Less is More: The Loog Guitar Shows Players Something New

Keith Richards took over the world with five strings. Think of what you could do with three.

guitar_amplifierAltered tunings, more strings, using a bow, some of the most killer ideas in music history came from players who took the instructions on how a guitar was supposed to be built or used and put them through the freaking shredder. That same kind of thinking was what drove Rafael Atijas to create the Loog Guitar. Recently, TheToneKing.com had a chance to sit down and talk with Rafael about his invention and ask him what it takes to make a guitar that’s fun for newbies and seasoned pros alike.

The Loog Guitar is a three-string, 20.59” scale guitar with a maple neck, rosewood fretboard, and basswood body. Originally a solely acoustic offering, the Loog line has expanded to include nine electric and three acoustic models. Taking the approach that sometimes “less is more,” the Loog Guitar uses solid materials and design to gives players an honest, quality stringed instrument that they can build and play.

Oh. Did I forget to mention that you build this thing yourself?

3“The guitars come unassembled as kits because we believe that when someone builds the guitar themselves, they develop a deeper, more emotional connection to their instrument.”

Don’t be scared. This thing builds easier than anything from Ikea, and it’ll sound way better when you’re done with it. And, it gives parents a chance to do something cool with their kids. How many kids can say that their mom or dad helped them build a guitar?

First steps are important. Newbies need encouragement. They need to hear themselves accomplish something with the instrument to know that they can get something done. Any teacher that knows their craft will usually break chords down into two or three string fragments so that beginners can just play a damn song. That seems to be the impetus behind the Loog Guitar.

LoogII_FatherAndSon“I saw room for innovation; I was a bit sick of seeing that almost every guitar for children was really just a small, cheap guitar. I thought that apart from reducing the size, we could do more: we could try to make it more fun for kids to play.”

Effectively, Rafael has taken what teachers have been doing for years and built an instrument around it. The result is a guitar that’s designed to make it easier, fun, stimulating, and less intimidating for kids to play. “We wanted to remove anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary to play music. You can play any song on a Loog. It gives you an inviting approach to forming chords, exploring the instrument, and playing music right from the start.”

As a guitar player, it was important for Rafael that they made it easy to transition to a full size when the student was ready to move on from the Loog.

“Whatever beginners learned on a Loog, we wanted them to be able to apply it later on a regular six-string guitar. And we also wanted them to be able to read any guitar tab and use it to play music on a Loog. That’s why we use regular guitar strings in regular guitar tuning.”

Martina_01When Rafael came up with the idea for the Loog, he didn’t realize how it would resonate (pun intended) with the rest of the world. He got his answer loud and clear (another pun) when he started his Kickstarter campaign. Orginally, he set out to make $15,000. He walked away with over $65,000.

“People saw that we were offering something different. It clicked with them. It gave us all a sense of community, and we remain in touch with many of those original backers from the U.S., Finland, Japan, Israel, and many other parts of the world.”

Although the original impetus was about the kids, it was obvious that the Loog Guitar would be a success with adults too. “From day one we were blown away by how many grown ups and even professional players wanted to get one. The fact is that these guitars really make you re-think and discover new ways to play. We did the Summer NAMM Show a few weeks ago and professional songwriters were telling us with a Loog they were able to approach music in a new way.”1

The tonal qualities of the Loog acoustic series really go well with a mandolin, ukulele, classical, or even a 6-string acoustic. And the electric goes beyond that with a bit of bite. For anyone who’s looking for a new sound to add to their arsenal, the Loog Guitar is definitely something new.

Always focused on learning, LoogGuitars.com offers online tutorials and lessons. Everything from how to string your Loog to a few simple songs to get you started. What Rafael really enjoys, though, is working with schools and mom and pop shops by integrating the Loog Guitar into their music programs.

“We love working with schools and offer special deals to make that happen. We are particularly proud of the work the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, CT is doing. We get their videos of whole shows with these 8-year-olds playing Johnny B. Goode their Loog Guitars, on stage and absolutely killing it. We hear from music teachers telling us of students who would have a really hard time getting to play a six-string and, thanks to Loog Guitars, they are now able to play with their friends. It’s beautiful and humbling. The work of love these music teachers do is absolutely amazing, and we are happy to be a part of that.”

guitar_acrilicoAt TheToneKing.com, we’re always keeping our eye out for new ways to approach guitar. I mean, look at Zeppelin! Jimmy Page whips out a bow and next thing you know he’s redefined a sound of a generation. That’s who I want to be when I grow up. When an instrument brings together the needs of kids just starting out while making it fun for players like the Loog Guitar, that’s called innovation, and we knew we had to check it out.











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About the Author: Marc published his first novel Becoming in 2010. It’s a kick-ass book with monsters and dreams and stuff, and you should buy it. Since then, he’s written thousands of articles for TheToneKing.com, many of which have been picked up for circulation by manufacturers and other news outlets. His next book, Drugs and Pancakes, should be available early 2014 if his alcoholic editor can find time to work on it in-between destroying his liver and screaming about punctuation. He graduated from Roosevelt University with honors, which means that he’s not as dumb as he looks. He’s been playing guitar for over 25 years, which is almost twice as long as most of his students have been alive.

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