Three-string guitars are nothing new - last year's Danelectro-like Electric Loog proved that - but the RalBar offers a new, dulcimer-like take on the format for beginners.
Designed by Australian guitarist and former dentist Brian Dyskin, the teardrop-shaped RalBar is tuned CGC to a 5th chord (ie, a powerchord), so chords are neither major nor minor, which reduces the risk of playing the 'wrong' chord, and means they only require one finger.
The edge of the fretboard is also marked with Roman numerals, so there's no need for chord names - it's "like painting-by-numbers for guitar," Dyskin told Mixdown.
What sets the instrument apart from its contemporaries is that the RalBar is built like a real electric guitar, with a mahogany/basswood body and quilted maple top, set neck, 25" scale and a pair of Dyskin Designed single coil pickups, with pickup selector, volume and tone controls.
It's not going to replace your first real-six-string, but the RalBar is a stepping stone to learning the real thing, and an acoustic version is on the way soon, too.
RalBar instrument combos - including a gigbag, starter amp, cable, tuner, strap and spare set of strings - are available now for AU $465 (£235/US $340/€300 approx) from Dyskin Guitars.