This is what happens when you play guitar with a wheel

Countless guitar innovations claim to reinvent the wheel, but this one actually does: Pete O'Connell's ingenious Rhysonic Wheel essentially plays your guitar for you.

Functioning like a mechanical version of the string-striking Guitar Triller, O'Connell's, ahem, be-spoke contraption allows him to play intricate percussive guitar parts without even using his picking hand - but he's hardly been asleep at the wheel.

"I got the idea for this instrument, initially, remembering back to when I was a kid and I would ride my bike with a hockey card attached to the front fork with a clothespin," recalls O'Connell of setting the Wheel in motion.

"I was thinking about what a nice sound it made rattling in the spokes, and that got me thinking it would be neat to use a bicycle wheel as a musical instrument. Then I had this really clear image in my head of me performing on Dam Square in Amsterdam on a bicycle with its back wheel propped up and me pedalling the bike, and the back wheel was making music by hitting percussion or something.

"So, from there, over the past few years and after many nights (and failed attempts) in the workshop, it has developed into the Rhysonic Wheel."

There's no word on whether O'Connell plans to go all wheeler dealer on us and put his invention up for sale, but rest assured, we'll keep a wheel-y (sorry) close eye on its development.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.