Ever Seen Someone Play Guitar with a Spinning Wheel?

For guitarists with percussive sensibilities who don’t mind scuffing up their guitar a little, the Rhysonic Wheel, invented by Pete O’Connell, may just be something to watch out for.

The Rhysonic Wheel, a mechanical wheel that spins at a fixed tempo and can be used to strum your guitar or create rhythmic patterns, was born from — you guessed it — a bicycle wheel.

“I got the idea for this instrument, initially, remembering back to when I was a kid and I would ride my bicycle with a hockey card attached to the front fork with a clothespin and I was thinking about what a nice sound it made rattling in the spokes and that got me thinking it would be neat to use a bicycle wheel as a musical instrument,” O’Connell says on his Facebook page.

If you check out O’Connell’s Vimeo channel, you can see exactly what it took to build and test out the Rhysonic Wheel, as well as a handful of videos featuring O’Connell busking with it.


“I had this really clear image in my head of me performing on Dam Square in Amsterdam on a bicycle with its back wheel propped up and me pedaling the bike and the back wheel was making music by hitting percussion or something. So from there, over the past few years, and after many nights (and failed attempts) in the workshop it has developed into the Rhysonic Wheel.”

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and it certainly isn’t for those who prefer spotless, pristine instruments, but the rhythmic effect of the Rhysonic Wheel sounds surprisingly cool, offering a unique medium for performers to play guitar and percussion at once.

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