Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ugly may be the new beautiful--at least as far as musical instruments are concerned

Today's New York Times has a very interesting article on how designers of acoustic stringed instruments (guitars, violins, etc.) are using high-tech modeling and new materials to create great-sounding, unconventional-looking instruments.

Perhaps someday wooden instruments will go the way of the wooden tennis racket. (Bye-bye, Jack Kramer.)

Watch the accompanying video to see the article's author, Andrew Revkin, playing the guitar upside down and left-handed, a la Jimi Hendrix. (News flash: I just heard an NPR story on left-handed guitar playing--nice coincidence--and Hendrix in fact does not play fully upside down... he plays a right handed guitar flipped over but with the strings reversed, so the high E string is at the bottom of the guitar and the low E at the top--so he can use conventional chord fingerings, True "upside down" players, according to the story, include Dick Dale and Albert King. I also remember seeing Karl Wallinger of World Party and he is an upside-down player.)

(Picture: the Identity Series from Babicz Guitars--note the strange string terminals arrayed on the bottom edge of the guitar)

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