Skip to main content

Someone crammed a MIDI keyboard into the body of a Les Paul – and it sounds insane

Here at Guitar World we’re always down for a good, bizarre electric guitar mod, and YouTuber Look Mum No Computer has fulfilled our desires today with his Gibson Les Paul with a MIDI keyboard installed in the body.

As Look Mum explains in the video, he performed the mod roughly a decade ago, while playing in a band that required both guitar and keyboards.

“Why not save carrying the guitar and the keyboard and just put them together?,” he asks.

Why not, indeed?

The hacked-up Les Paul sports two rows of LED-illuminated arcade-style buttons on its front, which act as a controller. The back, meanwhile, has extra routing crammed with a mangle of wires that hook into an Audrino-powered MIDI keyboard contraption.

(Image credit: YouTube/Look Mum No Computer)

“Some of you may be saying, ‘Why the heck have you done that to a Gibson Les Paul, why didn’t you do it to a cheaper guitar?,’ ” Look Mum asks.

“Well, the thing is, why would you do it to a cheaper guitar? If you’re gonna be using it, you may as well do it to the guitar that you like playing. I know it’s sacrilege, but what are you gonna do?”

Look Mum also installed a knob on the front of the body that changes the MIDI channel, as well as a five-pin DIN connector next to the input jack.

As for how it sounds? Judging by the video above, pretty awesome – even if Look Mum does admit that it’s hard to play.

“These keys are really small and they’re in quite an awkward position,” he acknowledges.

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.