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Awesome Musical Instruments

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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Build Your Own Electric Guitar

Build Your Own Electric Guitar
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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.

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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.

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!)

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