Les Paul's 96th Birthday

More Doodles

Jun 9, 2011

The electric guitar brings back memories for me of exchanging riffs with friends and wearing out cassette tapes as I meticulously learned songs. Today, we’re attempting to recreate that experience with a doodle celebrating the birthday of musician and inventor Les Paul.

For the next 24 hours on the Google homepage, you’ll find an interactive, playable logo inspired by the guitar developed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee that made the sound of rock and roll possible.

As well as his guitar work, Les Paul experimented in his garage with innovative recording techniques like multitracking and tape delay. In keeping with this spirit of tinkering, those of you in the U.S. can click the black “compose” button to record your own 30-second track. Just strum the strings or trigger notes with the letters or numbers on your keyboards. Clicking the button again will display a link to share the songs you’ve made. (For example, here’s a little tune I put together.)

If you’re curious, the doodle was made with a combination of JavaScript, HTML5 Canvas (used in modern browsers to draw the guitar strings), CSS, Flash (for sound) and tools like theGoogle Font APIgoo.gl and App Engine.

I hope you have as much fun playing with and sharing the doodle as we did making it (special thanks to engineers Kristopher Hom and Joey Hurst and doodle team lead Ryan Germick for their work). Crank up your computer volume and make some music!

Update Jun 17: Wow—in just 48 hours in the U.S., you recorded 5.1 years worth of music—40 million songs—using our doodle guitar. And those songs were played back 870,000 times! 

Location: Global

Tags: Pop Culture, guitar doodle, electric guitar, guitar, Birthday, Music, strings, Interactive