Williams Keyboard Guitar


I was wondering (as you do) what happened to the Williams Keyboard Guitar that I remember reading about just over a year ago following its appearance at the 2004 Summer NAMM show? Well, they've now got their website up and running at keytarinc.com. I still think it looks very silly, but wonder what anyone who's ever tried one thinks of its playability? (Don't ask me, I'm not a keyboard player).

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:shock: . It looks like the sort of thing knocked up out of cardboard to put in a shop window. Given that it's a pro instrument, I suppose this one's proper Medium Density Fibreboard :roll:

I mentioned Reg Godwin's site about WEM guitars on another thread. WEM's Charlie Watkins was an accordian player and he had a dabble in the guitar-organ (called Project 4) back in the '60s:

Pic hosted on http://www.watkinsguitars.co.uk/othersolids.htm

It was a commercial disaster. Said Charlie, "a guy buys a guitar because that's the sound he wants in his ear. If he wanted organ sound he would probably buy an organ!"

Yeah, but this keyboard guitar thing is a completely different kettle of fish. It's got strings and a pickup and it actually sounds like a guitar. Only thing is, it has a small keyboard for the left-hand rather than a fingerboard. It's a guitar for keyboard players, basically.

Truey nuff. One half of me wants to applaud such innovation and bravery, the other half wants to keep the wallet firmly in the pocket. Result: no clap from me.

What I don't understand is, what's the point, these days? A keyboard player can download strat-marshall-2x10.html and do a reasonable job of a guitar sound using an instrument (s)he's familiar with. Similarly, a piezo bridge and a box of tricks lets fretboard-man make whatever noise (ish) required. So, what's the point of these strange hybrids, then? I could see some point in the analogue 80s, but not now.

As an example, I managed to resurrect an old Yam keyboard at the school. "Go on, play something then - Mr Muso" they said. I just stared at the thing; I had a feeling "Twinkle Twinkle" wasn't going to cut it. I have as much know-how on a keyboard as a Mongolian nose-flute. I'd far rather use the fretboard and some (mildly convincing) patches to do the job.

I bet Herbie Hancock has one, but im with you Bass, whats the point? then of course you can have a guitar synth, but again whats the point, just go and get yourself a synth and learn how to play it, does anyone own a Roland ready guitar?

:lol: arf :lol: . Sorry, you mis-read me, Lee. You actually contradicted me but, hey, we're chums and I'll save my revenge :lol:

What I meant was; I'm useless at keyboard, but I want synth sounds. Do I buy a synth and learn a new instrument? No, I'm too lazy. I'd buy a box of tricks that makes my bass emulate a synth. Vice versa, if I were an ivory-tinkler. The opposite of what you said, Lee - the digi-patch is now getting so close that I'm more tempted to stick to the fretboard I know than bother about with 88 black and white bits of plastic laid out in a way I don't instantly understand.

As for "Roland ready" - I'm partly there. I have a set of the Graphtech piezo saddles. Primarily, I want a semi-convincing acoutic bass sound to come out of the amp (and blend it with the magnetic). Who knows, though? It can be easily upgraded to Roland's GK output and plugged into a V-Bass (cf VG88 etc). When the price drops (and it will; digistuff drops like a stone as the years pass) I might pick one up. I chatted to upright bass guru Bob Gollihur and he said the upright-emulation was "not bad". That'll do for me, "not bad". Plus all the weirdy-farty-synthy noises. Oh, and just re-allocating each string tuning sounds handy. I seem to remember Dave Rocklogixxx not being impressed with that aspect, though. Dave?

I can't be arsed with all that guitar synth stuff. If I want weird noises I use an EBow and/or a Fernandes Sustainer.

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