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Custom-made instrument

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A custom made instrument is a musical instrument that is considered to be of ones own design and/or a modification or extension of a defined guideline of a certain instrument. Many examples of custom-made instruments can be found throughout the world. Some are created simply by accident including simple modifications such as cracked drum cymbals. Some instruments are modified to create an easier playing feel such as filing down frets on guitars. Many custom-made instruments are created from household items like a home made mute for brass instruments in which the musician could use anything from pots and pans, to bathtub plugs or even pieces of garbage.

Pikasso 1Many artists prefer to modify or create their own instruments from scratch or employ an individual to build them. Most custom made instruments are acoustic guitars made of wood that are built by the person who will play it. However many instruments are created out of the imagination. Future Man from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones has manufactured a drum machine out of spare parts and created an electronic machine called a Synthaxe Drumitar. Pat Metheny uses custom built Manzer guitars built by Linda Manzer. The Shulberry is an electric custom instrument created primarily by Derek Shulman, a Shulman brother in the popular progressive rock band Gentle Giant.

Throughout history, civilization has produced thousands of different instruments. In theory we could practically attribute the custom-built title to almost every instrument for at any given time it was customized to fit in with the new technology or machinery and innovations at the time. The Clavichord is one example.

Ancient cultures were very innovative. They used bone, wood and iron to create many early wind or percussion instruments that over time developed into current day musical instruments.


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