Uli Jon Roth invented the Sky guitar because 24 frets weren’t enough

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By Steve Newton

German guitar legend Uli Jon Roth plays Vancouver this Saturday (March 19) on a bill with fellow six-string sensations Jennifer Batten and Andy Timmons. The show is part of Uli Jon Roth’s Ultimate Guitar Experience, a tour that promises to be a perfect warmup for the Generation Axe show in April, which features Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi.

While Roth first shot to fame as the lead-guitarist for Scorpions in the ’70s, performing mainly on a Stratocaster–emulating his idol Jimi Hendrix–you don’t seem him ripping up the frets on a Fender any more. Now he only plays Sky Guitars, a model he conceived of in the early ’80s because–hey, 24 frets just weren’t doin’ it for him.

Roth talked about the Sky guitar when he called me up from a tour stop in Ventura, California, last Thursday:

 

For more from Roth–including his thoughts on his current tourmates and his old band Scorps–stay tuned.

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