Friday, December 24, 2010

30 Days of Creativity - #18-#19

Home Made Guitar Pickups

I have been interested in cigar box instruments for awhile now. Actually I have always been interested in found object as instruments. Once I recorded a song called "Robotics Man" that featured sounds from power tools and some beeps made by touching the ends of a pair multimeter leads together. That was decades ago!

I got it into my mind to make a cigar box instrument  after seeing one that the aforementioned nephew was working on. I also remember seeing John-Alex Mason play one he had made (this was a couple of years ago), and I recall him describing how he made his own pickup for it. I figured if I was going to make my own cigar box guitar, it would be cool and educational to make a pickup too.

You can't make a pickup unless you know how to get started, so my output for today and tomorrow consisted of researching how to make one (maybe a half hour each day?). I found the following resources helpful, although I haven't decided exactly how to proceed.

Make a Guitar Pickup (Instructable)

Make Your Own Electric Guitar Pickup

How to Make  a Humbucking Pickup for Guitar (The Hard Way!)

I'll admit I haven't actually made a guitar pickup even as of the end of 2010, but I have scrounged up most of the materials over time, including a roll of magnet wire I got at an estate sale for $1, so it is on my list of things to do! I think the best place to get neodymium magnets is either eBay or KJ Magnetics. Amazon sells some too.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

30 Days of Creativity - #17


I had already written the lyrics to "Non-Linear Dude (see Day #13) and had piddled around with some music for it. I finalized that (more or less) on this day. Then I went to my nephew's house to jam and do a little recording.

He is a songwriter and guitar player and we occasionally gt together and talk about doing some open mics together. So far its ll talk, but we still keep talking about it. On this particular day, I made a demo recording of "Non-Linear Dude" and we worked together on a few other things, including an acoustic version of "Sweet Jane."

We also worked on a song together. He always has some music he has been working on so I threw out a few lyrics and we took it from there. We even wrote them down somewhere. It was tentatively called "Rot Gut Highway" and the first few lines went something like:
Travelin' down a broken highway
The side of the road all covered with bones
Picked up a dog that was headed my way
Threw him in in the back and kept on goin'

We even recoded part of it. Come to find out later, that his computer crashed and as far as I could understand, all the work is gone. Oh well.

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