Meet Max Clouth, an exciting True Temperament guitarist.

As our frets, necks and guitars spread around the world, we also constantly meet new exciting guitarists that we want to try to portray here on our website. One of the last meetings was with Max Clouth who has been devoted to True Temperament for many years. Max plays many different stringed instruments but has become known for his double-necked guitar he developed together with guitar builder Philipp Neumann. So let’s see what Max has to say!


Hi Max, when do you start play guitar?

My mother thought guitar would be the perfect instrument for me, because you can carry it with you, and you can play alone, just by yourself… when I was 7, she asked me if I wanted to learn guitar, and I said yes. I went to a classical guitar teacher for about 3 years, and then I stopped, because classical guitar wasn’t really the right thing for me. But from then on – I was probably 9 – I always had a guitar around. But first, I really wanted to become a painter! …and then I realised that playing guitar is a much more direct way of expression. So, in the end, I chose the guitar over painting, mainly because I realised how much I love it : The shape, the feeling, the sound….

You studied jazz guitar for many years but then moved to India to study with Pandit Nayan Ghosh, why Hindustani music?

Mostly because there are striking similarities to jazz: Raag music is a lot about improvisation, intuition, being in contact with the source where music flows from. Plus, Hindustani Music is strong on both the modal and rhythmical aspect of music, which makes it quite attractive to me.

But mostly it’s the improvisation factor – and that caught me early on. I heard an Indian classical concert In the town where I grew up, and the music touched me in a deep way.

Influences? Music and guitarists?

John McLaughlin is very important to me. And I love Slash. Pat Metheny too, Jimi Hendrix, Django Reinhardt… I love the sound of the Guitar in general! I listen to a lot of different stuff. Jazzrock of course, but also pop music, Indian artists, I love Led Zeppelin, Sun Ra, John Mayer, L’Imperatrice, NOFX, Nikhil Banerjee, microtonal music by Alois Haba and Ivan Wishnegradsky, Mozart, Bach…my girlfriend is a cello player, so I get to hear a lot of classical music too.

You are known for your double neck guitar, tell us about it!

I wanted a guitar that’s both fretted and fretless – and there is no other way than having two necks – at least for what I am looking for in terms of accessibility etc. And I like having two different sound qualities in one instrument.

How did you first come into contact with True Temperament?

I think at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt, ia few years ago… I loved the intonation right away.

Why are True Temperament frets important?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the huge subject that is intonation, tuning. For me, the TT is the only way to have a guitar that’s always in tune, even on the higher frets.

Now you just released a new album, tell us!

My new album “Entelecheia” features my dream band: Marja Burchard (of German band Embryo), Bodek Janke on drums, Tony Clark on Shakuhachi flute, Kabuki on Modular Synth… We basically jammed in the studio and used the best parts, and then overdubbed more… the overall mood of this album is pretty esoterical, mystical, I think. ntelecheia” is a term from Greek philosophy: an entity that carries its fulfilled state with in itself, before being physically manifested…

Plans ahead Albums, touring, other projects?

With my main group Ragawerk, we are working on a new album, to be released in 2025. With Ragawerk we perform live quite a lot too. And I am doing some duo projects, one with Luis Gallo, a flamenco guitarist from Madrid that we are touring a lot, another one with Paul Janoschka, a fantastic piano player from my hometown Frankfurt. You have to keep moving, I guess… but I love what I do, I couldn’t see myself without the guitar as my constant companion.


Thanks Max for a quick overview and good luck with all projects. As you all understand, there is a lot more to read and listen to from Max, so we are sending you a few links so you can delve deeper.


Stay tuned…