THE BEST Guitars

The Manzer Medusa Guitar

The Manzer Medusa Guitar

Luthier Linda Manzer shows off one of the most amazing stringed instruments we’ve ever seen – a multi-necked guitar with a whopping 52 strings that she built for musician Henrik Andersen, based roughly on a hilarious cartoon he provided. Hear Henrik play it at 3:06.

Free Bird: Korean Style

Free Bird: Korean Style

Musician Luna Lee knocks another hit out of the park, this time covering Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic Free Bird on her gayageum, an ancient Korean string instrument, not typically associated with rock and roll.

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Metal without Distortion

Metal without Distortion

Our brains are so programmed to hearing hard rock and metal guitar riffs played with fuzz, that we’ve forgotten what electric guitars really sound like. The Paranormal Guitar Channel reveals what some tunes sound like without the effect – basically, it’s surf music, a la Dick Dale.

Swirl Painting Guitars

Swirl Painting Guitars

One of the cooler ways to decorate an electric guitar body is to dip its body in a vat filled with several colors of paint. The technique isn’t nearly as easy as DeanSwirled makes it look, so you might want to just have Dean do it for you.

Zombie: Acoustic Cover

Zombie: Acoustic Cover

A wonderful unplugged cover version of The Cranberries’ 1994 classic Zombie, as performed by musician Vedran Djurasovic, who brings a warmer approach to the track than the grunge sounds of the original.

Recycled Skateboard Guitar

Recycled Skateboard Guitar

An incredible, one of a kind electric guitar, handmade using layers of laminated scrap skateboard wood by 2ndShot’s John Gibson (so we guess it’s a Gibson guitar of sorts). It’s fully playable, with Humbucker and hand-wound single coil pickups, and a maple neck.

Fender Mod Shop

Fender Mod Shop

Fender now has an online customizing shop. Start with a Telecaster, Stratocaster, Precision Bass or Jazz Bass body then mix and match pickups, fingerboards, body colors, pickguards and more to suit your needs and taste.

Build Your Own Electric Guitar

Build Your Own Electric Guitar

Jack White’s Third Man Records and Loog Guitars created this kit for kids and kids at heart. The diminutive 3-string electric guitar kit provides the satisfaction of having built your own instrument before you start playing it. We dig the pickguard, made from a vinyl record.

Yamaha TransAcoustic Guitars

Yamaha TransAcoustic Guitars

Inside the back of Yamaha’s innovative acoustic guitars is an actuator that vibrates against the guitar’s body in response to the strings. This gives you built-in chorus and reverb effects that you can adjust with the built-in control knobs. Runs on two AA batteries.

Debit Girl

Debit Girl

She might look like a darling little 11 year-old girl, but Lisa-X is a serious rocker. Watch as she gets the whole room going by shredding a speed metal rendition of Schubert’s Lullaby on her electric guitar in this commercial for JNB Visa Debit cards.

Shovel Metal

Shovel Metal

Watch musician Rob Scallon shred some tunes on an ordinary garden shovel that’s been converted into a one-string guitar. Given its rudimentary design, it plays surprisingly well. Keep an eye out on How to Make Stuff on 3/3/16 for DIY instructions.

Star Wars Suite on Classical Guitar

Star Wars Suite on Classical Guitar

We’ve heard music from Star Wars playfully performed on a piano and rocked out on an electric guitar. Here’s Rafael Aguirre’s lively rendition, which he performed at Alhambra Guitars’ 50th anniversary. Damas y caballeros, La Guitarra de Las Galaxias.

One Fret Song

One Fret Song

Musician Rob Scallon demonstrates how to play a compelling tune with just a single guitar fret. Sure, he does a whole lot of string bending, but we’re still impressed with the versatility of that one little metal bar.

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Inside the Gibson Acoustic Factory

Inside the Gibson Acoustic Factory

While we were touring the mountains in the new 2016 Camaro SS (yeah, hard life, we know), we dropped by the Bozeman, Montana factory where Gibson Acoustic has been crafting guitars for the last 30 years. Incredibly, almost every step of the process is still done by hand.

Playing an 18-String Guitar

Playing an 18-String Guitar

Musician Ian Ethan Case previews a bit of his new album Run Toward the Mountains, as his fingers fly across all 18 strings of his double-necked guitar. At times, his hands were moving so fast, we thought he was Doc Ock. The 92-minute double album drops 11/24/15.

Yamaha Silent Guitar

Yamaha Silent Guitar

Yamaha’s Silent Guitars have piezo pickups as well as high quality digital samples of acoustic guitar strings. You can play the sound through headphones or line out, and power them using batteries or its AC adapter.

9-String Guitar: Torque Soul

9-String Guitar: Torque Soul

We’ve heard of 6-string and 12-string guitars, but this is the first time we’ve seen or heard a 9-string guitar. Musician Rob Scallon shows off his nimble fingers on this unusual instrument with a track called Torque Soul, with Kevin Wade on drums.

Prisma Guitars

Prisma Guitars

California-based Prisma Guitars handcrafts stunning electric guitars and guitar accessories using discarded skateboard decks. Not only does this cut back on waste, it also means each product is unique.

KORG Miku Pedal Review

KORG Miku Pedal Review

The KORG Miku Vocaloid pedal is possibly the weirdest guitar effect pedal ever made. Here, guitarist Rob Chapman and his sidekick “the Captain” attempt to get through a review of the voice-generating guitar pedal without losing it.

The 17-String Guitar

The 17-String Guitar

Musician Esteban Antonio demonstrates a truly unique custom instrument. The Ha-Shem is a 17-string grand concert harp guitar that can be played by plucking, strumming or bowing it like a cello. Doc Ock needs one of these.

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ToneWoodAmp

ToneWoodAmp

The ToneWoodAmp is a portable effects accessory for acoustic guitars. It lets you add different effects and boost the sound without the need to plug in to an amp. You can swap effects and use MIDI instruments via its mobile app.

Riffstation Play

Riffstation Play

Currently in beta, Riffstation Play is a free web-based app that figures out a song’s chords by analyzing its YouTube video. The chords can be laid out for a guitar, ukelele or piano. The desktop version lets you load any song.

Tabify

Tabify

Currently in development, Tabify is a mobile app that will automatically transcribe guitars – and possibly other string instruments – as you play. You can also go over created tabs and edit them. Note that the UI hasn’t been finalized.

Roadie Tuner

Roadie Tuner

An automatic tuner for guitars and other string instruments. Roadie Tuner works with iOS and Android devices to quickly and accurately tune your instrument. It can also wind, unwind and check the health of strings.

Firefly Pick

Firefly Pick

If you liked the SCLW, check out the Firefly Pick. It lights up whenever it strikes a guitar string or when your hand moves. Pair it with the NeckFX for a synchronized light show. You can watch demo videos of the pick on YouTube.

PocketStrings

PocketStrings

The equivalent of drum practice pads for guitarists. PocketStrings are small bars with real guitar strings and real frets that you can use to practice anywhere. Available in 4- and 6-fret variants. Also on ThinkGeek.

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