A campfire guitar, driven by an arduino, with no strings attached.

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When i tried to learn the guitar, I always had the problem of too many fingers for too few strings. So I planned to get rid of them (strings, not fingers!). The result is a perfectly playable instrument, that is technically an arpeggiator, that sounds like a guitar.

You can choose from up to 11 strumming or picking patterns per song with your right hand, and up to 11 chords per song with your left hand, each one with only a single finger.

It features:

- an OLED Display that shows you the actual settings you chose for a song
- knobs for speed, volume and "raking"
- an SD-Card reader for your song library
- an USB-Port for programming and power supply
- a separate power jack
- a compartement for a 9V battery (for usage in the woods by the fireside)

A technical overview of the project

Sorry for the bad quality, i just used my laptops built-in cam & mic

  • Fooled by the chords

    Andy Drop03/27/2017 at 13:30 0 comments

    If anyone knew the song, i sang in the demo video, she will have noticed, that it sounded "strange". I used that song because at least to german ears it is the "hello world" of campfire songs. But it normally sounds quite different. I spent several days now looking for the reason in my software.

    But yersterday evening, i found, that the chords are simply the wrong chords for this song, but thanks to the "cut & paste" charakter of the internet they are to be found literally everywhere. SO I will do another "hello world song" in the next days, And i will do it wit my phone, which also gives me better movie and sound quality.

View project log

  • 1
    Step 1


    • Full Sized Guitar (as cheap as possible, it is only used as a case, you could also build a case yourself)
    • Arduino (I chose the Mega, for its memory, but with the added SD-Card i think it could be downsized)
    • Fluxamasynth Board (a midi synthesizer for arduino)
    • Rechargable speaker (with a built-in amplifier and a 3.5mm jack. I bought a round one that covers the hole in the guitar)
    • OLED-isplay
    • 2 matrix-keyboards 12 keys
    • SD-Card reader with SPI-nterface
    • MCP 3008 A/D Chip with SPI-nterface
    • 3 Potentiometers (for volume, speed and "raking")
    • USB connectors m/f (to bring the arduino USB port to the case wall)
    • Power connectors m/f (to bring the power jack to the case wall)
    • 9V Battery compartement
    • some wire (i used flat cable wherever possible)

    Tip: I bought a new guitar for as low as 20 Euro, which had the advantage that it is only made of cottonwood, which could be easily cut wit a box cutter.

View all instructions

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