Unless you're a gigging musician, chances are pretty good that when you travel, your guitar stays at home. Handy tools like PocketStrings give noodlers the chance to practice chord shapes and scale runs while out and about, while the jamstik from Zivix adds some picking action and smartphone-fueled digital sounds to the mix. Neither offer a real guitar feel though, which is where Yamaha's rather expensive Silent Guitars come in. The novel Cross Guitar sits somewhere in the middle, promising an inexpensive way to get a full guitar experience on the quiet.
As the Cross Guitar – which is currently funding on Kickstarter – is essentially a maple neck with some of the fingerboard cut away, players won't be treated to the full-bodied sound of an acoustic guitar. Though the campaign does mention suitability for stage use, the instrument will just sound like an unplugged electric guitar when picked so should be ideal for quiet practice.
Players do get a 25.5 inch scale neck though with a rosewood fingerboard and and choice of an 18-fret nylon or 19-fret steel model. The nylon string model has a nut width of 2 inches, while the steel string flavor is slimmer at 1.69 inches. The steel-stringed Cross Guitar also allows for truss rod adjustment.
What makes the Cross Guitar more than just a plank of wood with strings are the swinging supports at the rear. The short support at the rosewood bridge end is for resting a picking arm for comfort, while the larger rotating piece provides support against the body and/or on a suitably-positioned thigh.
The Cross Guitar project has already exceeded its modest Kickstarter funding goal, with about a month left to run. Pledges for a nylon string model start at US$119, with the steel string variant coming in at $139. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in October. The video below has more on the project.