Switchable Fretboard Guitar

I recently received and email from guitarist Fernando Perez. His work adapting the music from all over the world to the guitar is very interesting, but not in the usual Guitar Moderne wheelhouse. More relevant is his microtonal work, and his collaboration with luthier Jose de Prados on a guitar with interchangeable fretboards, allowing you to instantly switch from a standard fret system, to fretless or any microtonal system you choose. There have been and are others venturing into this field, especially in the microtonal field but Perez and Prados appear to have come up with something workable.

Also a nice introduction to other microtonal guitar solutions:


Killick Plays Amid The Paintings

This is Killick Hinds at Trio Contemporary Art Gallery in Athens. He is using two amps for dimensionality. His Rick Toone fretless guitar sports an additional piezo. A Vibesware feedback inducer is at the end of the mic stand, which induces the feedback on the length of strings between the fretting hand and the nut. The Ebow is used on the “regular” part of the strings. He is also processing his electric signal with chorus, octave, Ottobit Jr. effects, as well as using a few implements.


Spotlight: Jon Catler

Adjusting to the sound of microtonal guitar can be hard at first. It is often complicated by the type of music played on these instruments, which can be complex and “difficult,” requiring the ear to adjust to two things at once.

With one of his projects, the band Willie McBlind, Jon Catler plays blues on a guitar fitted with extra frets that allow a radically different intonation than the one used by Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf, yet the music sounds somehow “right.” Whether because the blues masters often played their own style of “out-of-tune,” or because the genre and its forms are so familiar, the sound of Catler’s microtonal instrument seems easier to assimilate.

Then again, a quick viewing of Catler’s video demoing the 12-Tone Ultra Plus guitar reveals that, viewed in a certain light, his instrument is actually more “in-tune” than a standard guitar. In this informative interview the microtonal master explains his journey and philosophy.

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