In an ocean of guitarists vying for online and social media stardom, Luca Stricagnoli has no trouble standing out.
His jaw-dropping fingerstyle covers of songs like The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama are impressive enough, but even more unbelievable are his self-designed Frankenstein-esque instruments.
They include a triple-neck acoustic guitar boasting both six- and seven-string necks and an acoustic bass, and his newer reversed slide neck, a contraption that attaches to the upper bout of a standard acoustic to make possible a whole new range of sounds.
And he showcases the latter in his latest video, an eye-watering cover of Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing, from the band’s 1985 album, Brothers in Arms.
The device – designed by Stricagnoli and built by Italian luthier Davide Serracini – is essentially a headless, bodiless four-string guitar with a slide clamped to the strings, but movable along the fingerboard.
Playing the track’s hook using the reversed slide neck with his right hand, while playing an accompanying tapping part on the regular six-string acoustic neck with his left, Stricagnoli reminds us of his formidable ambidexterity, before adding a sense of rhythm in the verse with some ultra-tight percussive slaps.
“Money For Nothing by Dire Straits is a true classic, played by so many guitarists all over the world,” Stricagnoli says. “This iconic riff by Mark Knopfler has already been performed in all sorts of ways, but never on a reversed slide neck.”
The Italian virtuoso sat down with Guitar World last year to wax lyrical on his insane acoustic chops.
“My dream when I started getting into fingerstyle guitar was to bring my own contribution to the way guitar is played,” he said. “I want to leave a mark for the new wave of guitar players, and maybe one day – 20 or 30 years later – a guitarist says, ‘I play this weird way because of Luca Stricagnoli.’ That would be a life goal.”