Seiji Igusa plays a guitar with no neck in his most bonkers video yet

Seiji Igusa
(Image credit: Seiji Igusa/YouTube)

Picture this: you’re on your way to a gig – perhaps the biggest of your life – that you’ve spent months preparing for. Alas, when you arrive and open up the case to your electric guitar, you realize in horror you’ve made one fatal mistake: you’ve left your guitar neck at home.

A likely thing to happen? Absolutely not, though it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for all possible scenarios, right? 

Well, that’s exactly what must have been going through the head of Seiji Igusa – you know, the guy who put classical strings on his Telecaster – when he set about recording his latest video, which saw him literally remove the neck of his guitar for a quick jam.

We can’t think of anyone who would actually go out their way to take the neck off their instrument and try to get a tune out of it. Igusa is clearly strides ahead of us in his creativity, and as such it’s no surprise that he manages to pull it off.

Just like his previous video, it shouldn’t work. Without the neck, there is no headstock, and without a headstock and tuners there is nothing pulling the strings tight. As such, there is no tension on the strings and no way any melodic tune can be composed.

That wasn’t stopping Igusa. Admittedly, it’s a fairly percussive-heavy performance, though the brave Japanese player still manages to squeeze out some semblance of tonal activity by pulling the strings as tight as he can with his left hand.

We do also need to talk about that percussion, because the creativity on display is quite something. The body is, naturally, used as a kick and snare, though the string saddles are also utilized for some raking, washboard-esque rhythms. 

What’s next then, Seiji? How about playing guitar without a body? Or a guitar without strings? Knowing Igusa’s track record, he’s probably already working on videos for both.

If you want to keep up to date with his creative clips, visit his YouTube channel (opens in new tab).

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.