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Amazing Experimental Musical Instruments

Updated on November 17, 2011
Blue Man Group Drumming
Blue Man Group Drumming | Source

This article is devoted to those music artists that think outside the box and have created very unusual or unique instruments and playing styles. Many of these artists are very well known because of their instrumentation, their creative gifts go beyond simply making music to creating whole new ways of making music.

These people I would consider modern pioneers of music and should be acknowledged as such. They've chosen to let their gifts shine and I for one am grateful for that.

Have a look below these artists may be a little strange but you'll be amazed, trust me.

Jon Gomm
Jon Gomm | Source

Jon Gomm

Although Mr. Gomm is not responsible for creating his own instruments but he has taken guitar playing to a whole new level. While playing guitar he uses his hands to create not just guitar sound but also drum, and bass sound and all simultaneously in the same song, all while singing. Besides creating sound from the guitar that it was never created to make he also adjusts the tuners of the guitar mid song to create ethereal sounding notes and often plays guitar strings only on the neck of the guitar. Simply amazing. Makes me wish I had took the time he did to become such a player.

John Gomm is the kind of virtuoso that needs to be seen to be believed. Beginning playing at the age of two he eventually graduated from the ukulele to the guitar and since has taken the world by storm Jon has released two solo albums and has been touring frequently since 2004. Check the video to the side of his song "passion flower" you will be amazed at what he can do with just a simple acoustic guitar.

Jack white
Jack white | Source

Jack White

Someone who needs little introduction he has spent more than the past decade climbing the hill of rock music along the way fusing it with many different genres and introducing the rock crowd to many other interesting forms of music. Never one to shy away from experimentation on stage and off White has set himself apart from the rock artists that spend all their time trying to conform to the scene of the current time.

His knowledge of the guitar has gone beyond what you and I perceive as just another instrument and into a realm where only a select few have journeyed. I have included a video below of Jack on a farm he creates an electric guitar out of a board, some wire, some nails and a coke bottle and then plugs into his amp and plays it. Check it out below!

That 1 Guy

That 1 guy born Mike Silverman knows what it means to be a one man band. Throughout the past several years he has used his ingenuity to create a musical electric saw, various unusual percussion instruments and the magic pipe. The magic pipe very central to his act is an amazing instrument constructed from a metal pipe a wide variety of electronics wired together into a mad science styled instrument. the magic pipe can be played like a guitar, a bow or as a percussion instrument.

Les and his Whamola
Les and his Whamola | Source

Les Claypool

Throughout the progress of his band Primus and his numerous side projects Les Claypool is another who has excelled at creating the unusual. From strange claymation videos to bass sounds that are out of this world. He has created some of the strangest music and videos in his career and in this case Claypool has succeeded in returning a very rare instrument to the public eye, the Whamola.

The Whamola is an electric version of an old style washtube instrument used in the south. In the Whamola's case it is electric and use create sound usually by striking it's one taught string with a drumstick. Sound is changed according to how you most the neck or where you strike it. Check the video below of the Whamola being used.

Blue Man Paint Drumming
Blue Man Paint Drumming | Source

The Blue Man Group

The Blue Man Group was created as a foundation to raise money for charity but balooned into a world famous act. The act always features three blue headed alien type guys and incorporates many types of art, videos, comedy and skits as well as music and very unusual instruments.

These instruments range from very bendable poles swung in the air to make whistling sounds, a large grand piano which is struck by a large mallet, an anvil that's drummed upon, large tubes used as percussion, drums that spray paint upon being struck. Their pipe suits also shoot large piles of streamers on the crowd at the end of the show.

Recently I was able to attend a show for the Blue Man Group in my home city and must say it was a full frontal assault on the senses combining so much creativity. I would say it is out of this world (which I guess is what they are going for). Check out the video to the side to see them in action with a song featuring the vocals of Gavin Rossdale of the band Bush.


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    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      lionel1 - :) glad you like it I tried to incorporate as much musical innovation as possible for sure.

    • lionel1 profile image

      lionel1 6 years ago

      Wow you really pushed the boat out with this Hub post. I truly appreciate this Hub post. Thank you.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      WD Curry 111 - sounds like a cool horn, keep it up :)

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 6 years ago from Space Coast

      I really enjoyed this. I used to play cornet and alto sax. I was iin a car wreck. My teeth went through my lip. The nerve and muscle damage impacted my playing. My main instrument has always been the harminica, so I made due.

      I played the recorder a lot, and always wondered why someone didn't make a synthesizer that you could blow in. Now I have a Yamaha WX11 that I have been messing with for 20 years. Most real horn players don't like it much, but it can do things a horn can't. I didn't make the instrument, but I might have willed it into existence.

      Great hub with great music, by the way. Send me a track, and I'll lay down some licks and send it back.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Thanks for commentlin missolive, I'm happy you enjoyed it. It sounds like maybe one day your daughter might be known for creating her intruments as well, that is awesome.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      This hub is fascinating. I am certainly going to send this to my daughter. She is a music major and has even made a few instruments of her own. Thank you for sharing such a neat and unique topic.