Touch Guitar

Jimmie Webster

If I were to re-learn the guitar, I’d learn touch guitar. I learned the keyboard before the guitar, and it just makes sense. The two-handed tapping technique was first introduced by one of the earliest pioneers, Jimmie Webster in his 1952 method book “The Touch System for Electric and Amplified Spanish Guitar”. I first came across this guitar playing technique in the 80s when I first heard Stanley Jordan’s brilliant performances. And that was when I was still trying to figure out Eddie Van Halen’s monophonic two-handed tapping technique. I realized later that there’s a rich history with this playing style, and it is not limited to fast monophonic arpeggios. It is polyphonic, just like the piano.

The Nu Multi multichannel pickups are undoubtedly the best match for touch guitars. The Nu Multi pickups, with one output per string, allows you to control the volume, pan, and EQ, as well as a multitude of effects, per string. The last part is important and needs to be emphasized: per string.

We’ve supplied Nu Multi pickups for a variety of touch guitars for up to 10 strings. And in the past two years, we are closely collaborating with Touch Guitars. U8 CYCFI was the first of its kind, with a Nu Multi-8 and XR combo.

Quite recently, Touch Guitars built an S8 for Alexander Dowerk with a Nu Multi 8 and 3 of our new XR-Spectra in a rather unique setup, with the Nu Multi-8 paired with the XR-Spectra near the neck.

Have a look and enjoy the initial round of pictures. There will be more to follow, hopefully, including some sound clips. I’d probably write about the technical aspects of the setup as well, including my own musings about multichannel guitar. I intend to write a series of tutorials on multichannel string processing, explaining the hardware involved and various use-cases.

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