Skip to main content

The 18-string Imrat Guitar aims to "combine the finest aspects of sitar and guitar"

(Image credit: courtesy of Todd Mosby)

Behold the Imrat guitar, a new 18-stringed hybrid instrument designed by sitar player Imrat Khan, guitarist Todd Mosby and luthier Kim Schwartz that looks to bridge the sounds of eastern and western music.

The Imrat boasts two necks, 11 sympathetic strings, three chikara strings and four playing strings (tuned D-D-A-D).

According to the creators, this allows for “subtle and melodic phrasing characteristic[s] of sitar and modal chord harmonies found in jazz.”

There’s also a fingerboard that is scalloped to enable microtonalities, and that features an extended width for pulling notes up to a major third.

Said Mosby about the guitar, “The Imrat has allowed me develop a compositional style based on Classical North Indian raga and tradition bebop jazz."

And who knows? It could also come in handy for jamming with your next Indian classical metal band

To hear the Imrat in action, check out Mosby’s new album, Open Waters.

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.