Sunday, May 20, 2012

Slide guitar (IW#40)

I just got back from playing a great show in Maine in my friends' barn, called Beans and Bourbon.  I'll post videos soon.  I knew there might be folks there that might want some found-object instruments, so I made a couple to take with me.  One of them is essentially the same as the very first instrument I built, which I have taken to calling the Ten Mile Banjo.  This is the one I played at the Kennedy Center with Dance Exchange.

I learned something with this one:  I tried using a bolt for the bridge, but it made for a very muted sound.  I have seen several cigar box guitars ("cbg's" in the lingo of those who write about them on the internet) with a bolt as the bridge, but those have been electric.  When they are acoustic it is a pretty bad choice.  So I made a wooden one (oak, though I like pitch pine or maple better for bridges) and the difference in the sound was impressive.  It sounds pretty good.  I strung it with heavier strings than I did the 10 mile banjo, thinking that might make it louder, but it is about the same.

Here is what it sounds like:

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