Indian research group Maker's Asylum has developed the Armstrum, a new accessory prototype that helps one-handed musicians play guitar.
Consisting of a lever equipped with a pick, the device is attached to a guitar, and can be operated via two pedals: one for control of the lever and one for control of the pick.
Prior to landing on the dual pedal method of operation, the team behind the project had experimented with several other control approaches, including breath-based and body movement-based techniques.
“The goal of designing for differently-abled users in many cases is to allow them to access conventional instruments,” they say. “This creates a level-playing field for all, allows collaboration and cultural inclusivity, and is also more accessible when it comes to availability of parts and equipment.”
While many one-handed guitarists have developed inspired ways of playing despite their disabilities, including attaching a guitar pick to their elbow or prosthetics, Maker's Asylum say the Armstrum has fewer constraints and is intended to be a teaching tool for beginners.
“We found that the design we came up with did not have too many constraints as it was designed specifically for a single-handed user,” the research group says. “While this design is not as fine-tuned, it is one way to start thinking about access to guitar-playing for the differently-abled.