Especially things that work. There are some links to more information and perhaps I could recommend an excellent series of setup guides: Sketchy Setups. Give your axe a few simple tweaks, grab that bottleneck, and let slide! The Peavey PowerSlide (£275) is a good … I initially tuned to E-A-D like on a standard guitar and while that was fun, I think I’ll get more mileage from an open tuning, which is what a lot of the cigar box guitar sites recommend. Had it tucked up there in my closet and would see it all the time but never used it for anything. The cigar box came from the Twin Liquors down the street and seemed to be the only empty cigar box in town. I’d also like to build one with proper electric guitar pickups, maybe a nice, growling, dirty humbucker. The first step is to measure three things: action at the 12th fret, neck relief, and string height at the 1st fret. There are some good YouTubes of Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) playing a coffee can guitar. If you ask me, slide guitar’s supposed to be crusty as hell. I’m gathering random ideas to build a coffee can guitar — I think this would sound a bit different from a cigar box, and well, I have several cool antique coffee cans lying around my junk room, er, shop. Personally, I’d shim/raise the nut first and then look at the action. Thanks, for the tip, Dom. That will however be a project for cooler weather. That should get you pretty close to where you need to be. I bought a few, widened the string holes and glued them in. Coming out of my amp, it sounds old fashioned: tinny and mid-rangey like an A.M. radio. The radius of that large circle is measured in inches. If the string height at the nut and the saddle is correct, you shouldn’t need more relief because you’re not actually fretting. They’re thinner and require less tension. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. For acoustic guitars, we’ll want to go just a bit higher than this: I’m discussing some setup changes but I’m not going into detail on how to carry out those changes. To prevent this while cutting the nut, use the feeler gauge as a limiter on the cutting height of the nut file. The clip is about a minute or so. However, in order to comply with privacy regulations, I also need you to provide consent to store and process the information you've entered. Anyhow, I happened to have saved the cigar box that I bought to hand out cigars in the bars to my buddies when he was born. Bridge/Saddle radius considerations when setting up for slide guitar. I say hopefully because it can be tricky to make any modifications to it. After reading that real electric guitars use the bridge as the ground, I decided to just run the ground wire out of the back of the box (that black wire in the detail photos above) and wrap it around the bolt I’m using for a bridge. I got the wood, a 3-foot 1×2 of poplar, and various bolts and nails at Lowe’s. Blessing. Still, it’s a new beast and now that it’s built I get the fun of figuring out how to play it. I haven’t soldered anything since 7th grade electronics class so this took some practice. Until you’re a frickin’ genius of the slide guitar, your bottleneck pressure and placement are much more likely to make things sound out than your intonation will. The plans I used say to just hook the piezo transducer to the output jack, but I wanted a volume pot in there so I had to search around, but I found a simple wiring diagram at Cigar Box Nation. On Monday, I gathered all the supplies. Ever hear someone say: "I'll do anything else with my guitar but I won't touch the truss rod."? Not having frets will take some getting used to; my fingers generally know where to go, but with the longer scale I have to spread them slightly farther than I would on a regular guitar. Derek Trucks has said that he plays on a guitar that’s not setup particularly differently than normal and I’ve watched Joe Bonamassa play annoyingly perfect bottleneck on a Blue Collar guitar that I’d set up to be pretty slinky. At the bridge end you can raise or lower the string height of each string using the height screws on the saddle. I plan to make more of these. When you set the string height, you can use a radius gauge (radius gauge PDF), or you can eyeball it. The 1st 30 seconds are acoustic and the rest is through the amp. How high or low the strings are above the fretboard is called action. There I glued a number 6x 1 1/2 machine screw. That’s perfect. However, here’s thing thing I’d say about intonation in this context…. Unless you’re sitting in to play a little bottleneck with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, you probably don’t need to lose too much sleep over the intonation. The slide work is clumsy (you can hear me knocking it against the neck). If you’re just starting slide, setting intonation might be tricky for you. Right now, I’ve got it tuned to open G (G-D-G) which lends itself to slide playing. The height of the saddles should form an arc to match the curvature of the fretboard, or fretboard radius. I measured the scale length and found it was almost 2 inches longer than the scale length on my other guitars, but shorter than bass scale length. You’ll need to either replace the nut or remove it and place a shim underneath.

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