A couple of weeks ago at Doug Young Guitar Night I had an opportunity to experience an acoustic guitar player, Blake McMurray, who uses one of his feet to play his guitar while standing up. You can see Blake playing the guitar with his foot live in the video below.

I did hear before of guitar players who, for one reason or another, learned to play guitar with their feet. Blake’s performance, however, encouraged me to go on the web and actually look for information about some of them.

I learned about an inspirational story of Tony Meléndez who was born without arms but learned to play with his feet. Tony went on to record several records and received multiple awards for his music. You can see one of Tony’s videos below.

Another similar player is Mark Goffeney who also mastered to play the guitar with his feet. He is lead guitarist and vocalist for the ‘Big Toe’ band and played the principal role on Fox Television’s Emmy-nominated commercial ‘Feet’. You can see Mark playing blues in this video.

I am sure there are many more interesting feet guitar players out there but I hope these three peeked your interest to continue researching the topic on your own.

The Moog Guitar is a very unique instrument that, while claiming to be an electric guitar, goes far beyond that description. Moog tells us that

The Moog Guitar provides an incredibly intimate playing experience that connects musicians directly to the source of the sound; the strings of the guitar. It does this by controlling the way the strings vibrate. In a very coherent way, it gives energy to, and takes energy away from the strings. The resulting timbres do not rely on effects or post-processing. They are created directly from the strings.

From the time this guitar first appeared on the market in 2008, I cannot get it off my mind and into my hands (well, the price is prohibitively high) but the sound, o its sound, still stays with me after watching a number of video clips from Moog.

Watch the two clips below and see if you will feel the same about this innovative instrument.

Moog Guitar

See more videos of the Moog Guitar on Moog Music’s website.

I heard of Chapman Stick before and, in fact, it is on the list of instruments I would like to own one day and learn to play in the the future. So, thanks, Disc Makers, for reminding me about Chapman’s Stick in the form of such a passionate article.

Article by Stephen Wise, who writes instrument and gear reviews for Music After 50, where this review first appeared.

Stephen Wise

Stephen Wise has owned a Chapman Stick for 30 years.

Moving a new, alternative instrument into the mainstream is a truly arduous task. Most attempts, in fact, will fail. It is not surprising that in over 35 years on the market that the Chapman Stick® is not yet a household name. It took the saxophone over 100 years to achieve that mark. Yet, The Stick® has made steady gains. No one who has seen it, it seems, ever forgets it!  (Watch Rob Martino and then Kevin Keith play the Stick®.) Those who play it become disciples.

Another trait that The Stick® shares with the saxophone is that it is a modern instrument, developed from the ground up to be easily played using a logical technique. I know all of these things because I have been a Stick® owner for over 30 years. Although I have learned to play more than a dozen instruments over the years, if you came to me today and told me that I could only have one instrument for the rest of my life, I would keep my Stick®!

The Stick® was first marketed by Emmett Chapman in 1974, the culmination of his experiments in “touch playing” of fretted instruments in the guitar family. As a jazz guitarist, limited to six strings and five fingers, Emmett began to envy the freedom and space that keyboard musicians enjoyed, but still wanted to have the degree of nuance that only fingers on strings can deliver. In a flash of inspiration, he up-ended his guitar, reached around the neck with both hands, and began tapping out riffs.

Read more of The Chapman Stick – Versatile, Unique, and Portable