What’s It Like to Play a 14-String Guitar?

Novelty guitars are quite a thing in the music world. And why shouldn’t they be? It’s always fun to play with tradition and form. But like, why not be into a guitar built onto a skateboard deck? Or one made out of an old oil can? You can even get guitars made out of licenses plates and shovels.

That said, we’re more impressed when a novelty guitar is actually functional and musically interesting. Which is why we’re pretty blown away by this new video from Ichika Nito. The YouTube musician and record producer recently posted a video of them playing a 14-string guitar. Yes, you heard that correctly. A 14-string guitar! And you know what’s even more amazing? He plays it absolutely beautifully.

I can’t imagine looking at a 14-string guitar and even knowing where to begin. But Ichika Nito, always one to impress on YouTube, strums out a gorgeous song. One that makes use of every single string, not just prioritizing a few. The resulting sound is full and lush. And in a lot of ways, quite mesmerizing. I found myself rather transfixed by the whole video.

YouTuber Ichika Nito strums on a 14-string guitar.
Ichika Nito

This isn’t the only impressive thing Ickika Nito has posted on their YouTube page. Back in 2019, they wowed the music world with this tuning video. Like the 14-string video, this one is almost haunting in how different and beautiful it is. You’ve never heard a simple tuning quite like this before.

That same year, Ickika Nito made Guitar World‘s list of “10 forward-thinking players [who] prove the guitar still has plenty to offer.” The site wrote of the musician: “There’s clearly a touch of the Polyphias in his playing, but his solo-guitar approach displays a more overt jazz and pop influence that produces some seriously contagious earworms.”

Who would have thought a 14-string guitar could make such a beautiful sound? Guitar makers 1 0guitars provided the incredible instrument. And we have to wonder if they’re about to get even more orders for this type of thing.

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