The art of Air Guitar is as old as metal itself, and some might say it wouldn’t exist without metal’s super-sized riffs to inspire drunk dudes to wail along in spirit. But while some folks consider themselves masters of the ancient art, the one real shame is that technology cannot yet allow us to play actual guitar on the air. So until humanity gets bored enough to use nanobots for something as frivolous as this, one YouTuber’s neckless, bodiless, fully-functional guitar is the next best thing.
As reported by Ultimate Guitar, YouTuber Jim Lill decided to perform an experiment to determine where the actual tone from an electric guitar comes from, and what makes one guitar sound different than the other (this, it should be noted, is the rare case of a YouTube how-it-works segment that’s both really interesting to think about and really, really entertaining to see explored).
Jim builds a cheap guitar and tests it against other guitars in a controlled environment, chipping away at the pieces that might contribute to different sounds. Eventually, he’s left with what basically looks like two little piles of scrap attached to each other by some strings between tables — a neckless, bodiless air guitar. It’s riveting to watch, even if some non-guitar heads might feel like Jim’s speaking an alien language at certain points.
“The rush I got out of finding reality and realizing that most ‘facts’ about tone must come from people who are just repeating stuff instead of actually testing them made me want to go farther,” writes Lill in his video’s caption. “In this video, I go farther. I test as many aspects of the electric guitar that I can, with the goal of figuring out which parts contribute to the amplified tone and which don’t.”
Behold the air guitar in all its glory below:
Words by Chris Krovatin