The Suzuki Omnichord
unusual little instruments started their commercial life back in 1981 when
Suzuki released its first incarnation; model OM27 (then known as an Omnichord).
It quickly became adopted by singers, songwriters, musicians - and people who
wanted to play an instrument but had never found the time to learn. Like an
acoustic guitar it is ideal as an instrument to accompany vocals by simply
strumming. The difference with this new instrument is you did not need to have
any previous musical knowledge or even learn chord shapes. Just press a chord
button and strum away. The strumplate would adopt the notes of the chord,
changing to another chord button would cause the notes of the strumplate also to
change. This makes it very quick to learn, impossible to play wrong notes and
perfect for songwriters.
As technology progressed the Omnichord evolved into the OM100. With a new, more ergonomic design and vastly improved strumplate. It soon found itself in places Suzuki had never envisioned. The tactile approach of the Omnichord, and later the Qchord has become an award winning in-road to music for those with special needs. It has helped choirs to sing out their praises, introduced children to music in schools and strung together chord sequences that have become some of the greatest songs written in the last three decades. As with many 80s gadgets it soon developed cult status, with many musicians utilizing its unique sound in their own music. It didn't take long for this cheeky little instrument to appear on album credits and on Stage. The Human League had their own Omnichord Podium for live use, David Bowie opened the 2001 Benefit 'Concert for New York City' with his, John Peel made a cameo appearance on an album called 'Omnichord', and Brian Eno strummed away for Bono, Pavarotti and other 'Passengers'.
As the 90s came to a close the last of the 2nd generation Omnichords was released; model OM300. However it soon became apparent the world was ready for something more exciting....this curious little instrument needed a serious makeover. Like the musicians who have owned one, it become a master in the art of reinvention. In 2001 the Omnichord evolved for a third time and was reborn bearing the name "Qchord". The effects were instant and a new generation of Omnichord/Qchord players quickly discovered the joys of being Q.
Some interesting artists links can be found in the Qchord section!
Omnichord Repairs: please contact us.
System 2 (OM84)