Strings? Nope. Frets? Not really. The Misa Digital Guitar, an open source, Linux-powered MIDI controller, brings shredding to the 21st century by dumping traditional guitar strings for buttons and a futuristic touch screen.

Before you wooden-guitar purists get all bent out of shape, the Misa's creator wants to make this perfectly clear: the digital guitar is intended to complement the traditional guitar, not replace it.

Intended as a tool for making electronic music, the Misa is played by pressing the 144 note buttons with the left hand and tapping a touch screen control pad with the right. As a MIDI controller, the Misa can play any instrument pack you happen to have on your computer.

The Misa's creator, Michael, explains:

In electronic music, the timbre (or colour) of the sound can be morphed in an infinite number of ways. For a guitar to accommodate this, the right hand needs more control than just plucking strings. You need to be able to control elements of the sound, such as sustain, pitch, filter cutoffs, contour or any other synthesizer parameter, in a way that has no physical constraints.

To take your solos back to the future, check out the Misa Digital homepage. [Misa Digital via Engadget]