With a passion for all things music and entertainment, husband-and-wife team Amanda and Drew Dunphy first discovered Loog Guitars on Kickstarter. After meeting the owner at a trade show in 2016, they soon became the distributors of Loog Guitars in Australia and New Zealand. Today we have a backstage pass to learn more about Loog Guitars and the new app that makes it possible for anyone to play music.
Amanda and Drew fell in love with the Loog – from the concept, the ethos of the company and the instruments. As parents, they were always looking for activities that are engaging and entertaining. “Music plays a big part in our home life. The fact that learning guitar is developing an “offline” skill but still involves some technology means that it ticks a lot of boxes for parents” explains Amanda.
Loog guitars is driven by a passion for music and sustainable design. “Our guitars are made of wood from responsibly managed forests and are committed to quality and safety standards that meet or exceed government regulations” says Amanda.
What makes the Loog so unique?
“Loogs are specifically designed to make it fun and easy for anyone to play music. This is the motivation behind all that we do. We often liken Loogs to balance bikes when trying to explain the concept. Basically, it’s a simplified version that can be mastered quickly and then progress to a full-sized model and lifelong skill.”
How did the Loog come about?
“The initial concept for a 3 string simplified guitar actually began as a university Master’s thesis at NYU and had such an overwhelmingly positive response that the founder, Rafa, decided to launch the idea on Kickstarter to gauge potential interest from the general public.”
Why should parents try the Loog?
“As anyone who plays guitar (or has tried to learn) will attest to, they can be a daunting instrument to master. Even the basics can be difficult, which results in a high number of learners giving up. For children, this is often due to the hand size and manual dexterity necessary to hold down strings. By reducing the guitar to three strings, many of these hurdles are overcome. Chords can be formed quickly and simply, so beginners can play actual songs. These skills can then be extrapolated to a full 6 string instrument when the player is ready. Also, we love that so many of the parents who purchase Loogs for their kids end up learning to play alongside them!”
The range now offers three different sized models, in both electric and acoustic versions: the Mini, the Pro and the Pro VI, the range’s first 6 string model which launched in 2020. Electric Loogs all have built-in amplifiers, making them super portable and also an output for an external amp.
“The free Loog Guitar app has everything you need to know about your guitar and play songs. Also, the app has video lessons, a tuner and even a digital songbook. You can actually learn guitar by playing real songs (Beatles, Stones, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and more). Designed with kids in mind, the app features little monsters to help you learn chords. Mastering each chord unlocks new chords and songs, encouraging a natural progression from simple chords to slightly more complex ones.
The Loog team are constantly working on and improving the app. We have recently added an awesome augmented reality component which has been a big hit!”
What have been your biggest lessons in business?
“Like most business owners (and people in general!) 2020 taught us that no matter how organised and diligent you are, some things are completely out of your control. We launched another business in the first week of March 2020 (yes, really!) after a number of years of work which was a bit of a challenge, to put it mildly. Then came the home-schooling and we were just rolling with the punches, like everyone else!
We do feel like we are finally coming up for air now though and it’s exciting to get things back on track and try to regain some of the balance that has been lacking in the past year.”
What is coming up next for Loog?
“In Australia, we have some exciting things in the pipeline for 2021, including some exciting collaborations, new products and the development of Australian video lessons/online teaching- so stay tuned!”