QR Guitar Experiment

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 3-minute read


My first guitar was a beat up acoustic American Standard that had been through many years of not-so-great care. The nut was cracked, the body was badly scratched, and vastly changing temperatures caused the guitar to warp. Throughout the years, I ended up getting new guitars, and my first went to the wayside, left to hang in my room.

When I first started driving, I had romanticized the idea of going throughout the country in my late great-step-grandmother’s brown Honda 03' CRV that my family had jokingly named the “Polished Turd”. I felt like just driving for the sake of exploring wasn’t enough, and that I needed some sort of mission or goal for the trip. I wanted to go alone, and meet new people on the way – To share ideas, laughs, and music. So, to sum up all of those goals, I came up with the QR Guitar.

The Idea

I wanted to create a “living” guitar – an instrument that would pick up history on it’s way wherever it went, and transmit it’s history to the people who saw it. So, I decided I would put quotes that were meaningful to me on the body of the guitar, and the names of the people who came up with them on the neck. By putting a QR Code on the pickguard, anyone with a smartphone could scan it to get more information. The QR Code led to a website I created that would document where the guitar has been, and who had played it. People who visited the website could share their experience with the guitar, giving my once old and bland guitar a new life.

Working on the Guitar

Quite Frankly, I had no idea what I was doing. I made every mistake possible, from misquoting people to sanding against the grain of the wood to spilling wood glue all over the body. Luckily, I learned along the way and didn’t make any mistakes that totally ruined the instrument. It taught me a lot, and in the end I was left with an acoustic guitar that had real, hard-earned character.

Where’s it Been?

The QR Guitar has travelled with me throughout most of the east coast, which I could never have imagined happening. People are always receptive to the idea of the guitar and tend to ask questions, although not many end up playing it. Lately it has been hanging where it was years before on a wall, waiting for another adventure.

Future Goals?

I think the guitar’s main purpose is still relevant today, and could see myself giving it away someday. I would love to see someone take the guitar and travel to new places with it, meeting and influencing new and different people along the way. That would be the ultimate reward, to see the ‘living’ QR Guitar thriving in new environments.

If you’d like to see what has happened with this guitar, please go to: http://mooseprojects.wixsite.com/qrguitar