Rhodri Marsden on three of the latest must-have gizmos currently putting the prog in progress.



In the late 1980s, the headless, bodiless guitar became an object of derision, with comparison­s being made to hedge trimmers (visually, if not sonically). Far less criticism has been levelled at MyCello, a 3D printed version of the instrument which, let’s be frank, resembles a militarygr­ade crossbow. But look at the plus points: you can put it through amps, plug headphones into it, fold it up for ease of transport and order it in a range of sizes and colours. “The cello has been waiting for a revolution for over 400 years,” says the promo blurb, which isn’t true, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.


“I take a bunch of Lego bricks and build a bass guitar,” is the modest introducti­on from YouTube luthier Burls, famed for the guitar he made out of 1,200 coloured pencils (featured back in

Prog 98). Since then he’s built guitars out of salt, shovels, coffee beans and skateboard­s, so Lego might seem a rather mundane next step – but it’s a thing of beauty: a festival of summery yellow and green with a hint of Minecraft, bonded with epoxy resin. By his own admission it’s not the best-sounding instrument in the world, but its completion is worthy of celebratio­n nonetheles­s.


Constructi­ng and maintainin­g a pedalboard can become an obsession for guitarists, as they cram dozens of colourful stomp boxes into a case, work out the best signal path, connect them together with tiny cables and figure out the best way of keeping them powered. There have been digital solutions to this for years, but pedalboard pride is so intense that guitarists seem unwilling to give them up. This new product replaces the entire pedalboard with one switch and an associated smartphone app, and is thus tantamount to sacrilege, which is probably why I like it.

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