Main Content

I’ve always wanted to automatically detune and retune the strings of a guitar while the guitarist was playing. In this project I tried, and managed, to do exactly that with the help of technician Johan Nördstrom. After completing the project I wrote some music for guitarist Ruben Mattia Santorsa.

Attempt 1
The first attempt was on a classical guitar. Johan and me tried to build a system with two linear motors that would move a second, mobile bridge up and down, in fact modifying the length of the strings. It didn’t work as planned, since the noise of the motors was overwhelming, killing the feeble sound of the guitar.

Attempt 2
Johan found out about the Tronicaltune system, a set of motorized tuning pegs for electric guitar that are meant to automatically tune the guitar at your command. The original Tronicaltune system is constituted by six machine heads and a shaft that is attached to the headstock, containing a circuit with a pickup for each string. While strumming, the circuit would compare the sensed pitch to the desired pitch, and adjust the tuning by controlling the motors accordingly.”

Link to article