Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Thursday, 21 June 2012

A Flying V for my son Jake

Jake has just started to play guitar and has learned as much in the last few weeks as I did int he first year! He wants a flying V so I'm building it for his 17th birthday in August.
The wood for the body is from that pine dining room table and the neck another leg from the table that my ukulele necks came from. It's not supposed to be an exact copy of a Gibson more like a mix of both models plus a bit of what I fancy. (Like a wrap round bridge) Should be fun to play, I hope he'll lend it to me sometimes!

Some photos:

Saturday, 21 April 2012

My instruments being played at GJ's Guitar Eprium.

Had fun at the club at GJ's Guitar Emporium last Tuesday, full to capacity and there were lots of really good performances. I did a talk about my intruments and managed to rope friends from the Copsale club into playing some of my instruments Thomas Holder and me had been jamming together using the chord progression for the chorus of The Four Tops -Main Street People so I thought I'd learn the whole song. The video really catcpures the sound of the rotary speaker albeit in mono! It's a shame my guitar is a little loud in the verses I think my compressor pedal got accidentally left on. Would have preferred to have had a mic but there you go, it;s supposed to be an acoustic club so I was already breaking the rules! ;)

Also Derek and Liz Eastwood of Bamboozle offered to play two of my ukuleles, Gary Holder got to grips with the one string bass, wasn't convinced my guitar was in tune with them so aren't playing much, shame the video camera ran out of memory.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Window display at GJ's Guitar Eporium.

After a long silence I'd better update you with my recent events!
Thanks to my friend music club owner Gary Holder I have been given the opportunity to display my collection the window of the music shop that hosts one his monthly clubs which I will be performing at on Tuesday. Hopefully it will drum up a little publicity for his club. I haven't been able to find "permanent" job yet and have done a couple of subcontracts so am thinking about making guitars if not full time in the gaps between conventional work at least to start with, I realize that to survive in the guitar making game you have to be a little different, so was wondering weather people would be interested in simple -affordable instruments made from locally sourced reclaimed timbers so I want to gauge the republic's reaction and get some feedback I've written brief descriptions for each instrument on the florescent labels and the business idea I just explained to you. So far the reaction has been very positive.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Bass demo video.

PS I said that pick up was made from a security access door magnet but I've just discovered they are normally used as fire door magnets.http://www.firedoormagnets.co.uk/

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

1 string bass- close up photos

I'll let the photos speak for themselves as I'm hopeless at putting captions between the HTML codes!

1 string bass- nearly done!

I have just the last the last finishing touches to sort out including a preamp, the sound is great, just like a boomy tea chest bass but the level too low. Also find it a stronger spike! Close up photos and a sound sample as soon as it's ready!
Have just had the preamp working ..WOW! But it's a shame I have to fit a plastic box on it to house the pcb, battery and output jack bcz it spoils the simple low tech appearance, maybe I can paint it to hide the black plastic?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

1 string bass

I've been temporally distracted from the acoustic guitar idea, last Friday my contract came to an end so I'm out of work again! That night I took my one string diddely bow along to Gary Holder's club at Copsale to play the unemployed blues and had so much fun with it Gary asked if I could make him a bass version. I have these two square pieces of pine that came from the bottom of that pine dining room table I was given and they seem to lend them selves the having a proper neck angle. I'm thinking of joining them with a hinge so the string height can be adjusted from the back giving you the choice weather to play it with a slide or as a fretless "skiffle" bass. The pickup is the same as mine, it being a magnetic security door catch! These improvised one pole pick ups have a great sound low output having a DC resistance of only 60 ohms so I'll fit a preamp into it. Remember my headless bass? Have a look at the bridge! ;)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Acoustic guitar - with a twist!

OK decision made! This years project is going to be some kind of acoustic guitar! My Faith super jumbo is great but rarely comes out of it;s case which in a cottage is always being tripped over! It's not that there is anything wrong with it, quite the opposite, it is the solid topped jumbo sized acoustic guitar I've always dreamed of BUT I didn't make it and for that reason I don't feel the same attachment to it, it's like my music or sound isn't all my own work.
As I discovered with the dulcimer you need a proper bending iron to make a steamed sided guitar so I am going to make mine like my electric guitars but with no center block and (even though it goes against my rule of not buying any wood) a proper braced spruce top. I have that pine dining room table top to make the back and sides from and a mogany table leg (or two) to make the neck.
Also I want to include some unusual features :

A multi scale or fan fretted finger board which means the bass strings are longer than the treble ones like on a grand piano! It evens out the string tension and improves the tone no end and I've been reassured they feel perfectly comfortable to play.

What Green Field guitars http://www.greenfieldguitars.com call a negative angled neck. (The opposite of a Les Paul's neck which angles back.) This causes the strings to exert a very slight upward pull on the sound board and gives the guitar a more harp like sound. I'm thinking rather than have he neck positively angled which looks a tad ugly have the sound board sloping down towards the neck and tapering the sides.
The big drop at the end of the neck will allow me to fit in a humbucker between the sound hole and finger board (at the two octave mark.)

Well don't expect to see much progress until the weather gets warmer as it's freezing in my workshop at the moment!

Btw I'm sending you this via my newly formatted Linux Ubuntu PC - the perfect credit crunch solution for Mac users who find they need a faster machine and/or find their old G4 processors are not supported anymore :(

Listen to this fan fretted guitar and notice the even voicing of each string rather than sounding like the all are resonating together.

NOT saying mine will sound anything as good but it's got to help!

Monday, 2 January 2012

2012 already?

Was my last post really in September? With one thing and another I havn't been performing much but the uke got finished and sounds even better than the first, here is a video of me playing it when Victoria Vox played at my local folk club :) She sighed the top of it too! Katie her cellist told me during the interval that VIctoria was supiried how loud it was then wrote "Nice uke" along side her name when she signed my copy of their cd; Vox, Uke and Cello. My floor spot

And a song from Victoria.

Happy New Year!