What is a Shuitar?!
Read the brochure on how to play.
The shuitar [/shuh tahr'/ or [/shwee' tahr/] or [/shoo' ih tahr/] or [/shih' tahr/], is a dynamic percussion instrument with a wide variety of sounds and a highly portable alternative to the drum set.
The shuitar was created in 1998 with the first fully-developed production model made available in 2012. It is used by the inventor, Matt Glassmeyer (Lambchop, Meadownoise), Jano Rix (The Wood Brothers), Fred Eltringham (Sheryl Crow), Brit Turner (Blackberry Smoke),
Marty Beller (They Might Be Giants), Jon Radford (Justin Townes Earle), Ryan Fowler, Jamie Dick and many others. Shuitars have been played in and/or shipped to almost every US state and in 10 countries.
The shuitar keeps a tasteful, low profile in intimate acoustic settings. Also, with as little as one mic on the sound hole, it can get huge, especially through a bass amp or PA. And now you can walk around while playing drum grooves. The shuitar is every bit as effective as the cajon, djembe, suitcase drum kit, or cocktail drum.
In the studio, small clubs, or large concerts, the shuitar has been the drum set or additive percussion for nearly every style. The instrument is also perfect for rhythmic accompaniment of music students.
It is easy to start playing with no limit to skill or musicality. If you can play a beat with your hands, you can play the shuitar. Non-drummers can use it to create organic drum sounds without having to learn or carry a drum set. For those with percussion skills, it offers a new set of drum sounds, portability, and a different volume range.
Shuitars are designed for sound, function, and aesthetics (in that order) and sold exclusively by the inventor from a small workshop. The guitar bodies have custom shuitar specs ordered from China to keep the price affordable for working musicians. They are augmented with 26 additional pieces including stainless steel hardware and wood parts made by hand.
Matt Glassmeyer found a guitar on a rain-soaked junk pile in Miami in 1997. By 1998, it still didn't work as a guitar so he began beating on it in porch jams in Murfreesboro, TN. With additions, subractions, experimentation, the "shuitar" [spelling credit due to Matty Zarth], became the drumset for The Hamitups in Murfreesboro in 1998-99. From 2000-05, Matt created multiple versions of the shuitar as the drumset with The Morpholinos (NYC), the first album recording of the shuitar (Rock With You, 2005). Matt played shuitar on the 2006 Rix Glassmeyer record "24,200 mi." and on the Blues Clues kids' show.
In 2007, he began to use it with Church of Cleanliness in Nashville. (Hambone Jones, 2010.) Since 2012, Matt has played shuitar on his Meadownoise project, on European tours with Lambchop, in jams with some of Nashville's best bluegrass players, and with Charlie Worsham at the Ryman Auditorium, the Tonight Show, and his Warner Brothers release "Rubberband."
Jano Rix, Nashville drummer and longtime musical collaborator with Matt, played shuitar on tour with The Gabe Dixon Band and other Nashville songwriters during the mid-2000s. Jano continues to develop shuitar sounds and playing techniques with The Wood Brothers on tour, from Carnegie Hall to Bonnaroo. It is featured on the 2013 Wood Brothers recording, The Muse.
Many more are currently exploring the instrument's possibilities and there is plenty of new ground to be broken. All are invited to help take this young instrument to new places.
The first production model was developed by Glassmeyer and released for sale in 2012. (Read the Native Magazine feature.) The current, raw-wood Shuitar B design has the same big sound as the original Type 1, but with a natural finish that ages gracefully with your own playing style.
There is a 10-day return policy. Six percent of profits go to The Nature Conservancy and the Forestry Stewardship Council.