Street Guitarist Amazes Crowds Playing on His “Broken” Guitar

Tom Ward is a busker from Launceston, Tasmania, whose inspiring guitar skills have earned him attention among street crowds and in Australia, where he was featured on 2011 edition of Australia’s Got Talent.

Beyond his obvious talents, what’s noticeable about Tom is that he wields an extremely worn-looking acoustic guitar whose top is completely missing in places, revealing the braces beneath. Online commenters often refer to the guitar as “broken,” a reference to the holes in its top as well as the frets, which also appear to be broken. The guitar is certainly custom made, and the fact that it has been fitted with electronics only adds to the intrigue.

According to his Facebook page, Tom has performed internationally in Japan, Thailand, Italy, the U.K., Germany, France, Australia and recently in China for Expo Shanghai. He performs solo and as a soloist with symphony orchestras and has shared the stage and bill with artists that include Tommy Emmanuel, the Buena Vista Social Club and Jason Mraz.

The first video shown here has been getting a generous amount of attention online, so have a look. For more information, visit his Facebook page.

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Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World, a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.