THE BEST Musical Instruments

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.

The Physics of the Theremin

The Physics of the Theremin

The theremin is one of the strangest musical instruments of all time. SciShow takes us inside the process that lets you play this retrofantastic electronic instrument without ever touching it. It’s all about using your body as part of a giant capacitor.

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The Oomphalapompatronium

The Oomphalapompatronium

Instrument maker and musician Leonard Solomon shows off another one of his unusual contraptions. The Oomphalapompatronium uses a crank, belts, bladders, bottles, and PVC pipe to create something that sounds like a pipe organ with frog in its throat.

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.

Inside the Wintergatan

Inside the Wintergatan

Musician and inventor Martin Molin explains the complex mechanisms behind his genius musical contraption, the Wintergatan. Beyond the marble machine, there are drums made from coasters, a snare that uses basmati rice, among other crazy bits. Part two here.

The Musical Marble Machine

The Musical Marble Machine

This truly amazing musical instrument was created by Swedish musician Martin Molin (aka Wintergatan). It uses an incredibly complicated mechanism to produce notes and rhythms using human input and the sound of 2,000 falling metal marbles. (Thanks Paul!)

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.

Ice Drumming

Ice Drumming

Back in 2012, percussion group ЭТНОБИТ (Ethnobeat) transformed the sheets of ice on Siberia’s frozen Lake Baikal into a wondrous natural musical instrument. The recording engineer for this clip deserves just as much praise as the musicians.

Cardboard Fender Stratocaster

Cardboard Fender Stratocaster

For their series Cardboard Chaos, the guys from Signal Snowboards teamed up with Ernest Packaging and the Fender Custom Shop to create a Stratocaster with a body made from layered cardboard. The end result is completely playable, and more durable than you’d think.

The Anarchestra

The Anarchestra

Musician and sculptor Andy Thurlow has created not just one or two, but dozens of unique musical instruments, each of which makes strange and unusual sounds. He says he built them because he was tired of everything else sounding the same.

ACPAD Guitar Controller

ACPAD Guitar Controller

The ACPAD gives guitar players the ability to control MIDI or DAW-based devices without taking their hands off their instrument. The slimline controller sticks onto guitars, adding pressure-sensitive pads and sliders which let you trigger sounds, record loops, and more.

ROLI Seaboard Rise

ROLI Seaboard Rise

A portable MIDI controller-only version of the touch- and pressure-sensitive Seaboard Grand piano. The Seaboard Rise has 25 keys, connects via USB or Bluetooth and has an internal battery. It also comes with Roli’s Equator software synth.

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The Wanamaker Organ

The Wanamaker Organ

Located at Macy’s Center City in Philadelphia, the Wanamaker Organ is the world’s largest musical instrument. It took two years to install all of its parts throughout the building. Since then nearly 20,000 parts have been added to it.

The Wheelharp

The Wheelharp

Antiquity Music created this musical instrument which can play 61 bowed strings, by simply pressing piano-like keys. Listen to more sample sounds here. One of the more unusual projects to ever surface on Kickstarter.

Bohemian Oil Can Guitars

Bohemian Oil Can Guitars

The twangy Bohemian Guitar line will offer choice of 3 oil can styles, maple necks with rosewood fingerboards and bridge, adjustable truss rods and chrome tuning machines. (Thanks Bryan!)

Peavey AT-200 Auto-Tune Guitar

Peavey AT-200 Auto-Tune Guitar

Unlike high end self-tuning guitars that have motors on their tuning pegs, the AT-200 uses pitch correcting software to digitally adjust the sound coming from its strings. A great kit for beginners.

Arturia MiniBrute Synthesizer

Arturia MiniBrute Synthesizer

Analog purists will love the 25-key MiniBrute Synthesizer from Arturia that features a number of unique tone-shaping tools and puts your fingers in control of a 100% analog signal-path.

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