Patent GB 2449459B
“I could play that if only there was a piano here.”
How many times did I say that to myself in a room full of guitarists?
I longed for the direct contact with the strings that a guitar brings, and eventually, I tried very seriously to master the guitar. It was frustrating - 30 years of playing experience on the piano, and I was starting again. “But I know all this stuff” I found myself thinking as I forced myself to re-learn chords that I had played thousands of times, “and I could play it now if only I had the right interface!”
So I turned my attention to developing this instrument. It is based on the body of an autoharp (though the stringing is a little different). It behaves exactly as a pianist would expect. Press a key - no noise results, but the string dampers for that note are released across the harp. Strum, pluck, hammer with the right hand to make noise.
Easy to dream up, not so easy to build! It has taken seven years (and counting!) to bring all the design constraints into balance. There are a lot of crossovers with the sound of the guitar, but it has a quality all of its own - sometimes like a piano, sometimes a harpsichord and thoroughly harp-like!