Here's an ode to a piece of gadgetry rarely covered on GuitarWorld.com, something that has brought a whole new world of sounds to guitarists' fingertips: the guitar synthesizer, aka the guitar synth. First of all, exactly what is a guitar synth? To quote Norm Leet, who wrote an authoratative feature on the topic for Roland's UK website, "a guitar synth is a synth module whose input device is a guitar instead of a keyboard."
In 1990, guitarist Ned Evett smashed his Strat onstage. When he noticed the neck was unbroken, he simply removed the frets and developed a style he'd eventually become known for -- even developing his own fretless, mirrored-glass-necked guitars along the way. His own website refers to him as "The Glass Guitarist," and Joe Satriani has called him "a monster player."
A few days ago, I caught another very cool show at The Iridium on Broadway and 51st Street here in Manhattan. It was the opening night of a two-night visit by Tony Levin's band, Stick Men, and the Adrian Belew Trio.