I wanted to play guitar when I was a teenager but had difficulty with bending my fingers & wrist at the same time. I reached my friend Don Frisbe’s guitar back to him and said I would learn to play guitar when it would conform to my shape rather than my having to wrap around that awful clumsy flat box.
The “clumsy flat box” which Leo Burrell of Burrell Guitars refers to above has also been an obstacle for other would-be guitarists. However, rather than accept it, Leo went on to do something about it. Leo’s instruments now include electric guitars, acoustic guitars, electric bass guitars and acoustic bass guitars.
Leo’s custom instruments combine traditional elements of guitar design and aesthetics with some very interesting variations of his own. Looking over the Challenge model, we see a few of Leo’s ideas in effect. The most striking thing is the way the guitar body twists and tapers to conform to the guitarist. As Leo notes on his homepage, this allows for “better control and visibility, while reducing player strain. The neck is also twisted, allowing for better control and further eliminating player strain.” In addition, a forearm contour brings the guitar player’s picking hand elbow closer to the body resulting in reduced strain on the shoulder joint.
More on Burrell Guitars in the near future…