Derek’s original JOS guitar served very well for many years, but eventually we decided on a re-design taking in to account all that we had learned from Derek about improving accessibility.
Made by Ian Burrow and funded by the Arts Council, the new version has many unique features designed to offer protection from damage and unwanted operations:
Construction – – the guitar uses a banjo style drum skin over a resonator body made from a carved wooden bowl.
Hidden tuning pegs – the system uses tuning machines that have been modified to be turned using a key – and ordinary window lock key in this case.
An ‘invert’ bridge – the strings go through a hole in the body and pass under the skin and the bridge which is located on the underside of the skin.
Recessed strings – the strings run along a channel in the neck, and there is a protective plate above them.
The neck itself is a resonator – the neck is hollow and features sound- holes at the top to enable a particular way of playing that Derek has developed where he uses direct connection with his head and upper body to better hear and feel what he is playing.