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Have fingers, will play

The air guitar should bring a lot of joy to pub artists who play along with their fingers each time they hear Smoke On The Water.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 00:46 IST

Real guitarists may scoff at the not-so-gentle art of the air guitar. But making all the right guitar moves, down to finger-tapping along the fretboard and the furious headbanging that accompanies inaudible riffs, without holding a guitar requires courage, determination and, above all, a monster imagination. In fact, the only advantage that real guitarists have over their silent counterparts is that they produce sound, that according to one’s taste can be called music. Well, now that advantage has been stripped away from those smart alecks. Australian scientists have reportedly invented a T-shirt that, thanks to sensors in each elbow and sleeve, interprets the air guitarist’s arm movements and converts them to their real corresponding notes and chords.

That should bring a lot of joy to hordes of pub artists who play along simply with their fingers each time they hear Smoke On The Water being played from behind the bar. Not only should this radical invention make the likes of Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Tom Morello worry, but it should also bring out some untapped talent to the fore. Purists, being purists, are already groaning. They had groaned earlier when the synthesiser made any Elton, Billy and Paul play pop songs in their bedrooms.

It is rather apt that Australia should be the home of the first air guitar T-shirt. For, as all connoisseurs with no strings attached know, their role model for air-guitaring has been Angus Young, (real) guitarist of Aussie band, AC/DC. Now, they will not only be able to mimic Young’s catatonic headshakes and updated Chuck Berry walks, but also produce the sound of all the numbers from that air guitar Bible, Back in Black.