Although I can hardly believe it it’s been over twenty-six years since I had the initial idea for the Jamma – or, as it’s more widely known - the Dynacord Rhythm Stick. What I also find surprising is how young I was when I conceived the idea. Technically at 19, I was a teenager. No wonder it had such an impact on my life.
I’ve realised over the years that many people have ideas. Good ideas, bad ideas, crazy or just plain mad ideas. Ideas for art, for products, for politics, for the planet or for society, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter, is if you turn them into a reality.
Is not easy.
The Rhythm Stick / Jamma was never intended to be a replacement for a drum kit, nor a piece of technology to rival a keyboard. The concept was for a dynamic guitar-esque percussive sound-triggering instrument that had balls, performed well on stage and looked cool.
There are now a number of mobile MIDI trigger instruments available. As far as I am aware, the Rhythm Stick - which was conceived 1981 - was the first in its field and precedes them all.
This is not only the story of how this instrument came about; it’s also a real account of the ups and downs of being ‘an inventor’. If you’ve ever had an idea for something and want to know what it’s like trying to make it happen, read on...
My innocent idea for a new instrument has governed my life and led me to many interesting situations (!) and I could not tell the story of this instrument without telling at least, some of my own story.
If you read on, be prepared, for this is the real, ‘warts and all’ experience that I had in turning one of my ideas into a reality.