If technology has enabled everyone to do anything–be a photographer or a writer, for instance–it’s partly because we’ve found less onerous ways of learning how to do it. That’s the point of the the Loog electric guitar, the sequel to the now award-winning acoustic guitar launched by Uruguayan designer Rafael Atijas on Kickstarter in 2011.
This pint-size, three-string guitar allows kids to play music right off the bat (instructional videos are available at vimeo.com/loogguitars) instead of being overwhelmed by a standard six-string guitar. And why not? Playing any basic chord on a six-string means playing only three notes anyway, and then repeating them. “Blues players have been playing three-string, cigar-box guitars since the 19th century,” Atijas says. “Even Keith Richards takes away one string of his guitar and plays with just five strings most of the time.”
Atijas began work on Loog with industrial designers and luthiers in Montevideo while earning a master’s degree in marketing at New York University. The team CNC-milled the sustainable wooden body and tested their prototypes at a music school where, by watching kids play, they were able to tweak weight and balance to improve comfort and playability.
The Loog will arrive as a kit of parts that can be assembled in 15 minutes without special tools or expertise. For those suffering from Ikea PTSD, here’s why it’s worth it: By building their own guitar, kids understand and engage with the instrument before they even set finger on a string.