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MUSIC should be for everyone, no matter what their ability, says guitarist and bee-keeper Tim Rowe.

“Guitars are the easiest instrument to sing along to – but they are surprisingly difficult to learn, and especially if you have arthritis or have a few fingers missing,” he says.

So it’s not surprising that Tim’s Chordelia Guitar Machine is creating quite a stir.

Launched during the summer from his tiny workshop in West Cork, Ireland, it does the hard part for you by making the chords when you pull a lever. Now all you have to do is strum. And sing.

Last year Tim had to down-size his commercial bee-keeping venture, because of increasingly wet summers.

Looking around for a replacement, he went back to a project he’d begun 11 years earlier – the Chordelia Guitar Machine.

“I’d given up on it many times because progress was so slow,” he said. “Getting the correct pressure on the strings was the hardest part. I made 59 versions of it before I got one to work reliably. That was a good day.”

Having established (and patented) the new design, he still had to work out how to manufacture them.

“That involved a lot of noise and sawdust coming from the back-bedroom!

“People said they should be plastic, but I’m a carpenter and I know wood best. Wood feels right.”

He has started with the simplest model – the Chordelia number five – which makes the five most commonly used chords. With it you can play hundreds of songs. He expects to launch the 7-chord and 9-chord models before too long.

Cost 225 euros (just under £200).

www.chordelia.com

Tel 00353 8606 08695