World Without Guitars is just like our world, only guitars (and closely related string instruments) were never invented. It serves as a “control reality” for those undertaking the physical design of new instruments. And also for those tackling the necessary concomitant social engineering for the cultural embracing of same.
Our hero Guitar Boy is visited in a dream by the inter-dimensional ghost of Stevie Ray Vaughn. GBoy is a superb craftsman/electronics guy, and so he makes a Strat-like guitar (yes, and amp to go with it, OK?). Then he shows his new instrument off at MakerFaire. Of course, he can’t actually play it himself, beyond plucking at a string and getting a note. Or, occasionally, remembering the one chord SRV taught him, which brings his left hand into play to modulate the effect of a pluck. Not real impressive, but a totally convincing demo in the eyes (and ears) of GBoy. He’s ecstatic, and very hopeful to boot.
Now he knows plucking a note isn’t the same as the music he heard SRV play in his dream, but he assumes if passersby have heard one note, then they will be able to imagine more than one, and played in a pleasing sequence. He assures them, “Oh, don’t worry, people will be able to learn to play it really fast, and the result will be wonderful!”
No deal. No one is buying.
It doesn’t matter what he says, nor how pretty the so-called ‘guitar’ he made is, he always gets the same reaction: “No one would be able to play that thing.”
“No human could ever learn,” they go on, “to play that ‘guitar’ in the way you describe, coordinating the so-called ‘chording hand’ with the ‘picking hand.’ And doing that ‘picking’ at the rate of five or ten notes per second? Are you insane? People’s hands and brains just don’t work that way.
“Besides, even if they could, why would they want to? The music you describe sounds hideous.”
Finally, if all that weren’t enough, there one other problem with this ‘guitar’ that GBoy has invented. It’s made of the wrong stuff. When pushed, a surprising number of people reveal an innate prejudice against the basic technology of the instrument itself.
They say, ‘I hate wire and wood.’
Footnote. Reason for ‘wire and wood’ phobia in World Without Guitars:
WWG is just mostly like our world, sans guitars, but it does differ in other little ways. Such as, it’s a lot more like Texas, with a plenitude of open plains and cattle. And, everyone has bad memories of being abused by barb wire on wooden poles.
So horrible are these memories that they shrink back in terror when presented with an instrument made out of wire and wood (kind of like many people do in our world when “confronted” with a computer-based instrument). They can’t imagine a non-hostile use for something made of that shit, let alone doing art with it. “Are you kidding? You f***ing pervert!” they yell. More screaming, then torches and pitchforks ensue. RIP Guitar Boy’s dream.