Birmingham’s coolest exhibit hits Jan. 17—Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World

Birmingham, McWane Science Center, National GUITAR Museum, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World

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Birmingham, McWane Science Center, National GUITAR Museum, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World
Play the world’s largest guitar at Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World. Photo via the National GUITAR Museum

Hey, Birmingham! Are you ready to rock? Then grab your tickets to one of the coolest exhibits around—Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World, coming to McWane Science Center January 17-May 10. Here’s why you should check it out.

What’s the Exhibit About?

Birmingham, McWane Science Center, National GUITAR Museum, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World
Find out how the guitar works at Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World at McWane Science Center. Photo via the National Guitar Museum

Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World is a touring exhibit that has been exciting and engaging music fans since its launch in 2011. 

Who’s behind the creation of this electrifying exhibit? None other than The National Guitar Museum—the world’s first museum dedicated to the history, science, evolution and cultural impact of the guitar.  

Birmingham, McWane Science Center, National GUITAR Museum, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World
Photo via the National GUITAR Museum, Instagram

At 4,000 square feet, GUITAR is a fully immersive exhibition that explores everything from the instrument’s history and evolution to the science of creating sound with wood and steel. And luckily for us, it’s coming to McWane Science Center in Birmingham January 17-May 10!

Okay, okay, I won’t string you along any longer. Here are the top three reasons to check out the exhibit.

Already know you want to go? Buy your tickets now!

1. You’ll Explore the Science and Sound of Guitars

Birmingham, McWane Science Center, National GUITAR Museum, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World
Discover guitars through the decades at McWane Science Center. Photo via the National Guitar Museum

How does a guitar create sound? What happens to guitar strings when strummed? You’ll discover the answers to these questions and more at Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World.

GUITAR is packed with all sorts of STEAM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) elements, which makes it the perfect place for all ages to learn. But don’t fret (see what I did there?) you’ll be so immersed in the science and sound of what makes a guitar such an amazing instrument you won’t even notice how much learning you’re actually doing.

Here are just some of the things you’ll discover:

  • Electromagnetism
  • Sound waves
  • Frequency and decibel levels
  • Engineering design
  • And more!

2. It Features Hands-On Interactives

Birmingham, McWane Science Center, National GUITAR Museum, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World
Learn how the guitar works at the Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World exhibit. Photo via slsc.org

Wait. Does that mean you get to put fingers to strings and play real guitars? Yep, that’s exactly what it means. 

One of the coolest parts of the exhibit is the Gibson Flying V. At 43.5 feet long, the Guinness Book of Records deemed it the world’s largest playable guitar

Birmingham, McWane Science Center, National GUITAR Museum, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World
Take a strum on the world’s largest playable guitar. Photo via the National GUITAR Museum, Instagram

The best part—you can play it! In fact, those at McWane Science Center can’t wait to see you do just that.  Besides, when else will you get the chance to play the world’s biggest guitar? Just don’t try to lift it or smash it like a rockstar!

3. You’ll Discover Iconic Electric Guitars

Birmingham, McWane Science Center, National GUITAR Museum, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World
Gorgeous! Photo via the National GUITAR Museum, Instagram

If there’s one thing you can expect to do at this exhibit, it’s oohing and aahing over an incredible collection of over 70 guitars from the acoustic and electric to the historic, the antique, and the unusual. Some were even owned by pop cultural phenoms such as the one and only B.B. King. 

One of the most famous guitars in the world is also on display. I’m talking about the one and only “air guitar!” You’ll definitely have to activate your imagination for this one. What will you envision yourself playing? A Gibson Les Paul perhaps, or maybe an electric blue Fender Telecaster? Rock on with your bad self!

Birmingham, McWane Science Center, National GUITAR Museum, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World
“The Rock Ock – 8 Neck Guitar.” Totally over the top and completely radical. Photo via The National GUITAR Museum

You can also feast your eyes upon the world’s largest playable multi-necked stringed instrument—“The Rock Ock – 8 Neck Guitar.”

Boasting 154 frets, 51 strings, eight necks and weighing 40 pounds, this is one instrument you don’t see every day. Yes, it’s totally ridiculous and completely over the top, buy hey, that’s rock-n-roll, baby!

Rock out at Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World

Check out the exhibit January 17-May 10 at McWane Science Center. Buy your tickets now!

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