Bandit music machine and its creator, Philip Wickenden

I found Philip and his creation, "Bandit" playing outside the cathedral in Bath, England. Bandit is a unique musical machine of Philip's design which allows him to play a guitar-like instrument entirely with his feet, while he simultaneously plays a fiddle in the normal way. Philip uses his left foot to choose one of about 10 chords on the guitar, and his right foot operates a foot-pedal with flywheel that constantly strums the guitar. From what I could tell the strumming pattern alternately hits the two top strings and then the bottom four, you'd have to make a mechanical alteration to change that pattern.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: How it works

I've annotated the photos with an overview of each part of the BandIt - just what i could figure out from watching it and asking Philip a few questions. I've also included a video of Philip and BandIt in action.
I don't know how useful it would be in a musical situation....seems like you could just as easily bring along a competent player, and have more versatility. As for the engineering aspect of it, phenomenal. Truly a great invention on his part.
mortso5 years ago
I love Philip! Genius and utter madness all rolled into one! He's my kind of guy. Thanks for sharing! (PS his guitar is probably worth a new farrari) Brilliant. Just Brilliant!
Rishnai6 years ago
Reminds me a little of some of the instruments in "Animusic." Cool!
ipatch6 years ago
Wow thats pretty much the coolest thing ever If I was walking by I would put a whole lot more in than just change
seeboth7 years ago
this is great it just seems like something i could see my self doing, making a completely impracticle contraption for nothing more than my pure enjoyment, awesome, besides playing two instruments at once, is by its self an amazing feat
Nightshade7 years ago
Genius I dont care how practical this is he had an idea and went with it.
crapflinger7 years ago
FrenchCrawler...are you seriously questioning the practicality of an impractical device? i doubt that this contraption was ever designed/or built around ease of transport (and judging by the pedals) or use? don't get me wrong....i ain't lugging that contraption around on my back for a day...but i think the sheer complexity of the contraption adds to the mystique of it...and probably adds a lot to the performance...they guy's a street performer....he's got to get an edge somehow.. in short....utter coolness and ingenuity always negates complexity and awkwardness of transport
That machine must be a pain to drag around. I mean look at it, it must be almost (or it may even be) the same size of the man. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of having a machine like this to help out, but perhaps if he adding wheels (unless he uses the "flywheel", but even then, it'd be unbalanced) to it or tried to diminish the size down a little. I just can't imagine that man carrying that machine everywhere along with his violin or fiddle (sorry I'm not a musical sort). It's a wonderful idea otherwise.
prank8 years ago
I saw someone playing a foot-controlled guitar and a fiddle simultaneously outside fanueil (however you spell it...) hall in boston a couple years ago. I wonder if it's the same guy. How many banderos could there be?
radiorental8 years ago
ahhhh Bath (o; see many scruffy gents with a dog on a rope?