Playing guitar is difficult enough here on Earth, but as Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recently told CBC Music, it’s a whole lot harder on a spaceship.
The trouble, of course, is zero gravity. As Hadfield explains in the video above, it’s not just the weightlessness of the guitar, but the weightlessness of your own arm when trying to land fingerings and keep the instrument in place: “If you’re a guitar player and you want to know what it’s like to play guitar on a spaceship, put your guitar down on the ground, stand on your head, wait a few hours, pick up your guitar, and play upside down.”
Still, the astronaut has managed to master the art of space music. Hadfield is well-known for his zero gravity string picking, perhaps most famous for a rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on the International Space Station.
Hadfield says that despite its difficulties, playing music in orbit is beautiful because of that particular set of circumstances: “You kinda have to learn how to be a space musician. But the beauty of it is—that’s reality. That’s how guitars sound in space, and that’s how your voice sounds in space, so it’s different. And the beauty of the place changes how you feel about about music as well, so, it’s just reality.”
Banner image via YouTube.