The Science of Guitars

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  • Posted by: Big Brain Club|
  • 7/16/2011 |
  • 10:00 am
The Science of Guitars

There aren't many video games more universally popular than Guitar Hero, and it's easy to see why. At some point in their life everyone dreams of being a rock star, right? So there's a natural appeal in living out that fantasy by rocking to your favorite songs, one virtual power chord at a time.

Well, one educator took that appeal a step further. Follow this link to watch a short video about the class project that University of Virginia professor Gavin Garner came up with -- a build-your-own-guitar adventure that includes lessons on mechanical, electrical, and software engineering.

It's clear that some of the students had fun with all of the options laid out for them -- one creative soul even designed the guitar in the shape of the Batman logo -- but there's also some serious learning going on, too. What starts out as a wood-shop project with lumber, magnets, and wire coils builds up to a full-on lesson in the science of sound. Students learn not only about the gritty details of music -- what is pitch, how does an electric guitar amplify its sound, etc. -- but they get to experience it directly, further driving home the lesson.

That's the kind of hands-on learning any wannabe rock star can appreciate.

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