KISS or Keep It Simple, StupidMarch 9, 2011 10 Comments
“The Fender Telecaster is an instrument of beautiful simplicity.” Jim Mauradian, luthier.
For you non-guitar geeks this may take a moment to explain. The electric guitar as we know it today, is a product of the 1950’s. Back in the stone ages of electric guitar making, it was an accepted practice to trick out the instrument with as many buttons, knobs and toggle switches as could be fit on a block of wood. And dang it if those guitars didn’t look sweet. Problem was, most of those guitars sounded like crap and because of the complex nature of the design, were in constant need of adjustment when not in a state of total ill-repair.
In response to this over complicating trend, a Luthier named Leo Fender set about to design and produce an electric guitar that was (1) simple to use, (2) durable, and (3) sounded great. Leo Fender’s genius was in stripping away all of the unnecessary crap, reducing the design to the barest essentials.
The product of his design was an electric guitar called the Fender Telecaster, which to this day is considered by many guitarists (myself included) to be the platinum standard of guitars. Go figure.
I wonder how it might look if we consistently applied Leo Fender’s approach to our own work and lives. Thoughts? Anyone want to put in a good word for complexity?