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Strange DIY “keyytar” from 1974

Submitted by on November 19, 2009 – 10:03 am 4 Comments

Forest Terry Jr. (from the “Forest Power Band) came up with one of the stranger frankenstein instruments that I’ve seen in a while, and way back in 1974 he put out an album to show it off to the world.

Forest called the Keyboard-Bass the “Keyytar” (yes, there are 2 y’s). The really interesting thing about his custom DIY instrument is that it was built years before the first real keytar, the PMS Syntar.

He even got two patents to protect his abomination innovation. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, you can read the patents here and here. Below is a picture of Terry proudly showing off one of his patents:

Although he referred to it as the “Tri-speed Moog Synthesizer Guitar”, the keyboard actually controlled an Arp Odyssey. (“Moog” was a pretty generic term referring to pretty much any synthesizer back then).

Here’s a video showing Terry playing his Keyytar in 2 songs of his, “Branch-In-Out”, and “Satellite Love”:

Definitely a product of the 70’s… it sort of gives a new meaning to the term “synth bass”, doesn’t it?

SynthGear Tags

  • diy music instrument
  • самодельный музыкальный инструменты


  • Ishfaq says:

    Man, I would KILL for one of those!

  • racy_rick says:

    This is awesome, looks kinda like Futureman’s keytar. I like the video, but the audio quality is really low. Sweet timelapse of manhattan.

    I’ve now watched this video twice, he doesn’t seem to be playing the instrument at any time during the recordings. There are keyboard, sax and guitar solos which he is gyrating to, but nothing that sounds like a moog, even at 8:00 when he seems to be playing the keyboard it still sounds like the comping keyboard.

  • Jack Hertz says:

    Holy COW! You could land a 747 on out those shirt collars.

  • Alex Andersson says:

    I’m sure a set of mini-keys would have been more appropriate for a guitar instead of those huge establishment-type piano keys. And what happened to the curved keyytar of the original advertisement? Does that guitar still exist somewhere in a museum or private collection or something? Would LOVE to see THAT one in action, if it still exists!

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