Guitar Technology

Guitar Technology

While there is a lot of exciting technology in the musical world, which is dominating the electronic music scene, the rock and guitar led music genres tend to stick to traditional techniques as so advancements and developments in technology have been somewhat slower. That being said, there are still a few gizmos and gadgets out there which are sure to passionate and talented guitar players, some as simple as a well placed and crafted piece of metal. Here are a few developments in the world of guitars, from digital guitars and midi controllers, to quirky capos.

Passerelle Bridge - developed by creative and original guitarist Kaki King and Luthier Rachel Rosenkrantz, this simple but innovative piece of equipment quickly transforms your humble six string guitar into an entirely new twelve stringed instrument, reminiscent of a Japanese Koto. By placing the bridge over the sixteenth fret, each string will be divided into two desperate tones, a fifth apart from each other. Potential tunings are endless, and with strong pentatonic possibilities, you will find yourself improvising and composing in an entirely new way.

Spider and Harmonic capos - the capo is a basic piece of equipment at best, but recent developments have added some creative and ingenious features to this component that can be found in almost every players bag. The Spider Capo allows players to select which strings are affected by the capo, which opens up a world of possibilities using open strings and drones and even the possibility to have two or more Spider Capos to create extra complex open string arrangements. Before it was inducted, partial capos partially did the job, but the Spider Capo takes it one step further. Another slightly newer invention is the Harmonic capo, which has the same effect as gently touching the string with your finger at certain to create a high pitched noise. While limited in it’s usage, it, like the Passerelle, allows users to play with entirely new soundscapes.

Guitar snare - developed by Schlagwerk in Germany, this small addition to your acoustic guitar allows the player to experiment more with percussive sounds than were previously possible with just the body of the guitar. The adhesive has been carefully considered so that it holds the snare strongly against the body, is easily removed so the snare can be moved around, and leaves no residue on a lacquered surface. Percussive guitar is not a new idea, but having sounds more reminiscent of a standard drum kit certain.y adds more drive to your performance.

Autotuners - there are several of these available on the market in various shapes, sizes and functionalities, but one in particular, the Roadie Tuner, is a clever piece of technology designed to make the life of a guitarist a little easier. This functions through a smartphone application which detects what pitch each string is emitting before transmitting this data wireless to a small handheld device that will automatically adjust the tuning pegs on the head of the guitar until the note is pitch perfect. In quiet situations, it is a very quick and effective tool, but sometimes struggles in loud spaces. The application allows guitarists to customise tunings and so they are not forever anchored in the EADGBE standard setup.

Wi-Fi enabled guitar jacks - what started life as a humble cable has been developed into an intelligent little piece of equipment. Wireless guitar cables are no new invention, but by creating a wireless connection through wifi, not only can users connect their guitar to their amplification setup, but also a computer or to a smartphone. Using this concept, applications can be developed to add effects to the guitar sound through a smartphone instead of using traditional pedals, and recording can be a whole lot easier without the need for a physical interface.

Wireless MIDI controllers - MIDI controllers have been used with guitars for a while, with notable guitarists like Matt Bellamy of Muse boosting their popularity. The recent development of the ACPAD which started through a kickstarter campaign essentially places a whole orchestra within reach of your fingers while you play your guitar. For those guitarists who are struggling to find bandmasters and want more open possibilities than a loop-station, this can be an elegant solution with unlimited potential for new ideas and sounds.