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Unread 06-02-2009, 11:20 AM   #1
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Lightbulb The Harpejji: Awesome Tapping piano/guitar instrument

Hey,

I don't know if this is the right place to post this. This is the Harpejji, a relatively new instrument designed to be played like a piano, but with the tone of a guitar. Kinda like a stick on a flat, wider fingerboard. An amazing instrument IMO, and of course, Jordan Rudess has one. . I just thought I'd share.







enjoy
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Unread 06-02-2009, 11:26 AM   #2
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Wow... that's really fascinating!
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Unread 06-02-2009, 11:28 AM   #3
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Nice, very interesting instrument
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Unread 06-02-2009, 11:34 AM   #4
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that's awesome! looks like something i'd have a hard time wrapping my head around though :P

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Unread 06-02-2009, 11:35 AM   #5
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That's amazing, would be cool if god used it in the next Dream Theater album
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Unread 06-02-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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I could imagine him using one on an album if he muted somehow and ran it with some distortion. He and and Petrucci are always trying to find novel ways of trying to match their sounds.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 01:08 PM   #7
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that was awesome
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Unread 06-02-2009, 07:32 PM   #8
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that's interesting and really creative.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 07:52 PM   #9
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Thats sick.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 08:03 PM   #10
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now imagine that with a midi pickup and midi out

seriously though, i would love to have that thing, though i assume it'd cost me more than i can cough up :P

this video has me sold! :P

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Last edited by MF_Kitten; 06-02-2009 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Unread 06-03-2009, 01:54 AM   #11
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I was quite keen on sourcing one until I saw the price tag... over $3500 for one, but they are very cool instruments.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 03:23 AM   #12
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Damn! GAS for one of them is rising ha ha

They sound pretty awesome, pity about the price tag

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Unread 06-04-2009, 08:24 AM   #13
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More vids:


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Unread 06-04-2009, 02:58 PM   #14
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First the Continuum, now this. I can't wait until Jordan Rudess just starts playing a Stick.

I have a problem cn this mod ke the eicoli and the infantry cn a blow dies what can make?

excused for the errors but are Italian
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Unread 06-04-2009, 05:45 PM   #15
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I think he does have a Stick, everyone else in the band has one.

The harpejji is really cool. There is another cool instrument called the Kelstone that is very unique and made for several different approaches like tapping, sliding, plucking strumming slapping...you get the picture. One cool thing about the Harpejji is that it has an electric string muting system similar to Dave Bunkers that he uses on his tapping guitars. Very nice indeed.
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Unread 06-04-2009, 07:33 PM   #16
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Jordan Rudess is so incredibly creative and tasteful. I'm not sure if the rest of his band has the latter quality.
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Unread 06-05-2009, 01:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMM View Post
Jordan Rudess is so incredibly creative and tasteful. I'm not sure if the rest of his band has the latter quality.
I think you have it exactly backwards.

I have a problem cn this mod ke the eicoli and the infantry cn a blow dies what can make?

excused for the errors but are Italian
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Unread 06-05-2009, 08:26 AM   #18
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Im so getting this one.... someday, it will be mine.... oh yes
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Unread 06-05-2009, 11:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yingmin View Post
I think you have it exactly backwards.
I know I'll probably catch some backfire from this, but...

saying Petrucci generally plays tastefully, at least in DT (he has his moments, like a lot of the stuff he did with just JR on their "A Night With..." album), is like saying he generally plays too few notes per second. Sure, he's fast, clean, and very skilled, but too many of his parts sound like guitar exercises to me, rather than useful, relevant guitar pieces. Maybe it's due to some expectation that he / the band have that every album should just be technically more difficult and complex than the last, but I feel they've progressively been less interesting to listen to. I've never liked James' vocals, at all - they sound very Broadway to me. For me, DT wouldn't be listenable without JR, and in some cases barely is even with him due to the vocals.

I know I left Portnoy and Myung out of this assessment, and I generally think they're pretty damn good. I was thinking of it from a guitar / keyboard / vocals perspective.
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Unread 06-05-2009, 09:07 PM   #20
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I'm going the be the dissenter here, but I think that thing sounds like utter hell.

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Unread 06-08-2009, 09:55 AM   #21
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Wow! Thanks for sharing this beastie. It looks like it takes a little less finger pressure than a Stick, and I have to admit, that I like the fact that it looks a bit more intuitive, too. Getting used to 5ths (low) and 4ths (high) used to drive me crazy when first getting into the instrument. Would love to know more of the differences between the different models. Doesn't look to be too terribly priced either. Sustain is still going to be an issue without effects.



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Unread 01-05-2010, 12:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Trespass View Post
I'm going the be the dissenter here, but I think that thing sounds like utter hell.
Many of the older videos had poor audio quality. Check out this newer one where the harpejji is "sitting in" on an acoustic 6-string part:

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Unread 01-05-2010, 11:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by harpejji View Post
Many of the older videos had poor audio quality. Check out this newer one where the harpejji is "sitting in" on an acoustic 6-string part:

Thanks for the response!

I'm glad the instrument was developed. I love exploring new possibilities (as both a keyboard player for 14 years, and guitarist). While the audio quality and the tone of the instrument is much more improved in the clip, I feel the issue lies in the nature of the tone itself: Tapping on fretted string instruments are very one-dimensional in terms of the dynamics.

I personally find the attack to be plasticky, unorganic, and a touch harsh. The mono-dynamic range wears out the ear rapidly, and shaping the sound with dynamics a la the piano isn't possible. There simply isn't a foreground, mid, and background.

To me, it removes the dynamic (and musical) benefits of a picked instrument for the sake of greater pitch range and control. The sound reminds me of various VST guitar emulations I've tried.

I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts on this.

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Unread 01-06-2010, 12:40 AM   #24
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I think that is one pretty cool instrument, sounds like a cross between a harp and a guitar. as for the dynamics, it kinda looks like he slapped a bunch of strings on a sheet of plywood, so unplugged it would sound like shit. I wonder if it's possible to use an expression pedal to adjust the attack feature of it, that would bring out way more possibilities. It also seems like you barely have to press down on the string to get sound and it would be easy to mask the fret clicking that way. If I could get my hands on one i would most certainly bring it home and abuse the hell out of it. It's like the bebot synth for iphone, sounds cool and is damn inspirational.
Hmmm, wonder if i can mod one of those drawing boards for the pc to work with a softsynth...

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Unread 01-06-2010, 10:07 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trespass View Post
...While the audio quality and the tone of the instrument is much more improved in the clip, I feel the issue lies in the nature of the tone itself: Tapping on fretted string instruments are very one-dimensional in terms of the dynamics.

I personally find the attack to be plasticky, unorganic, and a touch harsh. The mono-dynamic range wears out the ear rapidly, and shaping the sound with dynamics a la the piano isn't possible. There simply isn't a foreground, mid, and background.

To me, it removes the dynamic (and musical) benefits of a picked instrument for the sake of greater pitch range and control.
I'm not looking to be an apologist for the sound in that particular soundclip, especially since I'm not associated with it or the instrument in any way, but I've noticed that a lot of folks who play touchstyle use a lot of compression to even out their sound. That's unfortunate, because it seems like a lot of players are interested in just straight-ahead Levin/Gunn rapidfire rhythm.

However, regardless of the wash of delay over this next example, there is a definite amount of dynamic expression in this clip.



Having been playing more touchstyle eight-string recently, I make use of dynamics. Since all my strings are going through the same pickups, instead of having the separation of bass and treble like many dedicated touchstyle instruments, I have to use dynamics to separate voices, or to bring out a single voice in the midst of chords.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that the Harpejji, and touchstyle instruments in general, can make use of dynamics. It just doesn't seem to be very common....
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