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The coolest music-meets-tech gadgets from NAMM 2019

Anyone who’s ever tried to take their favourite guitar onto an airplane knows what a hassle that can be. Will it fit in the overhead compartment? Do we trust airline personal to get our favourite instrument from point A to point B without losing it?

Jonathan Spangler, CEO of Spangler guitars, thinks he has the answer. Last week at NAMM this week — the musical instrument meets technology show that attracts over 100,000 people — he showed off the prototype of his Ascender; a truly portable, foldable guitar, one that bends in half and can fit under the passenger seat. (You will have to retune after bending.)

It won’t come cheap. The model is $US3000 ($4180) and will be out later this year. There have been other travel guitars, smaller body models, “but they look like hatchets, paddles or road sticks,” says Spangler.

If portable music is your thing, you might be interested in the Kaiku glove, which connects to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth and can be used to make drumming sounds. A drummer could even ditch the set and just connect it to an amp. Inventor Kalevi Louhivuori says he set to make “the world’s easiest instrument. Anyone can learn to play their own hand.” It will be out in late 2019, at $US299 for an adult glove, or $US249 for a kids version.

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