The Traveler Guitar – An Example of Fitness for Purpose in Product Design


I’ve been through so many airports recently I can’t remember which one this happen at. But I was waiting at the gate when this huge Viking of a guy came and sat next to me with what looked like a rifle case slung over his shoulder. My curiosity was aroused and as I checked out his case he caught me looking at it, so I felt it best to ask him about his Traveler Guitar to show I wasn’t just some loony staring at his baggage. He lit up with enthusiasm and proceeded to pull out the guitar and bolt on the arm support. Then he produced a digital sound processor the size of a cigarette pack, and some headphones. He plugged them all together and handed it to me. Cool! The thing was actually still in tune! He dialed in a nice funky sound and I was off, much to the amusement of the other passengers.

Some people get confused about quality. Quality is fitness for purpose it is not an absolute. This is the finest quality traveling guitar I’ve ever come across. But it’s not a patch on my Fender Stratocaster for sound quality. The point is it doesn’t need to be. The difference is all about fitness for purpose. The traveler guitar weighs in at only 4 lbs, half the weight of my Strat. It has a full scale neck with 22 frets. But the machine heads are buried inside the body so they can’t get damaged or knocked out of tune. As an added benefit the neck is shorter as there is no head stock. The arm rest has two positions one for playing and one conveniently tucked away for traveling. And the whole thing looks great which is essential for an electric guitar! But best of all when packed for traveling it fits in a small bag that can be easily slung over the shoulder, unlike my fender which requires a flight case the size of a small coffin. Necessity is the mother of invention which is why this guitar could only have been invented by a pilot. But the high degree of quality coupled with the simplicity of the design makes this guitar a masterpiece in my book.

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  • G

    Obviously guitar favouritism is rife on this site.
    You should also take a look at http://www.ashbory.com for the bassists take on how you reproduce a double bass sound from a tiny instument.
    Isn’t it cute………….

  • Andrew Forrest

    …… and it has a voice like a Horney Angel.
    bit like a BC Rich