Acoustic Guitar Project Forces Musicians To Play Without Technology

Acoustic Guitar Project Forces Musicians To Play Without Technology
Arts & Culture

The Acoustic Guitar Project brings music back to basics by challenging artists to rely on themselves and their instrument to create raw, unadulterated music.

Ryan Gerhardt
  • 11 february 2013

Auto-tuning. Digital remastering. Remixes. Whatever happened to pure, unadulterated music? Just an artist, their imagination, and a guitar (or keyboard, harmonica, or anything else that makes noise).

This is exactly what Dave Adams was wondering. So, he started The Acoustic Guitar Project.

The Acoustic Guitar Project, created in 2012, stemmed from Adams’s New Years resolution to work on an artistic project. Not a musician himself, Adams wanted to give others the ability to ‘create something raw.’ He started with his musician friend, giving them a guitar, handheld recorder, and almost no rules.

The Acoustic Guitar Project was born.



The mission of the project is to:

… help musicians reconnect to the original moment that inspired them to be singer-songwriters… Focused. Challenged. Creative… And definitely completely lost in the moment. By giving musicians a platform with simple restrictions, we hope that The Project will inspire them to rise to the occasion or even help them learn to let go.

Adams, a copywriter before he decided to pursue this project fulltime, started the Project in New York City. As was explained when he first handed the guitar off to a friend, there are three simple rules:

  1. A musician is selected by The Acoustic Guitar Project and is provided an acoustic guitar and a handheld recorder.

  2. That musician has one week to record an original song using only the equipment provided. No editing is allowed.

  3. When the musician is finished, they choose the next musician to participate, and the guitar becomes a viral memento with its own path.

Currently, the NYC based guitar has been passed to 22 musicians. The project has been so successful, Adams has extended the concept by starting a guitar in Helsinki, Finland. The Helsinki guitar was passed among 20 musicians, starting with Axel Ehnström, and culminated in a concert that showcased many of the participating artists. Since, The Acoustic Guitar Project has been started in Bogotá, Colombia, is coming soon to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and is also currently being prepared for a location voted on by fans.


The success of the project has led Adams to expand its scope. The next phase of The Acoustic Guitar Project, which is currently up on Kickstarter to raise funds, is a TV Pilot. The Project is looking to raise $20,000 to travel, film, and edit a TV Pilot of the project. The Project’s listing on Kickstarter allows fans to donate and vote on which city to film the Pilot and Webseries. For every dollar contributed, that fan receives one vote to decide which city the project is filmed in. Check out the storyboard below.



The Awesome Foundation, which provided a grant to The Acoustic Guitar Project, describes it as ‘music, creativity, inspiration, and a celebration of humanity rolled into one.’ The simple nature of the Project really highlights the power of a musician and their instrument, no filters, no frills. You can check out the project’s website, which has music from the participating artists, and you can visit their Kickstarter page here.

The Acoustic Guitar Project


Images via The Acoustic Guitar Project

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