Monday, September 05, 2011

september in cigar box guitar world

I guess it's september in everybody's world but I had to think of a title! What I'm getting at is that summer is nearly over already and in CBG world that means it's not long until Boxfest at Birmingham. If you haven't been to one before you really should try to make it. This is our third year in the UK. Lot's of great stuff going on, workshops, open mic, lot's of like minded folk to chat to and instruments to look at and a cracking gig lined up in th evening. You'll be buzzing for days after. If you want to know more and how to get tickets visit this link. So I've been busy with my electronic stuff again making a few things to take to the fest. Made three tobacco tin amps (one is on order from a guy who sent me the tin) and a cool amp in a small wooden cigar box. They're based on the LM386 chip in case you wondered. I'm also on with some electret mics. These are tiny components that require a battery to work. You can make contact mics from piezos which are great for some things but the electrets give a wider frequency response and are less prone to feedback (apparently) What would you use them for? Well because they are small you can drop them inside instruments that a piezo would be unsuitable for. e.g. an accordian, flute, bagpipes, or how about a guitar that you can't get to the insides of. I haven't tried them in a practical situation yet but I'm thinking of putting one in the old indian harmonium I just bought. Then I can connect it to fx pedals, amps, mixers etc to get some interesting sounds. All this means still no new cigar box guitars but as I still have a couple of spare ones for sale there's no big motivation to build more just yet and space is getting tight in my attic. I'll post some pics soon. I mentioned the India Harmonium. I've been fancying one for a while but they are pretty expensive. Well I spotted on in a junk/antique shop a few weeks ago. I had to have a look at it and the price was £75. Pretty much a bargain as it is a three reed one with 5 or 6 drones. If you don't know what these things are or sound like check them out on Youtube. They are really cool. You pump them with a bellows thingy at the back with one hand and play the keys with the other. But you can pull some stops out to produce a constant drone in key with your playing. Well after checking it out and hearing it work I decided to be cheeky and ask if they were open to offers. They let me have it for £65. There's some minor damage to the casing and one reed seems to squeal but for that price it's a great buy. Here's a photo of it. Hopefully I can make some music soon with it, and combine it with some CBG playing for something a little different to listen to.