Hi, guitar players. I've been trying to figure something out this week, so I thought I'd turn to some of the smartest, most awesome people I know - the ManMade readers.
So here's the deal...
These are thoughts, the artwork, the news stories, the tools, the food, the conversations, and whatever else we just can't get out of our heads this month.
For the sake of this article, let’s just assume for a moment that you’re convinced of the merits of listening to bluegrass and old-time string music...
Old tape players are abundant, and cheap. Many have solid speaker sets, perfect period styling and design, and handle-equipped portability. So, what to do with 'em? Play music through them! Oh, tossed your mixtape collection in the late 00s? Then, I guess you gotta make that music yourself.
There's a good deal of crossover in the DIY and rock n roll aesthetic, and it's never been more apparent than in this guide and process video turning a shovel into an electric guitar. I first noticed this DIY level of janky guitar-making in the trailer for the 2008 documentary It Might Get Loud in which Jack White plays a homemade slide guitar that he constructed from an old board, nails, a string, and a Coke bottle.
Ok, it's not entirely from scratch (where do you even get scratch nowadays?) but this unique guide will walk you through the entire guitar-making process from choosing and sculpting your lumber through wiring the electrics to the finishing touches. Most DIY guitar guides will prescribe a repurposed neck, but here you'll be making it all yourself.
Something about this story really touches me. I've always been a fan of both Wyclef and Jimmy DiResta's work, and there's just something about the two of them talking about revolution that just presses all my buttons.
Irish whiskey producers Bushmills teamed up with musician Justin Verson of Bon Iver and luthier Gordy Bischoff to create the 1608 - an electric guitar made from spent charred white oak Bushmill's barrels.
Alma Flamenca is a short film that condenses, "pieces of wood, love, knowledge and 299 hours of work," into three minutes, detailing the beautiful process of building a flameco-style guitar.
Dateline: Summer, 1995. Thirteen-year-old Chris is reading Guitar World magazine, as all budding suburban musicians were wont to do at such an age or era. Cover likely featured 311 or the Presidents of the United States or some such group.
Enter wow moment: Rick Nielsen and his crazy checkerboard five neck guitar, which for some uninformed adolescent who'd never actually heard Cheap Trick, was pretty mindblowing. I later became much more informed about their merit, but dude could still play.
'Cept now, a custom five necker has nothing on this hand built sculptures by Indonesian artist Rudi Mantofani.
Most musicians remember their first instrument. If you're a peer of mine, meaning you bought your first guitar sometime between 1993-1997, from some small local music store, and you honed your chops on grunge and classic rock covers, it was probably an off-brand Stratocaster copy, which was most likely black and had a high chance of being covered with stickers. When I taught guitar lessons when I was in graduate school, I was amused/glad to see that adolescents still basically by the same instruments on their first time out.
When I got my first guitar at age of 13, I was all over that mid-90s loudness that I thought went with rock and roll: alien faces on my guitar picks, vending machine stickers all over my case, and a loud, bold guitar strap.
As I matured, and realized there were other options than those offered at my local mall-based music shop, I went the completely opposite direction: black or neutral straps, plain picks, etc, etc.
And now, fifteen years later (wow...), I think I'd like something in the middle. Perhaps a handmade, subtle, yet colorful, option?
Oh, wow, twelve-year-old Chris would have been over the moon about this thing. Twenty-eight-year-old Chris is pretty excited about it, too.
Twenty-five bucks and some source material will get you (and anyone you know) as many guitar picks as you could ever need for the rest of your life. Or at least until it breaks...
The popsicle stick is a craft supply staple - it's often one of the first media into which children break out after they've mastered crayons and construction paper, and it's certainly many a ManMakers first introduction to working with wood.
One of the popsicle stick's great achievements is its infinite flexibility, which has never been demonstrated more greatly than in this guitar, the body, neck, and headstock of which is made completely from 2000 regular ole' popsicle sticks.
Busupholstery says, "I decided it was time for someone to build a guitar completely from popsicle sticks........Ordered 4,000 on ebay and used about