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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.

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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.