With what's got to be one of the shortest campaign pitches on Kickstarter, Ken McCaw is putting second production run hopes for his Hammer Jammer percussive guitar attachment in the hands of players. Described as essentially turning the guitar into a new instrument, the fretting hand is still used to form chord shapes or single-note runs. But players tap, stroke or bash the big raised "buttons" at the picking end, causing soft or hard hammers to sound the strings.
The idea for a key-hammering mechanism for guitar first came to McCaw in 1985. He formed the Guitammer company to further develop his idea in 1990, helped along with input from folks like Chris Martin (Martin Guitars) and Ricky Skaggs. The first product debuted in the early 90s, but problems with manufacturing partners (not related to the product) and a change of focus (the development and release of the ButtKicker) led to the hammering project being shelved.
McCaw bought the remaining units from the manufacturer and has since sold them all to players in 60 countries around the globe. The video used for the Kickstarter campaign pitch was originally posted on YouTube back in January of this year and attracted over 400,000 views, encouraging McCaw to try for the mainstream market.
"Young, up-and-comers who are looking for a new way to enter the music world," McCaw told us when asked who he thought would appreciate the Hammer Jammer most. "And handicapped (including older players with arthritis) and disabled Vets, because it does enable them to still play guitar, with the chord hammering techniques at least."
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