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Awesome Musical Instruments

Making Carbon Fiber Guitars

Making Carbon Fiber Guitars

A look inside the McPherson Guitars‘ factory, where talented artisans use a mix of high tech materials and traditional finishing techniques to create lightweight, durable, and visually striking musical instruments. The Carbon Series guitars range in price from $2999 to $3299.

Playing the Yaybahar

Playing the Yaybahar

Görkem Sen performs an improvised piece on a custom-built acoustic instrument called the Yaybahar. The unusual instrument gets its ethereal sound by bowing strings that conduct vibrations down through its neck onto coiled springs, connected to a pair of drum heads.

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Jamstik7 & Jamstik12 Smart Guitars

Jamstik7 & Jamstik12 Smart Guitars

Jamstik’s new smart guitars offer portability for both pros and newbies. The Jamstik7 is perfect for beginners – it has 7 frets and works with Jamstik’s educational apps. The Jamstik12 is a 12-fret smart guitar with low latency, palm mute sensing and MIDI compatibility.

Learning to Play the Shenanigan

Learning to Play the Shenanigan

A hilariously absurd video from Grieg Johnson which provides instruction on how to play an “ancient, elegant” musical instrument. But it’s not just the Shenanigan that’s of interest – it’s the fake Scandanavian-ish tongue that the narrator speaks in that really makes the video.

Virtual Pipe Organ

Virtual Pipe Organ

Don’t have the room for an entire pipe organ in your home (or theater or church)? Musician Andrew Anderson shows off his rig, which uses Hauptwerk’s virtual pipe organ software, loaded up with Paramount Organ Works‘ set of incredibly accurate Wurlitzer samples.

Populele Smart Ukelele

Populele Smart Ukelele

Populele is a ukelele designed for total newbies. Its fretboard has 72 embedded LEDs. Together with its free companion app for iOS and Android, the LEDs will teach you chords and full songs. It also has mini-games that will teach you the basics.

Pocket Operators Metal Series

Pocket Operators Metal Series

Teenage Engineering’s third batch of Pocket Operators is now complete. Accompanying the PO-32 Tonic drum machine are the PO-33 K.O.!, a micro-sampler with 40s memory, and the PO-35 Speak, a voice recorder and sampler.

DIY Washing Machine Bass

DIY Washing Machine Bass

Got a broken washing machine and some woodworking skills? Then check out Scrap Wood City’s clip in which he shows how to convert the metal tub from a washing machine into the body for a fretless acoustic contrabass. It’s only got two strings, but it still sounds cool.

Tennis Racket Guitar

Tennis Racket Guitar

Sometimes when we play tennis, we we like to fool around and play air guitar with the rackets. But Scrap Wood City went one better, and shows us how they transformed a racket into a fully functional electric guitar. Though it does only have three strings.

Spectrasonics Keyscape

Spectrasonics Keyscape

Spectrasonics spent 10 years refurbishing, tuning, and capturing the sounds of some of the world’s greatest pianos, organs, and synths, and collected them into a digital library you can play with a MIDI keyboard and a computer. If it’s good enough for Stevie Wonder

Deal: FretX Guitar Fret Trainer

Deal: FretX Guitar Fret Trainer
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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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
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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.

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