Some musicians master an instrument, others compose tunes, and a select few have created a new way of playing music altogether. A Spartanburg man has done all three and he’s getting international acclaim for his latest invention.
When you hear a seasoned guitarist like Keith Groover the last thing you’d think is awkward!
But that’s just how he describes the way musicians often have to contort their bodies.
“I had made things that were always just trying to improve traditonal instruments but I always ran up against road blocks with that, so I decided just to go back a little further and make one from scratch,” said Groover.
Introducing: The Glide
“This is a musical instrument that isn’t just an on off switch where you hit a note and it plays and it goes off again, but it’s an instrument where you can play a note and then change a note after you play it. You can make it softer, you can make it louder, you can change the pitch, you can change vibrato and you can change the tone, you can change the volume. I think it’s going to open up a lot of possibilities in the world of music,” said Groover.
Groover says the heart and soul of the Glide is something that’s in all of our cell phones, an accelerometer that detects motion and gravity. It’s the same sensor that changes a protrate photo to a landscape.
The Glide includes a curcuit board, which means this musician had to learn computer code.
His wife Annie, happens to have had the perfect job to help; librarian.
“Programming language and buisness plans, that’s not something he has a lot of experience with and I’m like Dude, we have got stuff at the library,” she said.
Annie also steered her husband towards the 3D printer at the Spartanburg Public Library which he used to make the hardware.
And after a year and a half of trouble shooting he got it to play just the way he wanted.
“I was like, it’s alive,” he said with a laugh.
This past month it’s taken on a life of it’s own. The Glide was accepted into the Guthman Competition, the world cup of musical instruments.
This is the home video of how his wife and four kids took the news. But Groover is taking the success of the Glide in stride.
“My 11-year-old said I bet within a couple months of releasing this, you’re not going to be the best player anymore, and I was like, I hope so,” said Groover.
Groover already has 100 pre-orders for the Glide, which runs $130 dollars.
He’s currently working on the final design so that the Glide will be easier to reproduce and sell in stores.