NEW TUNES: Ian Watts has recently purchased a Japanese Shemisen guitar to add to his collection of more than 160 instruments.
NEW TUNES: Ian Watts has recently purchased a Japanese Shemisen guitar to add to his collection of more than 160 instruments. Tegan Annett

Japanese guitar latest addition for instrument collector

IAN Watts is on the way to owning 200 instruments, if his collection continues.

His most recent addition was a Shemisen, a Japanese guitar brought on eBay.

It was badly damaged on the front and sides, but in Mr Watts' eyes, this was just another challenge.

Mr Watts gave the instrument new life, with the help of some marine ply wood.

"With a lot of cutting and hand sanding I finally got a beautiful result.

Mr Watts has learned how to play the instrument, playing by ear and with the help of a music book written in Japanese.

It was his first time playing a Japanese instrument.

"It's very delicate, this Japanese guitar. The book has been a great help. It shows me what it should look like."

His fascination with instruments started in the '80s.

"I started on the classical guitar in 1975. Then I decided to try the mandolin, then it was the banjo, and then it just kept on going from there.

"In the 1980s I started to collect them," he said. "I love music, it's a challenge and it's my passion," he said.

Now he has almost 160 instruments.

Mr Watts has been in touch with the previous owner of the guitar, and sent him before and after photos.

He soon received an email reply that said: "Now my wife understands why I like Australians so much, you are able to think outside the box and adapt.

"We are so happy the Shemisen works now."