Double-neck electric guitars aren’t a new innovation, but in 2014 LostAlone guitarist Steven Battelle debuted an intriguing new build that took the template into territory no one had seen before.
With an effectively seven-string SG model, Battelle added an additional single-string neck to his custom guitar. With that extra string came an extra pickup – side mounted – and a whole host of new performance possibilities.
What inspired Battelle to create the unique axe, you ask? Well, Victor Hugos Les Miserablesapparently.
More precisely, said the British rock guitarist music radar (opens in new tab) He needed an extended guitar to play with Crusaders – the opener of the 2014 album by LostAlone forms of screamingwritten with no regard for what is possible on a six-string guitar.
It’s also a song that came about at a time when Battelle was “obsessed” with the music of Les Miswhich in turn prompted him to compose the boundless double-riff hook of Crusaders.
To get an idea of how the guitar actually works, watch the video below.
“In order to paraphrase a familiar phrase and transpose it into guitar language, I realized I had layered more than I could play,” says Battelle. “The song is called Crusaders and opens our data set forms of screams.
“I was totally obsessed with it Les Miserables Musical at the time,” he continued, “and wanted to push what we could do as a threesome — not just in the studio but on stage — and become more like an entire enterprise than just a three-piece rock band. ”
In his quest to capitalize on this expansive sound, Battelle quickly realized that a standard seven-string would not cut it due to the unfamiliar logistics and confusing fretting. As such, he sought out Leicestershire Luthiers’ Nigel Roberts to help resolve his problems.
“The studio version [of Crusaders] has chords that move while a deep heavy riff is happening and that presented a problem,” he mused. “I tried a 7-string but couldn’t explain to my brain why what was an E looked like an A, so I came up with this idea.
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“I aired my thoughts to my friend Nigel who is a brilliant luthier and a few days later he sent me blueprints for the guitar. The guitar means I can play the riff and chords and sing at the same time.”
The result is a remarkably clever guitar that offers the user the ability to use a low B or A when needed, without sacrificing the DNA and feel of a regular six-string guitar. Plus, that silver finish looks mighty cool against the traditional cherry red wood grain.
While most double-neck guitars feature much larger bodies to accommodate multiple extra strings, Battelle’s Baby retains the exact dimensions and layout of the original guitar except for a single bridge saddle attached to anchor the extra string.
Now Battelle is able to play the riff and chords and sing at the same time without sacrificing too much feeling. Genius.
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LostAlone’s upcoming album The Martial Twenties (opens in new tab) will be released on September 30th via Dharma Records and is available for pre-order now. Whether the wild SG-style seven-string will experience any more action remains to be seen…