Other Guitars

Quarter tone guitar


An audio demo would go a long way toward selling that notion - or decisively putting the mildly interested browser off the instrument for good.

The price isn’t prohibitive, though shipping hurts.

I’m generally up for something novel; this does spark my interest.


Found a demo! Perhaps not the best but I like this guy: 'it's quite easy actually' he says when recommending adding the frets yourself.


This is a good idea for bringing the guitar into the Arabic/Turkish/Persian area of music. I dabble in the Arabic oud and the quarter tones in that system are on the 3rd and 7th. Of course there are regional interpretations of the quarter tones, and different makams (modes) can have slightly different pitch interpretations, but this would put the guitar in there enough so that it could function as a melodic instrument in an ensemble.

Personally, I would appreciate it more on a classical guitar because I am not a fan of electric guitars or electric keyboards in Arabic music; makes it sound cheesy to my ear. The advantage of this over a fretless guitar is that it would allow the playing of chords.


Found a demo! Perhaps not the best but I like this guy: 'it's quite easy actually' he says when recommending adding the frets yourself.

– Scorpio

oh, sure. and after that you'll be ready to sort the Middle East peace process with your magical 1/4-tones.

it does seem like an interesting idea, but the thought of a guitarist of average-or-lower ability playing it would make my teeth hurt even if i hadn't had a root canal yesterday (it's fine BTW). have you ever heard the LaMonte Young stuff with guitar in just intonation? my comment was "only just in intonation." very queasy-making; potentially weaponizable for more aggressive styles.


I was thing that it would be most helpful when playing ragas, except that there are no drone strings.


Based on that not-terribly-compelling demo, my inherent sloppy technique would deliver equivalent results if I used 8s. Not necessarily the velocity, just the slightly-out notes. They do go fast!

Perhaps shredding was invented in India and Arabia/Persia because their acoustic instruments had no sustain, and they had to keep banjo-ing on them at full speed, trying to get away from what just sounds like intonation problems.

OK, kidding! Just mocking what I don't quite understand. Well, actually I'll give myself more credit than that. When I've heard really great players from those traditions, I've enjoyed it, felt like it was communicating with me, felt like "I got it," at least from the point of view of a listener appreciating.

Maybe it's back to the musician "of average-or-lower ability" factor: players from either the European or Indo-Arabic traditions casually trying on the others' scales and instruments - whether to play in the counterpart tradition or to fuse the two - usually don't do either side of the equation much justice. The traditions are just too deep, and too instinctively engrained in our musical synapses, for most of us to successfully make the leap - without years of concentrated study along with intense immersion in the other culture.

I know my brief experiment with an 11-string nylon fretless electric guitar (yes, what was I thinking?) yielded no useful results in a big way. I gladly lost a few hundred dollars just to get that thang outta my house.

I also agree that I haven't heard compelling music from electric/electronic instruments during such attempts. (And not for lack of trying: Bloomington's annual Lotus Fest brings musicians from eclectic traditions - and syncretic experiments - around the world.) I invariably prefer the all-acoustic "folk" versions of those traditions to attempts to modernize or rock'em up.

Though I caught some thunderous and truly majestic Tibetan/Tuvan rock fusion.

I haven't heard LaMonte Young, that I know of. I'll look some up.

My favorite experiments in alternate intonations are Wendy Carlos' on her epic 80s masterwork The Beauty in the Beast. Unaccountably gorgeous alien worlds on that one, which stand your ear on end till you adjust and then hear the magic.


Isn't this what King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard use in their songs?

My kids just got a fret saw, some wire and a hammer and popped them in themselves.


Probably good for jamming with trombone players.


I don't mind the Wizard Lizard. That's a fairly successful venture into rock microtonalism - probably because it's about more than high-speed riffing, so we can savor the micros. Why, it's even melodic in its way. Though structurally, it seems a bit arbitrary.

I LOVE the horn!

But what, the bassist only gets paid for 8th notes?

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