Loog officially makes guitars for kids but frankly, their designs are so cool that adults seem to dig ‘em too. The company began as an academic project in 2010 around the idea of a sustainably made guitar that encourages kids to play, and that could be put together with an adult. Everything about Loog is geared towards simplicity and fun from the guitar design itself to a bundled app that gives you everything you need to start playing songs straight away.
There are several different flavours of Loog. We’re looking at the Loog Pro Acoustic and Loog Pro Electric, but there are a few special offshoots such as the Loog Pro Electric Lucite, Paul Frank editions of the Loog Pro Electric and Loog Mini, and a (now sold out) Third Man Records edition. Both guitars reviewed here share the same basic Airline-inspired outline and a thin neck with three strings, although the strings are thicker on the acoustic than the electric.
In 2017 the acoustic was revamped with improved sound, intonation and playing action, a new bridge, new neck, new pickguard and steel strings, and it now comes assembled ready to play. Loog seems to have stepped back from the ‘you assemble it with a grown-up’ aspect, putting the focus instead on the instrument itself and the fun of playing it. It comes with flashcards with chord diagrams, plus full access to the Loog Guitar app (which is adorable). Loog also points out that it makes a great slide guitar, even for grown-ups. The tone is surprisingly full for such a little instrument, and it’s very easy to press down on the strings, which is crucial for little kids when getting over those first daunting months of guitardom.
As for the electric model, it too received an upgrade in 2017 with a new neck, bridge (a three-saddle hardtail Strat-style unit) pickup, and a new cutaway design. The controls are as simple as it gets: just a volume knob and an output jack. It also comes with the flashcards and access to the app, and it’s loud enough that kids don’t need an amp to enjoy it.
The lipstick pickup is perfectly placed for a sweet yet clear sound. This could easily have been a harsh, overly trebly-sounding guitar that would drive parents nuts if that pickup was placed further back. Instead, it sounds great clean or through overdrive. Distortion gets a little hairy, but if you have a kid who’s into rock, this makes a lot more sense than getting them a full-sized guitar they can’t play yet, or making them start on an acoustic that sounds nothing like the music they want to make.
Loog is the perfect introduction for kids who want to enter the world of guitar without the daunting aspects. It’s fun, it’s kinda cute and silly, and yet it’s totally serious. As an added bonus, the flash cards don’t just teach the three-stringed Loog chords; they show the full six-string chord with the remaining strings in a fuzzy grey out-of-focus design which prevents them from confusing the little’uns when they’re learning the Loog chords, but makes perfect sense when they’re ready to transition to six-string.
Hits and Misses
Necks are very playable for little hands
Great flash card design
Tuning keys can be a bit slippery