THE BEST Musical Instruments

Deal: FretX Guitar Fret Trainer

Deal: FretX Guitar Fret Trainer

Learn to play the guitar like a pro with this nifty gadget. It slides beneath the strings onto the fret board of any 6-string guitar, and uses LEDs to show you where to place your fingers as you build your skills. A companion smartphone app provides lessons and tracks your progress.

Specdrums Electronic Musical Rings

Specdrums Electronic Musical Rings

Specdrums are electronic rings that let you map notes or sounds to any color around you. You can wear them, put them on sticks, and more. Their app lets you map colors to a variety of instruments as well as your own sounds. You can also use Specdrums with other MIDI apps.

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Stepper Motor Organ

Stepper Motor Organ

It may not be the most sonically pleasing instrument, but the engineering behind Josh Sheldon’s build makes up for it. The organ uses 49 stepper motors which spin backwards against variably-sized disks, producing waves of electrical current which can be amplified.

Roland TR-08 Drum Machine

Roland TR-08 Drum Machine

The Roland TR-08 looks and works exactly the same as its grandfather, the TR-808, but in a much more portable form. You can even power it with batteries. It doesn’t sound quite as crunchy as the original, but for its price and size it’s a hell of a deal.

The Infinitone

The Infinitone

Musician and inventor Subhraag Singh shows off his “saxophone of the future,” a unique wind instrument with computer-controlled valves which slide open and closed. It produces a nearly infinite variety of pitches, and can even be played hands-free.

Ugears Hurdy-Gurdy Kit

Ugears Hurdy-Gurdy Kit

The hurdy-gurdy makes its distinctive sound by turning a rosin-coated wheel across strings as its keys are pressed. Now you can make your own with this flat-pack kit from Ugears. It looks like a very challenging build, but the end result is a functional musical instrument.

ROLI Seaboard Block

ROLI Seaboard Block

Not only is the new Seaboard Block the most portable and affordable version of Roli’s revolutionary keyboard, it can also be used with the Lightpad Blocks or another Seaboard Block. It comes with hundreds of sounds and can also be used with DAWs.

24-String Bass

24-String Bass

Christopher “C3” Cardone of Kalium Strings shows off “Godzilla” – a custom-built bass guitar which has 24 of his company’s strings. Stick around, and you’ll also be treated to a demo of their .266 gauge strings, which produce ridiculously deep bass notes.

The Apprehension Engine

The Apprehension Engine

A unique machine designed solely to produce eerie sounds for horror films. Luthier Tony Duggan-Smith created this combination of strings, rods, magnets, wood, and other found objects so Indie Film Maker could make original sounds instead of turning to a stock library.

Loog Pro & Loog Mini

Loog Pro & Loog Mini

New and improved versions of Loog Guitars’ kid-friendly, three-stringed mini guitars. The Loog Pro has improved bridge, neck, pickup and body designs, while the new Mini is for kids as young as 3 years old. Both come fully assembled.

Making a Trumpet Mouthpiece

Making a Trumpet Mouthpiece

Please forgive us for posting videos with Flight of the Bumblebee three times in the same week, but this clip that shows the process of crafting a Vincent Bach trumpet mouthpiece from a brass rod was too captivating to pass up.

Zoom ARQ Aero RhythmTrak

Zoom ARQ Aero RhythmTrak

This strange looking gadget isn’t a self-aware vacuum cleaner. It’s a complete drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, looper, clip launcher, and wireless MIDI controller in one. Its packed with hundreds of sounds, and has 96 velocity and pressure-sensitive pads.

Assault Trombone

Assault Trombone

A kid plays a hilarious gizmo cobbled together from the butt of a rifle, a garden sprayer, and a brass horn. We certainly wouldn’t want to be on the business end of this half-vuvuzela, half-fart sound machine.

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PO-32 Tonic Drum Machine

PO-32 Tonic Drum Machine

The latest addition to Teenage Engineering’s awesome Pocket Operators is a programmable drum machine you can tote in your pants. Available by itself, or bundled with Microtonic VST letting you upload custom sounds. A nifty calculator inspired pro case drops this April.

Learning to Play the Violin

Learning to Play the Violin

YouTuber Mike Boyd takes on one of the most daunting instruments to pick up. The violin sounds distinctively annoying in the hands of a rookie, but Mike quickly figured out a basic tip: it’s all in the grip. And the time you put in. Here’s what 13 hours of practice sounds like.

Deal: iWord Electronic Digital Drum Kit

Deal: iWord Electronic Digital Drum Kit

Turn your desktop into a complete drum kit with this roll-up electronic drum pad. The system includes 7 drum pads and two foot pedals, and you can listen via headphones, built-in speakers, or use it as a USB Midi controller. Save 37% in The Awesomer Shop. Demo here.

Freedrum

Freedrum

A pair of tiny and wireless sensors that let you play drums using only drumsticks and a MIDI smartphone app such as GarageBand. It works with both iOS and Android. You can even buy a second pair and strap them to your feet to mimic pedals.

ROLI Lightpad Blocks

ROLI Lightpad Blocks

From the makers of the Seaboard comes a modular and newbie-friendly MIDI controller. Blocks’ main unit is the Lightpad, a pressure-sensitive block. You can connect multiple Lightpads together or with the optional control Blocks. Works with iOS and desktop DAWs.

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.

Playing the Metallophon

Playing the Metallophon

Weapons expert Vitaly Kryuchin heads up the Russian Federation of Practical Shooting. While on the firing range, he came up with this very special musical instrument called the Metallophon, which is played with bullets and extraordinary aim.

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Voxarray 61

Voxarray 61

The latest creation from the Wes Anderson of makers, Love Hulten. The Voxarray 61 is a tribute to synthesizers from the ’70s. It has a clamshell construction, with the top lid housing a variety of analog and digital modules that can be connected using patch cords.

Playing the ScrubBoard

Playing the ScrubBoard

Inventor and musician Jeremy Bell demonstrates the latest version of his musical instrument, a DIY rig that lets him scratch sounds from old magnetic cassette tapes, offering a cool alternative to playing on turntables.

Chopstick Piano

Chopstick Piano

When we saw the title of Kuma Films‘ latest video we thought we’d be watching some kids playing Chopsticks on a piano, but instead, we got to hear some truly wonderful music by Sami Elu, made with a cool stringed instrument that’s played with chopsticks as the hammers.

The Rysonic Wheel

The Rysonic Wheel

Musician Pete O’Connell shows off an unusual contraption, which automatically strums the strings on his guitar for him. While flaps on the spinning wheel hit the strings on his guitar, he can focus on fretting and adding a beat with his kick drum. Plus it doesn’t just work with a guitar.

Mogees Play

Mogees Play

A simplified version of Mogees Pro for a wider audience and educational use. Mogees Play works with three musical apps that help you turn everyday objects into instruments while learning about musical concepts.

Flea x Fender Signature Bass

Flea x Fender Signature Bass

RHCP’s bass man teamed up with Fender to reproduce his beloved ’61 Shell Pink Jazz Bass, a very special instrument he received from a fan. The guitar has a road-worn shell with a maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, vintage style Jazz Bass pickups and a neck plate with art by Flea.

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