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The Self-Picking Circle Guitar Seeks to “Push Guitar Playing into New, Unexplored Territories”

Circle Guitar
(Image credit: Anthony Dickens)

No matter how fast your favorite shredder picks, there’s no way they can compete with the Circle Guitar.

This ingenious design, assembled by builder Anthony Dickens, uses a built-in mechanical step sequencer that rotates up to 250bpm beneath the strings.

As a result, it can “generate sounds, textures and rhythms that would be impossible with a conventional electric guitar”, says its creator.

The sequencer has 128 holes into which a pick can be placed, and the circle can be programmed using five color-coded pick intensity settings.

A hexaphonic pickup captures the signal, which means each string can be outputted and processed individually, while six body-mounted switches control whether the signal passes to your amp, mixing desk or computer interface. You can even sync its tempo via USB to the clock of any DAW.

In terms of more regular guitar features, the Circle Guitar features an ash body, rosewood fretboard and laser-cut matte black acrylic electronic cover. A single 3D printed unit houses the mechanical parts.

The Circle Guitar is a working prototype that underwent two years of development, and was built at London’s Makerversity.

We look forward to seeing what players could do with this…

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.