I Q. Do you?: The Qchord


Anyone, musician or not, can instantly sound like a pro at the touch of a button. You can’t make a mistake!

A few days ago I was searching for synthesizers on ebay when I found an auction for something called “omnichord” (click here to see an auction for a similar item). After some research I found that the Suzuki Omnichord was actually a kind of “automatic music maker”. First released in 1981, it featured several rows of keys, able to play melodies or “autochords” (a chord was obtained by playing a single key). Even more, it had a touchplate that allowed you to strum chords when moving the fingers along it, like if you were playing a guitar. The omnichord was also capable of playing accompaniments in the form of drum tracks, ran on AC or on batteries and also included a small speaker, so you could play it everywhere.

There’s a modern version of the instrument called “Q-chord” (follow the link at the top). The Q-chord has been redesigned to look like an electric guitar (I would dare to point to the Gibson SG, by the way my favourite guitar), and it includes a kind of “whammy bar” for pitch bending. Even more, it comes with midi, which means that you can use it as a controller for serious synthesizers! (I would use it in that way).

It seems that the Omnichord has been used by some illustrious artists, as noted in wikipedia, like Björk or Ringo Starr; all in all, its descendant, the Q-chord, looks like a cool toy that would be surely fun to try, its only drawback a price maybe too high (over $200). However, as a first musical instrument it could provide instant delightment, (which would be nice for kids), and since it has midi it can always find its place in a studio (may the kid become a synth star). 🙂

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