Real Richmond Review: Are Guitars For Girls? We say YES!

Lisa Ann Setchel and her daughter, Ryan Setchel recently visited the Science Museum of Virginia and the Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World display. True to form, the Museum did not disappoint. Here’s their awesome review of what they saw, heard, and learned.

Mom Says


When I think of guitars I think of that Van Halen concert in 1984 where I saw Eddie Van Halen doing his thing so well. It’s funny when you aren’t a musician and you don’t have knowledge of what makes those cool sounds, you just enjoy it and don’t question how it’s made. I also married a man who played an acoustic guitar to the level of taking theory classes. Still didn’t know much about it except that it sounded good. I once dated a bass player that would bring tears to your eyes he looked, I mean, played so good.

I’m not sure any of those life experiences prepared me for The Science Museum of Virginia ~ Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked The World.

There were so many guitars that I wasn’t sure what to look at first. This exhibit started with recreations of guitars dating back to 3,000 BC that originate from Africa, Persia, Mesopetamia, India and Europe. The things I didn’t know about guitars could fill an old school encyclopedia. The exhibit interactively displays the pressure exerted from the tension of the strings that’s really mind-blowing.

There are other interactive displays for your young musicians like a see-through guitar, and a guitar that’s moved by a semi.

That’s right, the World’s largest playable guitar.

My personal favorite moment was when I asked the creator of the exhibit to show us the most expensive guitar on display. He walked us over to one that I would’ve walked right by and never thought a thing. Not one of the oldest guitars, not one adorned with jewels, but one of the most basic looking guitars you can imagine. A guitar made by Martin in the year 1943-44 when the conditions of the wood made such an incredibly huge difference in the sound quality that only the biggest and most recognized musicians have their hands on one.

There is even a guitar made from a 3D laser. I am still trying to wrap my brain around that one. Don’t believe for one second that they missed a thing. Even the air guitar is featured in it’s own case on display, but you cannot touch!

For two girls who don’t play guitar, we enjoyed it and we now have a newfound respect not only for the instrument themselves but for the musicians who play them.

Lisa and Ryan Setchel

Daughter Ryan Says

So many kids dream of being a rock star when they grow up, playing lead guitar in a famous band, but do they actually know anything about the history of guitars?

“I’ll admit, I didn’t until I visited this exhibit, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World at the Science Museum of Virginia. Now I know more about them than I ever dreamed I would. From 3,000 BC to the present, many beautiful and intricate designs, and some of the more basic looking guitars were made, and each one is very different,” explains Ryan Setchel.

Ryan goes on to explain, “This exhibit is for everyone who likes music. Anyone ranging from a young child who dreams of being a legendary guitarist, to a rock superstar would love the exhibit. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of music ever, you’ll probably still find the exhibit fascinating. Not only will you see dozens of artifacts, but you’ll also see the inside of the guitar, understand the amount of pressure put on the metal strings, and more. So if you get an opportunity to see this exhibit, you should definitely take it.”

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