Yamaha G10

Guitar MIDI controller

Yamaha G10 MIDI guitar controller

1988 (May)
Initially sold for ¥110,000

The Yamaha G10 MIDI Guitar Controller is a new type of musical instrument, a responsive guitar that will give the guitarist full, easy access to the vast world of MIDI sound control, without any of the delays associated with other MIDI pickups. Its corresponding guitar MIDI converter, the G10C, is essential for its use.

There are lots of sensors that make the G10 a precise and reliable MIDI instrument. An electromagnetic pickup detects the amplitude of string vibration, permitting accurate output of MIDI note velocity data corresponding to how hard the strings are played. A string bend sensor uses a precision opto-electronic system to sense string bend independently for each string. Finally Yamaha's original ultrasonic pitch sensor achieves precise pitch sensing without delay. A cover snaps in place over the G10 sensor well, covering and protecting the sensors while providing a solid rest for the picking hand.

Strings don't have to be tuned, instead they need be set to approximately the same tension using the knurled knobs on the tailpiece. A sensitivity control is provided to adjust the G10's picking sensitivity. The controller arm, very similar to the tremolo arm on electric guitar, can be used to control pitch, volume, modulation, pan or other functions. A volume wheel is conveniently located close to the controller arm, and an extra wheel next to the volume one can be set to control modulation, portamento time or pan. Two buttons at the start of the neck are used to select the desired performance memory location on the G10C guitar MIDI converter and, simultaneously, the corresponding voice on the MIDI tone generator used. Either button can be held down for continuous incrementing or decrementing.

The guitar is also equipped with a 3-digit LED display to tell the performance memory/voice currently selected. Breath controllers can also be attached to the guitar for further expression via the dedicated jack.


  • The G10 employs a new Yamaha technique in which ultrasonic sound is transmitted along the strings and the fingered fret is precisely determined by analyzing the reflected wave. Pitch data is thus available immediately so there is not response delay.
  • Smooth-operating controller arm and controller wheel can be assigned to a wide range of MIDI control change functions.
  • Breath controller jack permits use of a Yamaha breath controller so that wind and toungueing techniques can be combined with guitar performance.
  • Program change buttons are provided — with an LED display — for easy selection of voices on the controlled synthesizer or tone generator.
Yamaha G10 guitar system
Yamaha G10 guitar system