Saturday, September 13, 2008

distressing a cigar box guitar

I've started building a new CBG and wanted to have a go at making a distressed one out of a new box. I stripped the labels of this plain looking Monte Christo box, then sanded all the corners and edges to round them off to look worn.

I added some marks by wacking the surfaces with various metal items to produce a random marked effect that would make it look like it had been used a while. Some coarse grit sandpaper scratched across the grain in a few places added to the effect. Lastly I gave it a couple of coats of stainer which gave it a mellow golden colour and picked out the distress marks.

Next stage is to make a neck to look equally old. Probably use some mahogany and paint the fretboard. I'm thinking of white, then dulling it down somehow. Compare the before and after photos - I think it worked quite well. I may add an old label or two later.

Monday, September 08, 2008

pinched harmonics on a cigar box guitar

You'll probably already know that if you pluck a string on a standard guitar and quickly touch it at the 12 fret, you get the harmonic and octave higher. You can also find harmonics on the 5th and 7th frets easily too. Well heavy metal players make use of this phenomena to get those high pitched squeals common to that genre using method know as "pinched harmonics". It's a bit of a dark art to me so excuse my ignorance on just exactly how they produce it. There is a definite techinique which I'm noy 100% sure on.

Anyway, I was just messing about with my CBG and found a way of getting an unusual harmonic which I think is similar to pinched harmonics. It sounds unusual because you can get it to sing out whilst sliding. It involved using thumb and forefinger at the same time to pluck the string. Sort of plucking it in two places with these digits but in opposite directions. I posted a short vid on my Youtube site using it. Have look and take note of what my right hand thumb and forefinger are doing when I'm getting the harmonics.