The contraguitar or Schrammel guitar is a type of guitar developed in Vienna in the mid-nineteenth century. In addition to the usual guitar neck with six strings and a fretboard, it has a second, fretless neck with up to nine bass strings. Customarily these additional strings are tuned from E-flat downwards. The lowest string on the 15-string contraguitar is usually tuned to G.
Viennese instrument maker Johann Gottfried Scherzer developed the instrument after 1848, improving on earlier, unfinished efforts by Johann Georg Stauffer (1778-1853), the master from whom Scherzer had learned his craft.
The contraguitar is heard almost exclusively in Viennese folk music, especially Schrammelmusik. Occasionally it is also used in Alpine folk music.
- Die Kontragitarre in Wien by Reinhard Kopschar (Diploma Thesis)