The early readers of Muzicosphere will probably remember the articles I wrote about stringed instruments dedicated to 2 handed tapping (Is it a Piano, a Guitar or a Bass? No it’s a Tap Guitar Part 1 & Part 2). In one of these articles I’ve mentionned an incredible instrument invented by Jan Van Kelst: The Kelstone. This instrument seemed to be derived from a guitar, a bass, and a piano. I was quite curious about the Kelstone, and I wanted to see one for real. That’s what I did while I was at the Frankfurt Musikmesse where Jan was displaying his creation.
Here is a video that shows some of the technics and possibilities of the Kelstone. I love the tone of the instrument.
Cherry on top, I had the chance to try it a little bit, and luckily for you there is no video footage of this. Your ears are safe for now. Joking aside, the instrument is a bit disturbing as I expected it to be. The position of the hands on the touchboard is related to the position of the hands on a piano. However, the technics you will have to use are more related to bass, and guitar rather than a piano, and it opens a lot of possibilities to use a lot of different ways to play. For the sound to be optimal, you’ll have to hit the notes right in the middle of the space between the frets. Inevitably, the first notes I’ve played were crappy sounding. Once this harsh first contact was passed then I found it easier play some simple melodies. I am pretty certain that it wouldn’t take long to start having fun with a Kelstone. It should be much harder to master it as Jan does, but that’s the whole point of playing a new instrument isn’t it?
The Kelstone will price at approximately 1000€, and regarding to the wide possibilities offered by this instrument I think it worths the money.