Do you love the sound of an electric guitar?
Do you enjoy watching someone play guitar in a way that makes your heart race?
If so, you’d want to learn more about stun guitar.
What is Stun Guitar?
This is a question that has been asked by music fans for years, and there still isn’t a clear answer.
Some say that it is a type of guitar playing designed to stun or shock the audience. Others claim that it is simply a term used to describe the sound of Eric Bloom and his band.
Stun guitar is a unique style of playing popularized by Eric Bloom and his band, Blue Oyster Cult.
As Buck Dharma reported, “We made up stun guitar to describe some of the fuzz parts Eric did. In fact, there’s a stun guitar part on the new record!”
According to Albert Bouchard, “He (Eric) played fuzz parts on “She’s As Beautiful As A Foot” and other songs on the first BOC album. They were all pretty easy so we decided to make it more mysterious by calling it Stun instead of Fuzz.”
You’d know what we’re talking about if you’ve ever watched Eric Bloom in concert, especially when playing “Don’t Fear the Reaper”. Basically, stun guitar is when he holds a distortion note for a long time before dropping into a regular rhythm. Many people believe it’s the switching of rhythm and distortion that gives Eric a special style, aka stun guitar.
Some people say that the term “stun guitar” is often used to describe the sound of a guitar being played through an amplifier with high levels of distortion. This can create a thick, heavy sound that can be quite overwhelming and sometimes even shocking. It’s this intense, in-your-face quality that has led people to call stun guitar “the world’s loudest instrument.”
Others believe stun guitar is a type of playing that uses distortion and feedback to create an effect where it seems as though there are many guitars playing at once when in fact, only one person is on stage doing all of the work themselves. The sound comes from two different sources: either electronically generated or through the use of an amplifier.
So there you have it: the truth about stun guitar. While the sound may be jarring at first, it’s a unique and powerful form of music that should be appreciated for its own merits.
And who knows? You might even find yourself enjoying it after a while!
While a stun guitar might not be an actual instrument, there are some innovative inventions by other musicians that left us in awe.
5 Instruments Invented by Famous Musicians
There comes the point when every musician does something unusual or extraordinary to amaze the audience and stand out from the crowd – just like Eric Bloom did with stun guitar.
Below are our favourite instruments created by famous musicians.
1. The Pikasso by Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny is a world-renowned jazz guitarist and composer who has created some of the most unique and innovative music of our time.
He has been seen playing a unique instrument called “The Pikasso” at his concerts since the 80s. It took him two years to create this masterpiece with 42 strings spread out over four necks that can be played in a variety of ways to create a wide range of sounds.
2. The Laser Drum Cage by Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk is a band recognized for its innovative and unique music. In addition to their electronic sounds, they are well-known for their visually stunning live performances. One of the most unusual elements of their 70s shows was the laser drum cage.
The idea was to have Wolfgang Flür stand in the drum cage and activate percussion sounds by moving his arms through beams.
Sounds weird, right?
Well, the band lost patience with it after a few shows and ditched it for an electronic drum kit.
3. The Gameleste by Björk
Björk has a history of incorporating bespoke instruments into her digital world. If you’re a fan, you know she is always pushing boundaries when it comes to her music.
For a multimedia Biophilia project, she decided to combine a celeste (small, spectral piano) with Balinese gamelan tone bars. To do the honours, she commissioned Björgvin Tómasson (an Icelandic organ craftsman) and Matt Nolan (a British percussionist).
It took them less than two weeks to build the instrument. You can hear its results in Björk’s Crystalline track.
4. The Gizmotron by 10cc
Most people know 10cc as one of the most successful rock bands in history. But what many people don’t know is that they are also accomplished inventors!
In 1972, they invented the Gizmotron, a unique musical instrument fastened across the strings of an electric guitar. It features small plastic wheels to create a hypnotic sustain effect.
The band used it on their Sheet Music album in 1974 and two subsequent albums. Afterward, Kevin Godley and Lol Crème decided to develop the instrument and quit the band. They made it the highlight of the 1977 triple album “Consequences” but once mass production began, the Gizmotron proved unreliable and left the manufacturer bankrupt.
5. The Sevena by Boredoms
This unique instrument was created by the Japanese experimental rock band Boredoms. It is made up of seven steel plates attached to a metal frame. When played, the plates create different notes depending on how they are struck.
Boredoms leader Yamantaka Eye likes to mount the Sevena on an amplifier and play it with drumsticks.
Some of these instruments didn’t prove reliable and aren’t used today but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be celebrated. We think the instruments listed above were all unique and deserve a shout-out!
Which one did you like best?
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.