A SIX-NECKED guitar known as The Beast' has been amusing music lovers in Weymouth.

The unusual instrument at Weymouth Music shop in Great George Street has a retail price of £739 including a gig bag.

Shop owner and music teacher Ed Hintze said: "Its actual make is Hutchins The Beast.

"There are only 12 of this make in the whole country. It's just one of those funny things someone with a strange quirky mind such as myself would go for.

"I can't play the guitar, I'm a keyboard man. My colleague Shane can, though: the top ones are easy to play and the bottom guitar necks are harder."

Shop assistant Shane Churchill demonstrated the collector's item's capability. Half the challenge of playing it is being able to handle the six-necked beast.

Shane, 28, said: "The sheer weight of it alone is immense. It almost needs more effort to hold it up than to actually play it.

"The first few guitar necks are easy to play and then it gradually gets harder the further you go down."

The top 12-string guitar head is followed by a six-string standard guitar, a five-string bass, a four-string bass, then a seven-string guitar suited for heavy metal music, and at the bottom another six-string guitar.

Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin made the double-neck guitar famous, and Shane said this six-headed design marketed by an American company took the concept even further.

He added: "These are made to order, really. The company finished making all 12 back in March and we received this one in April. It's been getting a lot of attention, the main comment is you have to be an octopus to play it.

"Having eight arms would definitely come in handy for holding it up."