St. Vincent, otherwise known as Annie Clark, has created a guitar designed specifically for women.
She now joins Albert Lee, John Petrucci, and Steve Morse in the release of a signature guitar with brand Ernie Ball Music Man. Given free rein on the piece's design, Clark set out to create something that would tackle her own past issues with the standard design of the instrument.
"For me a guitar that is not too heavy is really important because I’m not a very big person," she told Guitar World. "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."
Clark's model, therefore, is light in its construction with a slim, tapered waist. "I was always finding when I was playing onstage and wearing various stage outfits the guitar would cut across one of the best features of the female body, which is your waist," she continued. "I wanted to make something that looked good and not just on a woman, but any person."
It was an intensive process for Clark, who admits her design shifted between 10-12 different prototypes before coming to a final design. An effort which has resulted in an important artefact for women in the music industry, in which very few female stars have been able to develop their own signature instruments.
"I’m glad that another guitar exists that is sympathetic to the female form," she stated. "I’m glad that that exists and I hope that people will enjoy… that men and women will enjoy the ergonomics. But smaller people and women especially."
The guitar will be available in two colours: black or Vincent Blue, a shade hand-mixed by Clark herself. She said of her aesthetic inspirations; "My particular guitar is based a lot on [Eighties German synthpop artist] Klause Nomi’s aesthetic, the Memphis design movement, which was an [Eighties] Italian design movement, those Sixties and Seventies Japanese designed guitars like the Tescos and then I went for classic car colours. I really like cars so I went for a ’67 Corvette with the colour scheme."
The guitar is now available from Ernie Ball Music Man. St. Vincent last released her fourth album, a self-titled record, in February 2014.
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