Take a gander at this amazing looking instrument. The Kelstone 9-string guitar (reported by GizMag) is a monster of an acoustic instrument which spans some five-and-a-half octaves and is played horizontally by both hands.
In case you were wondering, that’s why we’ve featured it here (we haven’t suddenly turned into a guitar-based web site).
You can get a really good feel for the possibilities of the instrument by watching this video by creator Jan Van Kelst. Naturally it has many similarities with an acoustic guitar or bass, except that you play it flat and there are potentially more playing techniques and expressions.
Essentially, the Kelstone offers the range of a bass, baritone and standard guitar in one instrument – spanning just over five octaves and tuned in fourths (B, E, A, D, G, C, F, Bb, Eb). Van Kelst says that as such: “if you know, for instance, the fingering of a major chord, you can use this form anywhere on the arm, regardless of the position or note you start with.
It’s completely acoustic so at present wouldn’t be so easily usable in any MIDI rig. However, imagine either retrofitting or having Jan create an electroacoustic model with MIDI or some other standard communication system built in. What possibilities then.
Your challenge is to appear on stage with the highly tactile Kelstone and the look-no-hands Airpiano. Go to it!
3 thoughts on “Kelstone Guitar: keyboard-esque 9 stringer offers great possibilities”
I am the happy owner of a Kelstone. I was mainly a piano & synth player, and altough equally trained on guitar, I never felt as comfortable playing the guitar as playing the piano. However, with Kelstone, this changed – it really feels comfortable, logical, and very versatile. I would be tempted to call it THE string-instrument for pianists 🙂
Oh, please correct me if I am wrong. I thought acoustic meant no electricity is needed to play an instrument, but this instrument appears to need electricity.
I’m pretty sure the Kelstone needs no electricity to play.