In a single Google doodle, the search engine somehow captured both of Les Paul's incredible contribution to modern music: The solid-body electric guitar, shown in the look and sound of today's Google logo; and multitrack recording, presented, in some degree, through Google's clever record feature.
This interactive Les Paul tribute caught the imagination of armchair guitarists across the country, no doubt derailing office productivity in the process. Since strumming with your mouse is a little imprecise, Google also allowed people to play through their keyboards. Once you click the record button, type any number key to pick at a corresponding string. The 1 key plays the lowest note, 0 strums the highest. Plus, if you hit several number (or letter) keys at a time, you'll play a chord.
YouTube has many excellent recordings from the Google guitar. Here are some of the best, in no particular order. The final page of this story will have some instructions on how you can play your own version. If you record a good session, share it with the world by posting the URL in our comments section.
#5 Stairway to Heaven
The theme song to every '70s high school prom – and probably a lot of 40-year reunions this year – is now forever captured on YouTube by user OooooooooMEooooooooO. This Google guitar rendition deftly captures the arpeggio, finger-picked opening of the Led Zeppelin classic. The key is all wrong. The original song was written for A minor, while the Google guitar only plays in C major. But Mr. O...ME...O nails the pace.
The YouTuber also shared the notation, so you too can play along. Once you get Google guitar recording, type out:
6 7 8 7 6 7
6 7 8 9 8 7 6
8 9 0 9 8 7 6 5
5+7+9 (Play together as a cord)
Once you're done recording, Google will give you a URL, which you can send to friends and prove your hard-rocking, key-clicking prowess. (This seems to work only in some browsers.) OooooooooMEooooooooO went a step further by recording the entire screen as he played.
If you'd rather play with your mouse, Google has rather cleverly laid out the strings so that you can easily strum a few chords, all while adhering to the guitar shape of its iconic logo. By passing your cursor over the three longest strings, you can play a G-Major chord. You can include the short string on the bottom left, too, for a bit of a fuller sound. The two strings on the top left will allow you to play a C chord, and the four strings all the way over on the left will let you play a D chord. These three chords will let you play hundreds of songs and are the main components of a 12-bar blues.
OK, that's one down.
#4 Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Joy to the World, and Lullaby
Here's a three-fer. YouTube user "poripa" uses the Les Paul tribute to capture Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Joy to the World, and Lullaby. You can find the notation to play Twinkle Twinkle at the end of this story.
#3 Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Here's a short and sweet chorus line from the Beatle's "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da."
#2 Pirates of the Caribbean theme
Hans Zimmer's Pirates of the Caribbean theme, as played by out favorite OooooooooMEooooooooO.
#1 How to play your own renditions
As promised, here's some notations so you can jam out on the Les Paul/Google guitar.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Louie Louie - The Kingsmen
A+D+K (play together)