Fuzz Article

Dec 2000,GUITAR UK,Uli interview

When did the idea come to you to develop the amazing instrument you've now named the Sky guitar?

ULI:I would say the concept for the guitar originated even back in the days i played with the scorpions.It was basically down to the fact that very often when playing a lead i would tend to run out of frets at the top end,because when i was playing a lead i was thinking very much in violinist terms.As the violin register is slightly higher than a guitar it meant some of the melodies i wanted to do i could'nt do on a normal guitar.So i was struggling with that,i was'nt sattisfied.

Then i found this Luthier in Brighton called Andy Demetriou.i requested two extra frets on the strat and it came out perfectly.Then he said, "look,i can do any thing you want,so why why not design your own guitar."As i'd grown up playing the strat at first it was strange to completely invent a new guitar concept but i sat down and seriouslythought about what i wanted from the ultimate guitar,what would it have to be able to do and look like.I drew the guitar and took it to andy,who built the first Sky guitar.

In those days it was a 6 string instrument the problem,though,was it did not sound to good as i needed a better pickup than was available,a pickupthat would get the topregister i was reaching.I then foundthis ingenious english engineer called john oram of reflex pickups.he asked me what i needed and it took almost 2 years to design.It's an amazing unit called the Mega-Wing pickup.

The guitar as developed over the years and now has 7 strings and 36 frets giving me the 6-octave scale range.Steve Vai actually played my Sky guitar when i was in america once and - dont get me wrong - i have great respect for the man,but i suppose that's where he got the idea for 7 string guitars from.The first model was actually built for me way back in 85 but when i wrote the Sky concerto in 87 i had a 7 string guitar in mind but couldn't play the music untill it was built for me later that year.Ever since then i've played nothing else but the Sky guitar.