Eleanor Rigby performed by Göran Söllscher on an 11-string alto guitar

Originally published at: Eleanor Rigby performed by Göran Söllscher on an 11-string alto guitar | Boing Boing


Thanks. That was lovely.


Is he playing the melody and counter-melody at the same time??


Fascinating! I was hoping he would at some point unleash the dark kraken of the ninth and tenth strings; I think the farthest he went into the bass was the seventh and a couple notes on the eighth.

How do you fret when you can no longer use your thumb to brace behind the neck? Looks like he was bracing with his body maybe, and I love the moment where you see him almost press his face to the instrument, with a little smile, like nuzzling a lover.

In general, I find it much easier to play up and down the neck (my Turkish sazlar are perfect for this, having only three courses of strings and a very loooong neck) - I have trouble finding the right string in a wide-necked instrument like an oud or a lute (which can have around the same number of strings as his instrument here).

Even just the six strings on a guitar are a challenge for me, tbh; the four strings of a ukulele are so far as many as I can manage easily.

But I’d love to give one of these a try even so!


Beautiful. Thanks Rob, I needed that.


He sure is. It’s amazing what you can do when a well-trained thumb like he’s got.

I was hoping he’d use all the strings, too. But even with the few extras, it was excellent.

I think he was, it was just down lower on the neck than you’d expect and it looked like he was holding it horizontal, as opposed to vertical.


Seriously - I haven’t even made the jump from a four-string bass to five yet.

“… This one goes to eleven.”


My instrument of choice is a 1/4 size classical guitar we bought for my daughter. It’s slightly bigger than a Uke, but has six strings and has a very sweet rich sound. The action is also really low and very light to the touch, and you can totally fret with just your fingers and chest. Good for an amateur noodler like me with soft fingertips and weak hands. Mandolins and other many-stringed instruments seem to have these same razor-margin/light-touch action.


From the linked Wikipedia page…

Georg Bolin first constructed 11-string alto guitar with collaboration with Swedish guitarist Per-Olof Johnson in 1960s. Johnson is the teacher of a well-known guitarist Göran Söllscher who made this instrument famous through his extensive usage of Bolin’s 11-string alto guitar.

Taught by one of the inventors. This guy is legit.


meh, cool custom guitar for sure and way beyond what I could ever consider performing, but if you want elenor rigby on solo guitar give me Stanley Jordan or nothing


2 questions:

  1. When does a guitar become a zither or a harp?
  2. If he only plays the bottom 6 strings anyway, what’s the point of having 11?

If we’re sharing Eleanors Rigby, may I recommend Eleanor Rigby Pokemon Battle Theme (Beatles Mashup/Remix) - YouTube ?

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