How Inspiration Fosters Innovation: Roadie Rag, The Humble Guitar Polishing Cloth Elevated

ModKitsDIY

Consider the humble guitar polishing cloth. The gear world has given us fancy string winders, tuners of every shape and size imaginable, fret polishing kits, multi-tools, and string cleaning doodads.  But when it came to the humble guitar polishing cloth, one could be forgiven for thinking that there wasn’t much to do with it before the Roadie Rag.  Hell, that old Stryper t-shirt you got in 1987 would make just as good a rag as any old polishing cloth being sold for a couple of bucks down at the music store. Well, why not get excited about the humble guitar polishing cloth?  Why not find a way to bring something new and thoughtful to the guitar accessory world like countless manufacturers have done with countless numbers of tools and gadgets that, let’s be real here, more often serve the player’s desire for convenience than the health of a guitar.  Why not make the best damn polishing cloth out there?1658192_orig This is exactly what TheToneKing.com regular and Roadie Rag inventor LueRed did.  Inspired by The Tone King’s challenge to channel our passions, LueRed took the idea for an improved polishing cloth that had been bouncing around in his head for a while and made it reality. LueRed laid out the initial inspiration for the Roadie Rag to the TheToneKing.com last year. “I noticed it was taking longer to clean and put away my guitars using the old-style polishing cloths. The strings were rusting quicker and the smudges on the finish took longer to wipe off…I wanted something that was going to make it easier to clean my guitars and be able to handle them while I was putting them away without the worry of dirtying them again.” A simple and reasonable request.  But instead of shrugging his shoulders and ripping up another Accept concert tee like so many of us have, LueRed went out and did something about it.  Instead of floppy swatch of cloth, the Roadie Rag looks sort of like a cross between a pillow case and oven mitt. As TTK demonstrates here, the Roadie Rag solution is creative and simple.  Slide your grubby paws in, and your guitar is protected from stray oils and filth that can end up tarnishing the instrument you’re working so hard to clean; your hands never come in contact with the instrument.  There is an added benefit if you have sensitive skin, like your dutiful author.  If you use a spray polish or cleaner, errant spritzes won’t contact your hands or fingertips and cause redness or itchiness.  Brilliant! 648630_orig When we think about innovation over the last decade or so, we probably immediately think of things like smart phones, tablets, wearable technology, and all sorts of new gadgets and gizmos that required the brainpower and persistence of highly-trained electrical and computer engineers.  We probably don’t immediately think of the humble guitar polishing cloth.  But they all have something in common: they are all inspired products brought to life by the hard work and energy of people who believed that they could take a product and do something innovative with it. We here at TheToneKing.com are privileged to be able to unbox, discuss and demonstrate for our dear readers dozens and dozens of new, groundbreaking pieces of gear every year.  The Roadie Rag remains one of our all-time favorites.  Your dirty mitts spend enough time bothering your guitar when you’re playing it; give it a break when it’s cleaning time.  Pick up some Roadie Rags!

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