Barnes & Mullins launch first ever online collaborative guitar design project.
B&M are excited to announce the launch of the world’s first “new media driven” guitar design project in partnership with guitarist Rob Chapman. Named ‘The Youtube Guitar Guru’ by Eddie Kramer, legendary producer/engineer of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, Chapman is known as ‘the Monkey Lord’ to his many online fans.
Regularly ranked in YouTube’s Top 5 most viewed musicians in the UK, Chapman began to turn heads within Barnes & Mullins and Youtube/Google when they noticed that his videos were receiving 10,000 views per day from his loyal social networking following. “It all happened so fast” Said Chapman, “I just remember reaching 1.5M views on Youtube and then I got the contact from Google offering me a contract to become a partner. I firmly believe that my online success is largely due to my determination to keep my content inclusive and interactive – always inviting a response from the audience. Basically, I like people - I still reply to every email or comment if possible and the guys on YouTube really like that personal touch”.
It was at the LIMS show that Barnes & Mullins Director Bruce Perrin first saw Chapman at work, “I was amazed that almost everyone recognised him, he was followed to the Faith Guitars stand by dozens of his fans as his crew filmed him. I realised there and then that we needed to work together to mutual benefit and the “Rob Chapman Signature guitar was born”.
Chapman decided to allow his online following to help design his signature guitar, Rob explains. “I wanted the ML1 to be two thirds mine and a third the people’s, after all they will be buying it so it just made perfect sense to have them involved in the design. I just came up with an initial concept and then let the fans tell me how they wanted it to be specified, eventually narrowing it down to four basic concepts which they voted on in a huge surge which actually put my forum out of action. In the first 30 minutes the “Vote on my signature guitar” thread had 14 pages of new members all putting forward suggestions and voting.”
The ML1 – which will be the world’s first social-network driven guitar design, is a standard Strat type guitar with a few modern appointments. “I have always encouraged guitarists to find their own sound, and I wanted this guitar to be a blank canvas that an artist could modify to his own end. It was crucial to me that all the tone points were top quality, but that the areas which my demographic like to modify such as Pickups were kept affordable. I spent the majority of the build budget on areas that are harder to upgrade such as great quality tone woods, tuners and a decent bridge”
As this goes to press – only 5 days after the online launch of the concept – Barnes & Mullins have received over 40 pre-orders for the ML1 guitar, even though no exact specification has been decided - an impressive achievement in itself, but especially within the current economic climate. The official pre-order process will go live during July.
“This is really quite a big deal”, says Alex Mew, B&M’s Marketing Manager. “It’s incredibly exciting to be involved in this project, as Social-Networking has been a very powerful influence for quite some time now with people of all ages using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In this age of genuine ‘People-Power’, there is no excuse for not delivering exactly what the people want. After all, all you have to do is ask them – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
The ML1 Rob Chapman Signature guitar will be launched under the ‘Chapman – by Gould’ brand, and is expected to be released by Christmas 2009.
You will be able to follow the progress of Rob’s ML1 guitar from the end of July via http://www.gouldguitars.com/
Vote on my signature guitar now!