The Amstrum reimagines the guitar for greater inclusion and access

By February 25, 2021Guitar

A new guitar attachment, The Armstrum, brings together inclusion and innovation for single-handed players.

Developed by an Indian Research group Makers Asylum, the Armstrum is a new prototype designed for one-handed musicians to play the guitar. 

Utilising a two-pedal action, one for controlling the strumming lever and the other for moving the pick, the device is attached to the guitar and aims to make playing more accessible for people with limb differences.


Guitar protoype

Armstrum prototype design diagram

Makers Asylum, the team of engineers behind this innovative new device, are a maker space hailing from Mumbai and New Delhi with the aim of helping people learn skills in practical engineering and design.

They said, “The goal of our project was to create a guitar accessory that includes single-hand amputees in the user-base of guitar players and shoppers… to help the user learn to play using any guitar available to them.”

Starting with a brainstorming session that identified different types of musical instruments, types of disabilities and the individuals for whom they could design, the team came up with the tap-based guitar attachment. 

Before proceeding with the two-pedal approach, however, the group imagined different designs such as body-movement between mapped sensors, voice-enabled instruments with speech input, a breath-based pipe fuelling the intensity of the sound and more interestingly, a chewing gum approach with the instrument connected to the participant’s teeth.

Although the initial focus of the attachment was to allow for a more inclusive experience in guitar playing, it has since extended to provide access to the social and emotional effects involved with the culture of music. 

The team says, 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.

For more details on the Armstrum, head over to the website.


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