Article by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine
In January of 2013 I went to the NAMM show in Anaheim and found many new and wonderful toys for the performance and recording of music. One such unique and creative device new to the market was the Engle, invented by Mark Engler, is a hammer shaped tool a guitarist, or for and stringed instrument artist, may “strike” the strings during or in intermediate timings between normal “plucking” or playing, can add interesting tones and progressions into their performance. I retrieved some facts from their website – “Engler’s design—a guitar-hammer or percussion mallet—allows for more tonal variation than traditional guitar picks. The head of the mallet, shaped like an elongated eye, is composed of molded plastic; its shape, weight, and angle are key elements of its design and function. He dubbed the musical accessory “The Engle,” as in “a new angle for playing the guitar.” – (http://www.theengle.com).
Since the show, I received one of the Engle units for our staff guitarist to try out, our testing showed the Engle was fun and exciting to use and even more so to try to master. The Engle is as stated, a tool designed with the concept of hitting precise notes while playing other stings simultaneously, expanding and refining the artist’s style. The Engle is simple in design, created to be held in a manner that does not impede playing, it can be held in many possible ways and can be used with any type of guitar.
The Engle’s “guitar-hammer” design produces values of pure tone and allows the guitar player to play for longer with less hand stress and using less energy. This for some performers is a breakthrough, people that suffer from arthritis or similar hand debilitating illness, which may have had to give up playing, could now reacquaint themselves with their love for playing guitar. The Engle can be used as a medium in helping people with other ailments that prohibit playing stringed instruments find a joy in music. The Engle is very affordable and is a way to add to your instruments versatility without having to buy a different instrument, think of being able to play your electric guitar like a hammer dulcimer or get a piano sound from your acoustic, you are only limited by your imagination. The Engle, which is priced at or near $19.95 at all participating retailers, will be a great addition to any performer’s tool kit.
To learn more about The Engle or to get one of your own, go to The Engle Web Site where national and online retailers are listed. The Engle has on its web site lists of artists who use and endorse the product, instructional videos and links to its YouTube Page for Updated Video References and company news videos. The Engle may not be a fancy electrified over complicated tool, but it’s not supposed to be, it’s meant to make playing and performing music fun, exciting and rewarding, which is why you learned to play in the first place. Listen to music from a new “Engle” and see what you ears have been missing.