For simple, useful primitive/trash guitar building tuning devices, especially re. diddley bows… read on!
Some folks would see these items as an eyebolt attached to an L bracket, a small turnbuckle and a bolt with a wingnut -and they’d be correct. I use them for various projects. I also see ’em as one-string (or more, there are ways to do it…) slide guitar TUNERS…
If you only have bits of hardware on hand, or frequent garage/yard/”junk” sales you can find all sorts of stuff to build a simple diddley-bow (1 string slide guitar) like these things and/or cigar boxes, cookie tins, wooden bowls and such to serve as a guitar or bass “body”, which resonates when a neck of some sort is affixed to them. To create a quick and simple 1 string slide guitar you don’t need much.
Further, I own, have at my disposal and use a wide (and I mean WIDE) range of “real” guitars and basses, amps and trust me, know the difference between -real- guitar and bass tuners/machine heads even down to zither and uke tuners. They all work. And sometimes the cheaper sets work while other times one or more of them will just give out because, well, they’re cheap.
One of my hobbies directly relates to a sort of music therapy for me, that is, creative builds of 1 string slide (using something to change the pitch of the string) and a simple “bridge” between the “tuner” and body of a found-object or cigarbox guitar.
I’ve years of write-ups and pics in my blogsite of various 3, 2 and 1 string guitars built in all sorts of forms and with varied hardware, but what to do when you think you’ve nothing left to build with in terms of tuning? Here are 3 items that may interest you -they all work great, I’ve used them all plenty on a lot of builds.
So… you CAN get really cheap and I’ve also done the 2×4 or other piece with a small but sturdy glass jar, hot sauce bottle or piece of hard conduit (metal or pvc) as a “bridge” and nailed 2 nails to hold it in place with a thicker or thinner piece of wire or guitar string around a 3rd nail or screw behind the “bridge”, then run it up to the top of the neck and wound it tightly on another large, solid nail/screw and if it’s high enough off the “neck” or board or whatever, and if you stretch it out and get the pitch you like, you’re done. If not you can use something similar for a “nut” as you did “bridge”, jam it up under the tightly wound string. I often use a hot sauce or other glass or other item as a slide, and after marking where 3 or 4 main notes are on the neck, I’m done. Adding a pickup isn’t all that difficult either.
For a tuner? Well here are three kinds of ’em from your local hardware store if no little junk sales are near!
So -cheap (and I mean CHEAP) thrills 🙂
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn