10 incredible guitar world records

Gibson's Eden Of Coronet SG: 11,441 pointy little ways to tear your picking hand to bits…
Gibson's Eden Of Coronet SG: 11,441 pointy little ways to tear your picking hand to bits…

As we all know, the guitar is a thing of wonder. It's so wondrous, in fact, that a handful of creative six-stringers have sought to create and then break some, quite frankly, bonkers Guinness World Records with our favourite instrument.

So, without further ado, here we present 10 tests of endurance, wealth and scientific genius that have smashed records, boundaries and health and safety guidelines…

10. Most valuable (non-vintage) guitar

Created by Aaron Shum, the blingtastic Eden Of Coronet is embossed with 11,441 diamonds and 1.6kg of white gold - and basically looks like Beyoncé's jewellery box just threw up on a Gibson SG. Its value was certified last year at a staggering £1,352,530.

9. Most strings changed in one hour

Aussie Glenn Haworth changed 183 individual strings in just 60 minutes

Somebody give Glenn Haworth a job as a tech: the Aussie changed 183 individual strings in just 60 minutes. Possibly a man with too much time on his hands, Haworth also holds the record for longest ukulele jam (25 hours). "I don't want to see a ukulele for a while," he admitted afterwards…

8. Longest period playing guitar

In 2011, David Browne played for 114 hours and six minutes at Dublin's Temple Bar Pub, kicking off with Son Of A Preacher Man, wrapping up with With Or Without You, and playing a total of 1,372 songs in-between. "The whole thing snowballed," said the Irishman, who was allowed a wee-break every hour. "It feels surreal."

7. Coldest gig

In 2012, when Charlie Simpson was pictured strumming in Siberia, we assumed the Busted man had been exiled for crimes against music. Turns out he was performing the world's chilliest gig, at a nadger-shrivelling -30˚C. "It was unbearably cold," shivered Simpson. "We had to pack hand-warmers in my sleeves to stop my fingers getting frostbite."

6. Longest solo

Making Steve Vai look like a minimalist two-note garage punk, Texan metaller David DiDonato shredded for a cartilage-melting 24 hours and 55 minutes on stage in 2012 - and offered $25 to any punter who could stay awake for the duration.

5. Smallest replica guitar

It might be small - just 10 micrometres long, or the size of a single human blood cell - but the silicon guitar created by Cornell University in 1997 is perfectly formed, with a double-cutaway Strat body and six strings that vibrate when struck. Good luck finding that in your gigbag, mind.

Now, that's some travel guitar (D. Carr and H. Craighead/Cornell University)

4. Largest assembly of air guitarists

One of Guinness World Records' hottest-contested categories, the States stole back its title from Australia in 2011, gathering 2,377 string-pluckers together in a California bingo hall to flail through a rendition of Crazy Train.

3. Longest Guitar Hero marathon

Back in 2012, Patrick Young clacked away for 72 hours and 17 minutes

Back in 2012, Patrick Young clacked away for 72 hours and 17 minutes. "My dad passed away from atherosclerosis," he explained of his fundraising record attempt. "I wanted to help other people who are going through heart disease."

2. Most effects pedals played simultaneously

Skunk Anansie's Ace managed to play a cover of Smoke On The Water with 85 pedals activated in Brighton in 2003. "When I got to 85, and it wouldn't work anymore," he recalled, "I smashed the guitar and set it on fire like Hendrix…"

That said, this record looks to have been well and truly smashed by Pedals And Effects' Nick Reinhart and Juan Alderete, who put together a whopping chain of 145 stompers this year. That's some serious current draw…

1. Loudest gig

Guinness has stopped listing 'loudest concert', wary of encouraging bands to liquidate their audiences. Back in the day, apocryphal tales told of AC/DC hitting 130 decibels, but The Who got the official nod for their 1976 gig at The Valley (126dB) before loin-clothed gonks Manowar topped it with 129.5dB. Worryingly, these decibel figures are referred to as the "threshold of pain"…

Manowar: not just contenders for most homoerotic album cover but also gigs most likely to induce tinnitus

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