will keep them to myself, sorry.

I'm just going to say the Kaoss pad on the guitar, dude!

It's an amazing idea, and all teh people that it's watching says "Holy ****" or things like that.

Saludos Jaime!

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Mattia just said what I've been thinking about this thread... its REALLY HARD to come up with something that hasn't been done before!

And sometimes coming up with something, isn't even good enough until someone finds a good use for it. Consider Seth Lovers humbuckers... what it really took for them to take-off was Jim Marshall creating an amp that had a good mid-scoop which worked well with humbuckers, and then Eric Clapton (Bluesbreakers) to show how good a humbucker+Marshall could sound. The rest is history!

One invention that I'm surprised never took off: do a search on "Bill Edwards Finger-Tite nut". I had a Kahler for years and it was nice to clamp the strings w/o allen wrenchs. If someone could come up with an improved version of Bill Edwards clamp system... for nut or tremolo... that might work! Or not :D

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This might sound silly, but ever hear about the hurdy-gurdy? I was reading an article about it and just got an interesting idea of how it could be adapted to guitar. The hurdy gurdy is driven by a crank that turns a rosin-ed wheel that rubs against the string(s), causing an effect much like the continuous bowing of a string, and there are keys played that essentially fret strings at certain intervals. Imagine installing a miniature version of that wheel with a small electric motor (whose speed is controlled with a potentiometer) and hooking it up under or over guitar strings- it would be an effect much like a sustainer, ebow, or an actual bow, but different, too.

It might sound like a silly idea, but considering how so many other innovations (shapes, materials, electronics, etc.) have been pursued already to the point where they're considered more as "options" than bona fide "innovations," maybe the way to go is thinking about innovating in the way the guitar is played.

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