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Gittler guitar (ca.1970-1985) exhibited at MIM PHX

A Gittler Guitar is an experimental designed guitar created by Allan Gittler (1928–2002).[1] Gittler felt that sentimental design references to acoustic guitars are unnecessary in an electronically amplified guitar, and designed his instrument with the objective of reducing the electric guitar to the most minimal functional form possible.

History[edit]

He made 60 guitars in New York in the mid-1970s to early 1980s (selling one to Andy Summers, which he plays in The Police's "Synchronicity II" video). In 1982, Gittler emigrated to Israel, settled in Hebron, changed his name to Avraham Bar Rashi, and licensed the design to a local company in Kiryat Bialik called Astron Engineer Enterprises LTD. They computer-machined around 300, Bar Rashi commented later to the effect that he was unhappy with the manufacturing. Astron, however, claims that their instruments are precisely manufactured copies of the original construction, and that the addition of a plastic body containing electronics for simplified handling, while arguably compromising the minimalism of the original idea, had no influence on the sound or the style of playing.

The first 60 are sometimes described as the Fishbone Gittler guitar. Three Gittler basses also exist, made in New York and numbered 1, 2, and 3.

During this period, he also made a portable, battery-powered amplifier, cylindrical in shape, with a long handle that allowed it to be rolled around like a grass-seed-roller. Rolling was necessary to transport it through the street, since it was quite heavy due to the large number of D batteries that powered it. He frequently used this set-up to play his guitar in a street adjoining Astor Place in lower Manhattan, where the reverberation from the surrounding buildings amplified the sound.

The Gittler guitar has six strings. Each string has its own pickup. Later versions have a plastic body. The steel frets, consisting of stainless steel bars pressure fitted into the stainless steel neck, give the instrument a sitar-like feel, as it is possible to bend the strings downward past where a wooden fretboard would prohibit the movement in a conventional guitar. The six individual pickups can be routed to divided outputs via D-sub-9-pin. or be mixed to a 1/4" TS connector. The built in pre-amps are powered by a 9 V battery or via D-sub connector. The New York version came without a pre-amp section; the individual pickups' signals were led into single cables, which could then be plugged into a mixing box or each separately amplified.

The Museum of Modern Art, MOMA has one instrument in its collection, as does the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (which also has a later Bar Rashi wooden electric guitar). Gittler guitars can also be seen in several other museums and collections.

The only left-handed Gittler guitar known to exist was made by Bar Rashi himself in 1995 or 1996. It is a signed minimalist instrument, identical to the one he played in the later period of his life and made to order for a client in Jerusalem. There are only 12 separate parts in total and the frets are one long thread of nylon. This creates a unique sound.

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gittler_guitar — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

135 news items

Gizmag

Gizmag
Tue, 22 Oct 2013 09:54:01 -0700

Back in January, the beautifully minimalist Gittler Guitar made its public debut at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. Little more than a long rod topped by 31 rounded frets with built-in electronics, the all-titanium guitar has now launched on ...

Gizmag

Gizmag
Tue, 16 Oct 2012 12:46:37 -0700

He methodically stripped away all that he deemed unnecessary and redundant, and embarked on a minimalist instrument design adventure that resulted in the iconic Gittler guitar. Steel sitar or electric fishbone, the instrument had arguably its most ...

The Verge

The Verge
Mon, 14 Oct 2013 14:26:09 -0700

The creators of the Gittler Guitar don't necessarily believe there's something wrong with the way guitars are built today. But they insist there's room for improvement and seem confident they've found the right formula. "The guitar is due for another ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Thu, 17 Oct 2013 14:56:03 -0700

The world's first all-titanium, futuristic-looking Gittler guitar was the brainchild of a musician and minimalist artist Alan Gittler back in the 1970s. Gittler's vision was to strip away individual elements of a functional guitar to find out what lay ...

Gizmag

Gizmag
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 13:52:29 -0700

PocketStrings takes guitar practice on the road · The all-titanium Gittler Guitar. Gittler titanium guitar takes crowdfunding route to production · The Relay G10 plug and play wireless guitar system will be available from April 2016. Relay G10 billed ...

Gizmag

Gizmag
Tue, 29 Dec 2015 05:27:16 -0800

Vox gives odd-looking Starstream guitars some modeling magic · The all-titanium Gittler Guitar. Gittler titanium guitar takes crowdfunding route to production · The Bird of Prey looking either cool or weird, depending on the observer. Bird of Prey bike ...

Gizmag

Gizmag
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 04:09:11 -0800

Back in 2012, Vox reached back through its mold-breaking design history for the launch of the Apache travel guitars. The swinging 60s have again provided some inspirational fodder for next generation instruments, though only in name this time around.

IGN

IGN
Wed, 23 Dec 2015 11:31:28 -0800

By Matt Porter Ernest Packaging has teamed up with Fender to create a Stratocaster electric guitar made out of cardboard. According to the Mail Online, Cardboard Chaos is a collaboration between Ernest Packaging Solutions and Signal Snowboards, and ...
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