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The world’s largest playable guitar is a huge 43.5 feet long, 16 feet wide and 2,255 pounds, custom-made Gibson Flying V. It is constructed of wood with strings made out of aircraft cable. The Gibson Flying V guitar was constructed by the Academy of Science & Technology in Houston as part of a project to explore electromagnetism and structural engineering. In 2001, its record-breaking size was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Deyaveane Taylor, an 11-year-old from Johnstown, watched as her siblings and cousins tried playing the guitar at the Carnegie Science Center. How did it sound? “Really, really not good,” she said!

The world’s smallest guitar is 10 micrometers long, about the size of a single cell. A guitar carved from a block of silicon and based on a Fender Stratocaster, measured ten micrometres long – 1/20 the thickness of human hair. Made in 1997 in just twenty minutes by scientists at the Cornell University, New York, USA, each of its six strings were 0.05 mm 1/100 in thick, equivalent to 100 atoms laid end to end. When plucked, the strings vibrated, but at frequencies 1,000 times higher than the human ear can pick up. Each approximately 50 nanometres wide (around 100 atoms of Silicon), the strings could actually be plucked by an atomic force microscope and resonate. Examples like this guitar, which is the size of a human blood cell, are instrumental in demonstrating capabilities for micro-engineering structures that will be useful for medical and bio-engineering applications.

You won’t find these particular guitars at the Melbourne Guitar Show but you will discover the latest, state of the art guitars, rare and collectable old guitars, guitars in the hands of some of Australia’s finest guitarists, amps, pedals, ukes and other fretted instruments. Tickets available now at $17 or $20 at the gate. August 8 and 9, 2015 Caulfield Racecourse

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