The Rhysonic Wheel, A Unique Spinning Flap That Creates a Cool Percussive Sound Onto a Guitar

Inspired by the sound a card made in his bicycle spokes when he was young, musician Pete O’Connell created the incredible Rhysonic Wheel, a unique device that combines “power tools with acoustic music”. When used with a guitar, the flap protruding from the rapidly spinning wheel strikes the strings in such a way to create a really cool melodically percussive sound through which chords and notes can be played. The wheel also sounds really good with other instruments.

I got the idea for this instrument, initially, remembering back to when I was a kid and I would ride my bike with a hockey card attached to the front fork with a clothespin and I was thinking about what a nice sound it made rattling in the spokes and that got me thinking it would be neat to use a bicycle wheel as a musical instrument. Then I had this really clear image in my head of me performing on Dam square in Amsterdam on a bicycle with its back wheel propped up and me pedaling the bike and the back wheel was making music by hitting percussion or something. So from there, over the past few years, (and after many nights (and failed attempts) in the workshop it has developed into the rhysonic wheel.

via Rare and Strange Instruments

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.