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Signature strings

Ehsaan Noorani becomes the first Indian to endorse an international guitar brand, reports PRABALIKA M. BORAH



Ehsaan Noorani is making news not just for his music but also for his guitar

Haste makes waste. So Ehsaan Noorani of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy fame didn't mind waiting. After spending a good two years on the specifications, the outcome was more than flattering. And why not, after all Ehsaan is the first Indian to ever endorse a musical instrument for the most famous International guitar brand—Fender. Fender in turn has endorsed Ehsaan with his own signature line guitar. Ehsaan is definitely on a musical high and says, “the fact that I play the instrument and bought my it first in 1981 makes me smile at myself. I never expected this or even dream about it.”

What exactly makes the guitar special? “It is made exactly to my specifications. We have spent two years deciding on the wood, the shape and size of the neck, the veneer and of course the electronics in detail. Made of alder body with maple veneer on top, the guitar has a slim C shape maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, giving an amazing playability and comfort,” explains Ehsaan.

The other specifications that make the piece a dream is its 22 medium jumbo frets, it is equipped with 2 Duncan designed humbuckers and 1 single coil with 5 way switch giving a wide spectrum of tonal variation. The Sperzel licensed locking tuners give the instrument an amazing tuning stability.

“The slim neck makes the guitar comfortable to play. Indian guitarists prefer the slimmer neck. Its electronic configuration makes it unique and usable for all styles of music,” Ehsaan elaborates. There are around 225 signature pieces in the country at present and is available in four colours — Purple, Green, Red and Blue. “The colours are very electric.

I like all of them but I am a big green fan, so I mostly play the green guitar,” adds Ehsaan.

So how did the Fender signature happen? “My friend and room mate — Chris Gill, and I both share a common passion for music and guitars.

While in college we played a lot of music but somewhere we lost touch. Years later, when we met I was surprised to see him as the head of Fender Squire. I couldn't have wished for anything better than the endorsement when the company began talks with me,” he says.

And finally when the piece was ready, what did Ehsaan play. “The ICC World Cup 2011 theme song was entirely scored on the first Ehsaan Noorani Fender Squire guitar,” he says.

The Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy troika is now working on Don 2 and waiting for the release of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

Any plans of performing down south? “Mostly by the end of the year. We love playing to the crowd in Hyderabad,” he says. Telugu movies? “Talks and works, both are on,” he signs off.

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