Two-Headed Monster

That’s what I’ve affectionately named my latest crazy creation which you see here.

I’ve built cigarbox doubleneck slide guitars before but not like this ‘un.

She needs several bits of work to totally finish including small black screw position markers and, etc., but I was exited enough about it to just post as is for now.

I usually refer to such items a prototype, not that I’ll ever build another like it, but the proof of concept, imagination and then completed idea for a cigarbox, cookie tin or otherwise found-object slide guitar is a therapy and joy for me.

Then when I pull ’em out in a live blues gig there is that guilty pleasure of “Yes! It’s ALIVE!” and the deeper issues are stirring personal inspiration as well as a tactile object lesson- sometimes taking some degree of risk in order to live a creative lifestyle on the cheap. You learn as you go and so do those who might share a similar interest.

I am forever coming up with fresh ideas either totally in my own head or from seeing and usually expanding or deriving something different yet again from someone else’s work. All fun when building/playing these little slide guitars.

As each year takes me all over the map on tour I am continually considering fresh travel guitar concepts… so here we have a two-in-one close to complete, a few tweaks and cosmetic things yet to finish. And perhaps a few more decisions, like doing this as a bridge (bolted in place, slight string slots added if I do). 

I wanted 2 necks fairly tight but ended up more split as I didn’t bother to measure anything. I already know how I could’ve remedied that but not a big deal as I like and will use what I’ve built, it’s not for others so…

For neck wood I just used what I had lying about. For me slide guitar playing means the neck can be baseball bat thick and not be an issue of comfort. If either neck were fretted (and hence needing to press the strings down onto the neck) it wouldn’t have worked to place them like I did here as I’ve rather small hands.

What I wanted was a cool but rather thin box, more rectangular than square, two necks with 3 strings each. I decided prior to use a bass string and two wound guitar strings on the one neck affixed straight onto the box, bolted in place with a little rise where the strings would run through so all tension would be on the neck ala Uncle Crow’s design (search for him at http://www.cigarboxnation.com) and a flat, round piezo pickup placed between underside of neck and back of the box.

I decided beforehand the other neck would be flush and tight running through the body inside and just protruding enough to load strings outside the bottom of the box.

Then mounting that one first along with the bottom section of a 10 inch industrial sauce can right on top, another piezo disc hot glued to the underside of the can and 1 wound, 2 plain guitar strings running atop that would give me a dobro or perhaps banjo-like sound.

Each neck would be tuned to a different pitch providing not only two different root chords but truly different sounds one guitar. Further, I planned to wire both pickups directly to the 1/4 inch input jack and just listen to whatever happened!

When switching necks you just flip it over, she’s light enough to simply use a tough 3 strand string placed around the “dobro” neck between the strings and body and when properly tied in place just flips. My belly sufficiently (!) deadens the strings regardless which way I’m playing it and I do think the fact both pickups are live all the time adds to the tones both ways.

I had a mess of strings out of packages so am not fully certain of the actual string gauges so sorry to say I cannot list those, but hopefully can add a video clip somewhere so you can hear both sides of the git.

The “dobro” tuning low to high: B  F#  B

The “lowboy” side (w. bass string) is tuned: D  A  D

She measures 30 inches tip-to-tip, just under 4 inches thick at the thickest part strings-to-strings. The dobro scale -nut to bridge, is 16 3/4 inches and the lowboy scale is 19 1/4 inches.

I’m blessed to report both sides of this one git offer two very different but both cool acoustic as well as electric sounds, two 3 string sliders in one accomplished.

SO fun to string both up and hear my two-headed-monster sing and indeed growl quite nicely!

The tuners were gifted me by a good friend (with 1 “n” -thanks tons Unka Glen http://www.unkaglen.tumblr.com) and the box from another friend, the rest free but for piezos, jack and strings. So I think besides creativity, time and effort this two-fer cost me appx. $6.00 USD. Ok, 7 including the copper slide 🙂

Perhaps yellow is the new blue s ??

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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