grady martin

Jimmy Page onstage with Led Zeppelin in 1975.
Photo by Ron Akiyama courtesy of Frank White Photo Agency.

From the primitive examples dating back to 1690, to the more modern Gibson offerings, we trace the important moments in the development and rise in prominence of multi-neck guitars.

[Originally published December 16, 2009]
As far as anyone knows, doubleneck guitars have been around as long as the guitar itself. Even still, guitars with more than one neck have always been a bit of a curiosity, never the norm. The far majority of players seem to have more than enough on their hands just working one set of strings. Some players, it seems, need more. So while we may take multi-neck guitars for granted as mere novelties, the roots of their existence, like many innovations, lie in necessity. The impetus for a guitar with more than one set of strings lies in two needs: tone and tuning. The player needs either an alternate sound or pitch from the main instrument.

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