String muffler turns electric players into banjo pickers
Guitarists might explore many styles while trying to find their mojo, but if you're looking for an authentic bluegrass sound on that electric six-string, Jon Langberg's Guitar-Jo might help. The string dampener gives an electric guitar a banjo-like sound, and the original under-string device from 2015 has now been updated to a slick-looking over string muffler.
Guitar-Jo 1 was attached to a guitar's body or scratch plate using micro-suction technology and three circular pads took dampening duties for two strings each.
The second generation flavor still uses micro-suction to stick the mounting foot to a flat guitar's body (such as a Stratocaster or SG, not a Les Paul), but this time there's a dampening pad for each string. The main body/arm is positioned above the strings and each pad can be adjusted to slightly mute individual strings.
The device's ideal position is near the neck pickup, allowing the guitarist to pick the strings behind it while fretting on the neck. The overall height of the main body/arm can be adjusted to cater for different string heights and it swivels for positioning flexibility.
The result should be something that approximates real-world banjo twang – perfect for country blues moments or to recreate the 1972 movie magic of Billy Redden and Ronny Cox.
The refined and redesigned Guitar-Jo 2 has been launched on Kickstarter to fund production. Pledge start at US$45. If all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in February 2018. The pitch video below introduces the device.
Sources: Guitar-Jo, Kickstarter
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I hope enough guitarists want to get a banjo sound. It is a limited market, I would suggest. I have a Midi guitar which can produce the necessary sound (and any other sound).