For some, being able to play multiple instruments just isn’t enough - they want to be able to play them at the same time. One such greedy groovesman is Dream Theater keyboard maestro Jordan Rudess, who recently revealed that he’s in the process of creating a Heath Robinson hybrid that comprises both a 49-note MIDI controller and an electric guitar.
Designed in collaboration with Druzkowski Guitars, this might not be the most elegant of solutions, but it does enable Rudess to fulfil his dream of being able to play guitar and keyboard pretty much simultaneously. It’s very much a prototype at the moment, with bits of it seemingly held together with Gaffer tape, but as Rudess reveals in the video above, it’s already playable.
It seems that the idea for the instrument may have been born when Rudess posted a video of him attempting to play guitar and keyboard simultaneously about a year ago. One commenter on the clip, Jedi Council, responded by saying: “Bro. I just had an insane idea. We need a Twin neck, guit-synth. One neck mini keyboard, other neck guitar. Load it up with effects and call it The Wizards Axe [sic]”.
Whether that’s what Rudess’s finished creation will be called remains to be seen, but he’s clearly excited about the prospect of it being built.
“I’m very excited," says Rudess (told you), “because today I got to look at the very first prototype of a new instrument I’m designing with Przemek Druzkowski, the master guitar builder. This is the first prototype and I’m blown away because I didn’t expect to see it today. You can see that it’s all one piece. It’s totally a prototype and I’m sharing it with you guys so you can be excited about it as well.”
Although it looks a little heavy and unwieldy, Rudess later reassures his viewers that “It weighs about as much as a Les Paul… It’s going to be awesome. It will feature one of Przemek’s guitar designs and it will have a MIDI keyboard below.”
Reports that version 2 of the product will include a foot-operated, back-mounted kick drum and a harmonica on a neck strap are still to be confirmed.