“One of the first instruments I fell in love with as a child was Jimmy Page’s double-neck Gibson guitar. I had dreamt of that instrument for years, until I was struck down by a double neck guitar which I had seen in a store. I decided it would have to be mine, then I did all I could in order to save enough money to buy it. When it finally became mine, I understood that there was much more to be unveiled, beyond the simple appeal of a double neck instrument. Its potential was really huge.”
“After many years I had the pleasure to meet the luthier Carlos Roberto Michelutti. By getting to know his abilities, I began to share with him some ideas and my craving for an instrument which was completely new, in both its construction and performing philosophy.
The 49-string guitar is one of the instruments I love to play the most, and I think it truly represents a very important part of my musical explorations.”
Carlos Roberto Michelutti, the luthier who gave birth to my 49-string guitar, has been crazy enough to follow my ideas, and become complicit in designing and creating my 49-string guitar, a worldwide unique instrument.
The guitar is a very ancient instrument. Since the late Renaissance period, musicians used to add strings and lengths to the necks in order to produce lower sounds. Later came harp-guitars, with their additional open strings. To this family belongs the marvelous Pikasso played by Pat Metheny. The 49-string guitar is often improperly compared to Metheny’s guitar, because the Pikasso gives the illusion to have many fretted necks while actually it has only one.
The 49-string guitar was designed and built with a different philosophy. It has more fretted necks, movable bridges on proportional sections of the strings, and the possibility of changing the vibrating part of each string. This guitar has something in common with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones’ guitar, built in the ’70s by Andy Mason; however, Jones’ guitar is not a harp-guitar, and therefore differs from the 49-string guitar for a significant part of its innovations.