Playable 'guitar' Google Doodle fetes Les Paul

A guitar-themed interactive Google Doodle on Thursday paid tribute to American inventor and "guitar hero" Lester William Polsfuss (Les Paul).

Visitors to Google's homepage were greeted with a set of guitar strings of varying lengths that spelled "Google" to mark what would have been Paul's 96th birthday.

Hovering the mouse or pointing device over the strings would produce a specific note. Also, clicking on the "keyboard" icon

Clicking on the doodle will take the visitor to a set of Google search results for "Les Paul."

Paul is credited for popularizing innovations such as delay effects, phasing effects and multi-track recording.

He collaborated in the design of the "Gibson Les Paul" electric guitar.

The Les Paul online website (www.lespaulonline.com) said he had a "staggeringly huge influence over the way American popular music sounds today, that many tend to overlook his significant impact upon the jazz world."

"Though he couldn't read music, Paul had a magnificent ear and innate sense of structure, conceiving complete arrangements entirely in his head before he set them down track by track on disc or tape. Even on his many pop hits for Capitol in the late '40s and early '50s, one can always hear a jazz sensibility at work in the rapid lead solo lines and bluesy bent notes -- and no one could close a record as suavely as Les," it added (http://www.lespaulonline.com/bio.html).

Among the jazzers who acknowledge his influence are George Benson, Al DiMeola, Stanley Jordan (whose neck-tapping sound is very reminiscent of Paul's records), Pat Martino and Bucky Pizzarelli, the site said. — TJD, GMA News

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