Microtonal Guitar


Senior member
Anyone here ever try a microtonal guitar (like the ones here http://www.organicdesign.org/peterson/guitars/index.html)? Just curious as they seem, uhm, interesting... Thoughts?
Lily Afshar, the truly brilliant Iranian classical guitarist, uses a guitar with little "fretlets" installed to play traditional persian music. If you can find it, check out her playing of Gozaar (Calligraphy #5). Uses those semi tones a lot.
Just intonation and microtonality are whole other world. It's fascinating stuff to listen to, but as far as playing it or understanding it, I simply can't get my head around it at all. Check out the music of Harry Partch. Cool stuff, and he built all the instruments himself.
if skilled, its a metal masters dream  but you trully have to find someone who builds them right.....sometimes u get b uzzing, i heard a guy play one once,  b ut the notes bogged up on the uneven fret layout
Cool, thanks guys.  I'll check out a few of those people playing in the microtonal world. Appreciate it! It's something I think I'll look more into, for fun (being a math kinda guy that I am). Thanks again...
stormbringer said:
(being a math kinda guy that I am).

Then it will fit you like a glove. If you want to go on a math/music jag, check out Conlon Noncarrow. He wrote music with irrational numbers for time signatures. His piano pieces were impossible to play, so he punched rolls for a player piano. Also, Iannis Xenakis has used calculus as a structure for his music. Dense, irritating stuff, I tell ya.
This guy is worth checking out, definitely has his own thang happening. One of the nicer folks from the Gear Page.


Plays a fretless guitar quite often, which actually seems less confusing to me than adding more frets. I doubt I could comprehend either, though.

I REALLY like this cut.

Once my Warmoth is done I might defret my old Peavey... not for microtonal shit, just for cool slide sounds... could be fun.
Jon Catler makes some interesting guitars....(I think he makes them anyway!!) But I know he plays microtonal music....



I believe the freenote guitar was recently reviewed in Guitar Player - They liked it a lot. As for fretless guitars, I think Pat Metheny is the only "big time" artist who uses them - He has a fretless nylon string. My own explorations in this extend only to an hour spent with this wild bit of kit: http://www.godinguitars.com/godinglissentarp.htm