(Credit: Element 14)
How do you play a guitar when you only have one arm? Supermodder Ben Heck modified a guitar for a musician who lost his arm in an accident.
Ben Heck has built a lot of gaming mods for one-handed players, but a guitar is an entirely new kettle of fish. How do you modify a two-handed musical instrument, ensuring it keeps its acoustic and structural integrity so that someone with only one hand can play?
When viewer Ian Pierce, who had lost his right arm working on the railroads, contacted Heck asking for a way to be able to play with his band again, Heck took the challenge. He called on local musician Tyler Kapla to make sure he didn't do anything too heinous to the guitar, tested the concept as the project progressed and crafted a system that uses two pedals and a 3D-printed pick holder to strum the strings, while Pierce uses his left hand on the fingerboard.
In the first episode (above), Heck made a plan for modding a store-bought foot pedal for strumming the guitar, laser-cut a jig for mounting the servo and mounted the 3D-printed strumming arm.
The second part, where you see the finished guitar, goes live 8 November, US time (so probably Saturday morning in Australia). You can watch it on the Element 14 channel here.