Sign in / Join

All About Electric Hurdy Gurdy – A Modern Twist On A Medieval Instrument

The electric hurdy gurdy is the perfect blend of centuries-old tradition with modern technology. With its unique sound and distinctive appearance, it has captured the interest of musicians and music enthusiasts alike.

Solid-body electric hurdy gurdies, unlike their acoustic counterparts, lack a resonant body. Resembling electric guitars, these instruments excel in managing high volume levels effortlessly. In this article, we will delve into everything you need to know about an electric hurdy gurdy.

How does it Work?

An electric hurdy gurdy operates on the same principle as its acoustic counterpart, and the electronic components. It consists of a wheel that is turned by a crank, causing friction against strings stretched over a soundboard.

The strings are pressed against the wheel by keys, which determine the pitch of the notes produced. In electric versions, pickups are installed to capture the sound vibrations and amplify them electronically.

Electro-Acoustic Hurdy Gurdy 

This hybrid model usually integrates piezo pickups or alternative internal amplification methods to capture string vibrations and generate a signal suitable for amplification through external sound systems.

The outcome is a flexible instrument adaptable to various settings, ranging from grand concerts to cosy acoustic sessions. With its fusion of contemporary and classic attributes, the electro-acoustic hurdy gurdy stands as a favoured option for regular concert performers.

Piezo Systems vs. Electromagnetic Pickups

In the electric hurdy gurdy, you have two choices for amplification: an electromagnetic pickup and a piezo system. Many hurdy gurdy players prefer electromagnetic pickup because it amplifies the instrument without blending sounds from other strings, giving a clear melody string sound. However, it requires steel core strings.

On the other piezo works as a sensor that transforms the vibrating strings’ sound into an electrical signal for amplification. It’s often a more budget-friendly choice, but without a good preamp, it can sound weak and thin.

To sum it up, an electric hurdy gurdy is an interesting instrument because it mixes traditional stuff with modern elements. It comes with a lot of cool features and choices, making it an ideal choice for musicians who like trying out different sounds and styles.