Jordan Rudess gives a new meaning to ‘Keytar’ in wild custom build

Half-guitar, half-keyboard, full beast.

Jordan Rudess Keyboard Guitar 'Keytar' Instrument

Image: Jordan Rudess via YouTube

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Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess has lent a whole new meaning to the term ‘Keytar’.

The musician recently unveiled a prototype half-guitar, half-keyboard instrument in collaboration with custom builder Druzkowski Guitars.

“I’m very excited,” Rudess says, as he introduces his latest axe to fans in a new YouTube video. “Because today I got to look at the very first prototype of a new instrument I’m designing with Przemek Druzkowski, the master guitar builder.”

“This is the first prototype and I’m blown away because I didn’t expect to see it today. You can see that it’s all one piece. And again, it’s totally a prototype. I’m sharing it with you guys so you can be excited about it as well.”

Adding that the instrument weighs “about as much as a Les Paul altogether”, Rudess says, “It’s going to be awesome. It will feature one of Przemek’s guitar designs and it will have a MIDI keyboard below.”

The inspiration behind this musical beast appears to have come from a video Rudess posted last March, where he was seen flexing — sorry, shredding on both an electric guitar and a piano simultaneously.

The impressive demonstration prompted a fan to comment: “Bro. I just had an insane idea. We need a Twin neck, guit-synth. One neck mini-keyboard, other neck guitar. Load it up with effects and call it The Wizard’s Axe.”

And it certainly seems like Rudess has taken the suggestion to heart.

No stranger to builds of the weird and wild variety, Druzkowski Guitars had previously created a Strandberg-esque custom eight-string headless signature guitar for Rudess dubbed The Wizard Guitar.

In addition to its 49-key MIDI keyboard, Rudess’ new prototype shares some features with that model, such as the bridge cutaway and the distinctive long upper horn, though it currently features a six-string, single-humbucker design instead.

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