Why hasn’t anyone optimized a guitar like this before?
St. Vincent is the stage name of Annie Clark, a Berklee-trained, David Byrne-collaborating, Grammy-winning guitar goddess. Her patented guitar sound, an unrivaled buzz that seems to resonate throughout the entire world, evokes the depths of the Mariana Trench. What could she do if she actually had a guitar that fit her body?
“For me a guitar that is not too heavy is really important because I’m not a very big person,” she told Guitar World in a recent interview. “I can’t even play a Sixties Strat or Seventies Les Paul. I would need to travel with a chiropractor on tour in order to play those guitars. It’s not that those aren’t great guitars, but they render themselves impractical and unfunctional for a person like me because of their weight.”
To combat these issues, Clark has teamed up with instrument manufacturer Ernie Ball to create a guitar that is tailor-made for her body and playing style. The new prototype is lighter, relying on a minimal layout that has one tone knob, one volume knob and three mini-humbuckers. With five different sound configurations, the guitar maintains output and flexibility while affording Clarke more comfort during performance. The guitarist typically carries her axe high on her body, so the new model has an unorthodox cutout (highlighted above in an overlay with a Les Paul) that provides, in her words, “room for a breast or two.”
The “St. Vincent Signature Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitar” was debuted to the public at a Taylor Swift concert. “That was really fun and really wild because I’m used to playing for crowds,” she continued in the interview. “But to walk onstage and be in front of 35,000 screaming fans, most of them girls…”
The St. Vincent Signature isn’t exclusively for women, though. “I wanted to make something that looked good and not just on a woman, but any person,” said Clarke. Still, its viability as an alternative option for female rockers is an exciting advent for a music industry that’s historically male-centric. Let us know what you think of the new guitar in the comments below.
HT: Mental Floss
Image/Video: Ernie Ball/Shine On Media