I am writing to inquire if Steve Vai would consider commissioning Ibanez to create a dream custom guitar.
My dream guitar would be one with fanned fretting and 8 strings with an additional low string a 5th below the low E tuned to an A at 55 Hz and an additional treble string a 4th above the high E tuned also to an A at 440 Hz. It would ideally have a tremolo bar installed with this configuration.
This dream guitar is not without precedent, at least not within the Classical Guitar World. I believe it is without precedent for an Electric Guitar.
The Classical Guitarist Paul Galbraith had a classical guitar designed by Luthier David Rubio to these exact specifications (without the tremolo bar)
The primary reason for this design in Galbraith's own words, was to increase the available range within one hand position, facilitating fingerings by reducing extreme finger stretching as well as making previously impossible bass and treble note combinations now possible, thereby enabling a greater control of voicings.
The additional strings effectively surround an unaltered traditional 6-string Guitar balancing the instrument harmonically.
Luthier Rubio's inspired solution to the problem of designing the instrument was based on the Renaissance model of the “Orpharion”. The Orpharion was unique in fretted string-instruments in that it gave a staggered, rather than uniform length to the strings. This was achieved by using a slanting bridge and nut, opening up in length towards the bass, with the frets “fanning out” over the complete length of the fingerboard. Fan Fretting apparently is nothing new!
It is my personal belief that a Guitar created to these specifications would create yet another "Winner" that would be recognized and appreciated by the Guitar Community worldwide.
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