Bricking it: this microtonal guitar features a Lego fretboard

Turkish guitarist Tolgahan Çoğulu’s creation allows you to move the frets for various alternate temperaments.

Turkish guitarist Tolgahan Çoğulu has been building various microtonal guitars over the years, both incorporating alternate tuning scales as found in traditional Turkish music, and aiming to solve the ‘major third problem.’ This arises due to the nature of dividing the octave into 12 equal semitones – a fourth fret-harmonic on a guitar’s low E string and the first fret of a G string will be the tiniest bit out of tune with each other, despite being the same scale note. By flattening the C# and G# of a standard-tuned guitar by a less than a semitone, this will no longer be the case.

Çoğulu’s latest creation to tackle this idea features a 3D-printed fretboard, incorporating lego pieces for easy rearrangement of frets. Previously, Çoğulu’s impressive creations have sported moveable frets, but none this entirely customisable.

Throughout the course of the above video, Çoğulu demonstrates the processes he and his son went through to prototype and build the guitar. The actual frets themselves are also 3D-printed, fitting onto the neck using the standardised Lego stud. Each fret piece spans only one string space, meaning each can have a completely different set of fret divisions.


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