Behold The Lolo

An Adaptive Guitar That You Don't Need To Hold!

The Why-A Lolo Back Story

It's hard to write about why this instrument was created without it sounding like a bad reality T.V. back story.  You've all heard it a hundred times.  Timmy fell in the well that caused mom a heart attack and was rushed to a hospital at high speeds by uncle Jeff that was arested and dies in jail. "I'm doing this for you, Timmy, mom and Jeff," he'd say during a tear jerking montage. 

Well... here's my story.

My grandfather was a hard worker, a shade tree mechanic and a musician.  I can't remember a time in my youth when he didn't have a machine, a wrench or guitar in his hands. 

After he suffered a second stroke he gave me his guitar because he couldn't make his hands form the chords anymore.  I think that this act was the seed that started the entire project. 

In 2017 his health began to decline and he became less cooperative with his thereapists.  It was my mother that noticed that the best days he had seemed to revolve in some way around music.  She would play his favorite songs or talk about his playing days and he would light up. His memory was better and his perosnality became his own again.  I started to form an idea of how to put a guitar back into his hands.  How could I give him the music back?  Would it help?

All this sat in the back of my mind until I learned he could be facing end of life care in 2018.  Resolved to build him a gutar that no longer relied on the dexterity in his hands, I flew to New Mexico and started gathering materials.  With the help of local luthiers and my whole family I started building the body, sitting in my grandfather's room, walking through the design and construction with him.  For a week and a half we carved and cut, drilled and cussed.  Building a body that would become the first table top solid body accoustic guitar.  He passed away 2 days before I put on the first string.  

We called him Lolo. 

This is for every person that needs a little music in their life. This is to make sure no one has to go without.  Hopefully, this is to help all of us heal, even if it's just a little bit.  

This is for our Lolo.

 

 

Working with The Lolo

After Lolo passed away I brought the project home to Springfield, MO and set it on a shelf for a number of months.  I was busy at work... I was disheartened that I was unable to complete it for him... I was distracted by the fact that my nonprofit was failing due to lack of funds... Then the most wonderous thing happened.  I lost my job. 

In January of 2019 I shifted my focus back to the guitar.  I finished the resonance box, the electronics and the slide.  It was done.  It worked.  I needed somebody to play it.

I had already decided that this should be made available to individuals who, for any number of reasons, could not form the chords with their left hand.  I reached out to our local universities and the first of so many surprises began slapping me in the face.

6 months later doctors working at Missouri State University have decided that a true clinical study is the only way to gauge all the benefits from using The Lolo as a part of a patient's therapy program.  They are currently seeking a grant to allow for the construction of more instruments to be used in this clinical trial.

I'd like to match the funds they're raising in an effort to push the research as far as we possible can. 

I'll let Jim tell you how important it's been for him.

Jim Ryman

Stroke patient Jim Ryman talking about working with the Lolo.

3D Printing an updated, lighter version of the slide handle with a carbon fiber filament.