Guitarduino show and tell


[Igor Stolarsky] plays in a band called 3’s & Sevens. We’d say he is the Guitarist but since he’s playing this hacked axe we probably should call him the band’s Guitarduinist. Scroll down and listen to the quick demo clip of what he can do with the hardware add-ons, then check out his video explanation of the hardware.

There are several added inputs attached to the guitar itself. The most obvious is the set of colored buttons which are a shield riding on the Arduino board itself. This attaches to his computer via a USB cable where it is controlling his MaxMSP patches. They’re out of the way and act as something of a sample looper which he can then play along with. But look at the guitar body under his strumming hand and you’ll also see a few grey patches. These, along with one long strip on the back of the neck, are pressure sensors which he actuates while playing. The result is a level of seamless integration we don’t remember seeing before. Now he just needs to move the prototype to a wireless system and he’ll be set.

If you don’t have the skills to shred like [Igor] perhaps an automatic chording device will give you a leg up.

[via GeekBoy]


  1. James says:

    Really cool- it reminds me of Curtis Bahn’s eSitar that uses accelerometers, film potentiometers, etc to trigger or modify resonance with max/msp.

    The patch:

  2. Awesome guitar. Always like these mods better when the person making them knows how to play.

  3. tjb1 says:

    Whining about the Arduino in 5…4…3…2…1

  4. Eirinn says:

    Reminds me of the Eigenharp:

  5. Blake says:


  6. Aron says:

    Nice project, but as a guitarist (and an engineer), I’d say let a guitar have a guitar sound, and a synth a synth sound.

    • BlaiddDrwrg says:

      I’d like to know why you think a guitar should only have a guitar sound, and a synth a should only have a synth sound? Who are you to tell another guitarist how he should sound?

  7. Jeff D says:

    Is Max used only to process the serial data from the Arduino into MIDI? Is there any other processing that Max does? Could Max be eliminated by having the Arduino output MIDI directly, either via good ol’ DIN-5 or MIDI/HID via USB?

    • thebishopgame says:

      Max does a couple things. It converts the serial to midi but I also use it manipulate the midi and triggering functions past what the AxeFX allows me (i.e. the length of a whammy or filter sweep) and to quickly switch around routing, both where the midi goes and what midi is going. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I also intend to set up different easily switchable presets for different songs in a live set. I imagine I’m going to find other uses for it as I go along as well. I did initially have the arduino just spitting midi out directly but it ended up not really having that much benefit.

  8. nobody says:

    Not everything needs to be a “duino”. Leave guitars alone.

  9. Exit151 says:

    That is really awesome! An amazing blend of music instrument and technology! Keep up the good work!!!

  10. Dit reminds moe of the Misa Guitar

    if I had the money i bought that one!!

  11. Bob says:

    Hey, nice project!
    I used an Arduino to replace the pots and switches of an electric guitar and made an ArduGuitar! Check it out at !

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