We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

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We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by Barry on Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:54 am

From time to time, and for no apparent reason, I start thinking about getting, or making, a 3 string guitar (or maybe a 4 string).
I've always been fascinated by them, and their history, but more as an oddity than a serious guitar replacement.  Thinking 

These past few years though, still dealing with residual effects from the stroke, and as my fingers continue to seize up and twist in the wind from arthritis, normal playing is becoming more and more difficult and less a fun experience. There are good days and bad days so it ain't all doom n gloom. Still, I keep thinking that it might be fun to just pick up something bare bones and just wail on that bad boy, and not have to worry so much about whether I can form the next chord.

A few years ago I came across a wild man called Seasick Steve and his shenanigans made my jaw drop: LINK

And if you have never entertained the idea or don't know anything about them, have a look at this excellent web site: LINK

So, anyone here have one or mess around wif 'em? Let's see 'em!  What a Face

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by Meadows on Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:51 pm

Mrs Meadows and I decided to have a couple of beers late this afternoon and I ran into a good mate, "Gary the harp" who also makes "diddley bows" and other cigar box stringed devises. He let me have a spin of his newest addition, his first fretted neck with copper bridge and nut, three strings, action a tad high but he also designed it for slide. Lovely little player open D tuning, it was great fun to play and we rolled out a couple of tributes to  Mr "Johnny Winter" RIP.

I know what you mean about wanting to come away from the standard six sometimes Barry and why not, it's all music at the end of the day  Smile  

http://s1016.photobucket.com/user/Meadows61/library/Gary%203%20String%20July%202014?sort=3&page=1

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by Barry on Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:37 pm

That's wot I'm talking 'bout right there!

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by corsair on Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:12 pm

Right. So, you want a dulcimer, then?! Laughing 

Seriously, though... what about a lap steel - or a pedal steel? If your hands are hurting on a normal guitar, something like that could be an answer, eh! I use a 6 string lap in various tunings; depends on what sort of music I'm playing as to the tuning.

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by Barry on Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:12 am

Not so much pedal steel John. But I'm toying with slide guitar, open tunings, that sort of thing.

Slide's fun but the tonal range and musical style seem limited. I like the Blues and all that, but slide guitar is like Reggae to me...gets on yer wick after awhile. Like nails on a chalk board, ya know?  silent

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by corsair on Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:03 pm

True enough, but that's why you use different tunings, eh; I use C6 and G9 for country-tinged stuff and then Em - and a little distortion! - for the likes of " One of these days". This is, I hasten to add, on a 6 string lap steel, not a normal guitar played with a slide!
"Sleepwalk" is a favourite to play; I cannot get that languid feel with anything other than a lap steel!!

The number of tunings available is astonishing and I haven't even tried the likes of Fm, Am, CM9 or B11, amongst others... and that's only for a 6 string instrument; think of the tuning possibilities of an 8 or 10 string!!

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by Meadows on Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:52 pm

I think as a player you never stop learning, and experiencing new musical styles and vibes, and stepping out of your comfort zone occasionally can be a very healthy thing and will enhance your overall musicality. Sure it can be challenging sussing out the tuning and getting your scales and chords in place but that's normally when the happy accidents happen.

If it was me Barry I would just loan something different from a mate and see what happens, and keep doing that until something drops that feels right, hey you got nothing to loose  Smile

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did somebody say they wanted a hillbilly geetawr?

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:24 pm

i made this cigar box guitar yesterday in about 4 hours…

i didn't even need to screw or glue anything
used simple hand tools to cut and shape and drill
the cigar box cost me five bucks a the local cigar shop
the neck is a piece of poplar i had in the shed, along with the copper pipe for the bridge and nut
the tuners are from an old samick guitar that is long gone to pieces
and the slide is an 11/16 socket

i grabbed whatever strings i had on hand (36, 20, 17)
tuned it to C G C

it took a bit of noodling around to figure out how it wanted to be played, but dang it is addictive!
tons of fun to make it and even more to fun to play
just about anybody could make one

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by Meadows on Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:24 pm

That looks real smart, job well done  Smile  I think the boxes are having a resurgence at the moment maybe as previously mentioned, as a result of S S Steve and they certainly add a special something to a blues/country session if not over played.

Are you going to out a pickup in there?

I love this opening sequence from "It might get loud", courtesy of Mr Jack White...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ7DZ7HPXck

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by Barry on Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:49 pm

Great stuff Mike. Of course, historically, these things were made just like that, from odd bits n pieces. And played largely by folks unschooled in music theory and such. They just played it until it sounded "right".  Thumb Up 

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:31 pm

Meadows wrote:Are you going to out a pickup in there?
the answer is, yes, of course.
a piezo pickup from mighty mite that has been knocking around my parts box for ages just found itself a nice home
and so...

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

Post by Westbone on Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:49 am

Smokin'.....nice one.

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Re: We don need no steenkin' 6 string guitar!

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