After seven years of dedicated work, Michael Kuzma, a lifelong guitarist and Bradley University electrical engineering graduate, successfully delivered his inaugural self-playing guitar on Sunday. What began as an idea in his dorm room evolved into a groundbreaking project that merges his expertise in electrical engineering with his deep passion for music.
The unveiling took place at Eat and Evolve in the Junction City Shopping Center, Peoria, Illinois, where Kuzma proudly presented the first-ever Kuzma Self-Playing Guitar. Reflecting on this significant achievement, he expressed, “The roots started here, so it’s naturally the right progression and makes sense that the first delivered Kuzma Self-Playing Guitar will exist here in Peoria. It’s a big milestone and a big step, something that’s definitely very, very exciting.”
Kuzma, who has played the guitar throughout his life, detailed the innovative process behind his creation. The self-playing guitar, according to him, can interpret and perform any song. Describing the intricate process, Kuzma explained that sheet music serves as the input, and through a software translator, the guitar comprehends the musical notation to execute the song.
While acknowledging that the self-playing guitar may not replicate a human’s interpretation, Kuzma emphasized its ability to provide a robotic yet proficient rendition of any desired song. “It won’t play the song the same way a human would because it has its own style, but it can perform the robotic best attempt of any song I want,” he said.
From an initial phase of learning to play one song, Kuzma has expanded the capabilities of his invention, reaching a point where the Kuzma Self-Playing Guitar is now on a trajectory mirroring a musician’s journey. He shared, “I’m almost following the musician’s journey, where at the start of learning any instrument, you learn very quickly, and you learn how to start playing songs, but to actually master it, it takes a very significant amount of time to add that nuance and artistic texture, that’s what the Kuzma Self-Playing Guitar is at now.”
Enthusiastically looking toward the future, Kuzma highlighted the most exciting aspect of his creation—having the self-playing guitar perform like an artist and exploring its potential in unique and enjoyable ways. He expressed his commitment to ongoing innovation, stating, “It does fun things, and it’s going to continue to do interesting things, and it’s going to keep challenging, ‘Hey, what is the coolest thing you can possibly do with this technology?’ and that’s probably what excites me most about this endeavor.”
Moving forward, Kuzma’s agenda includes refining the dynamics of the technology and software, integrating artificial intelligence, and pushing the boundaries of its capabilities. The journey of the Kuzma Self-Playing Guitar, born from a dorm room idea to a groundbreaking reality, promises to redefine the intersection of music and technology.