I love learning new instruments. Some I do better at: trumpet (played in high school and college bands) and harmonica (self-taught, mostly do bluegrass and country stuff, not so great at the blues though).

Other instruments I just dabble in: Native American flute (I have wooden Cheyenne6-hole flute and a Choctaw 5-hole reed flute, I can play simple songs on both), the lap harp, guitar, and drum.

Well I can now add a new instrument in the dabbling column – the Stylophone!

The Stylophone
image from Thinkgeek.com

It is a wicked cool, stylus-controlled, hand-held synthizer. It was first created in 1967 and has been used on a few albums over the years by artists like David Bowie, Kraftwerk and Erasure, but wasn’t made for about 30 or so years.

Anyway they started making them again beginning in 2007.

So, how did I get one. Well my brother Daniel gave me a gift certificate last year for my birthday to this really cool online store, Thinkgeek.com. I unfortunately never used the gift certificate until recently, but when I did saw a styleophone and knew I had to get one.

So how does it sound?

Pretty flipping amazing. It has 3 different sounds (plus a vibrato function) and a range of about 1-1/2 octaves. I think it is in a minor key. Oh… and if you plug it into a guitar amp, it has a nice sound.

So anyway stay tuned as soon I’ll have some tunes uploaded for your listening displeasure.

Here’s some more links about the instrument…

Stylophonica.com – official site

The Stylophone website – fan site, dedicated to collectors of the original British-made version of the instrument