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Building Drone Instrument from Guitar Parts

Postby PLQ » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:07 pm

I am interesting in building a sort of experimental drone instrument out of bass guitar parts. I would like to make long continuous sounds so I was thinking sort of a bass that could be more easily played with a bow.

So I would like to buy the bridge string mounts but individually, so I can mount them on a curved surface. So a fixed bridge wouldn't really work. I would also like to use individual pickups, for the same reason. Mounting on a curved surface. I am not that well up on buying musical instrument parts so I don't know how easily these can be found. Anyone with advice?

Thanks, Phil
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Re: Building Drone Instrument from Guitar Parts

Postby zenguitar » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:44 pm

Hi Phil and welcome to the forums.

There are several manufacturers who offer individual string bass bridges.

Here are a few...

http://www.fullcontacthardware.com/fch- ... ass-saddle

https://abm-guitarpartsshop.com/ABM-GUI ... anguage=en

https://hipshotproducts.com/products/so ... ass-bridge

I can't recommend any as I haven't used them.

Most of the boutique pick up winders would be able to make a set of individual string pick-ups for you.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Building Drone Instrument from Guitar Parts

Postby Wonks » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:04 pm

If you are on a tight budget, there are a lot of cheap single string bridges on eBay e.g. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Single-indiv ... SwYIhWjBou

Quite a few single pickups available here: http://ubertar.com/hexaphonic/one_and_t ... ckups.html
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Re: Building Drone Instrument from Guitar Parts

Postby BJG145 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:07 pm

PLQ wrote:I was thinking sort of a bass that could be more easily played with a bow.

I guess you've considered an eBow...? I like this improv on a fretless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8xsvATckV4
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Re: Building Drone Instrument from Guitar Parts

Postby Wonks » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:16 pm

If you are thinking of a very bass-like instrument, there are of course many existing electric uprights, which are a bit bulkier than a normal bass but could always be modified. The Stagg one is the cheapest I've seen, but it's still not that cheap https://www.gear4music.com/Woodwind-Brass-Strings/Stagg-Electric-3-4-Double-Bass-Metallic-Black/PW4?origin=product-ads&campaign=PLA+Shop+-+GENERIC&adgroup=GENERIC&medium=vertical_search&network=google&merchant_id=1279443&product_id=33556d1&product_country=GB&product_partition_id=127159722799&gclid=Cj0KCQiAr93gBRDSARIsADvHiOpeUzpskmRdg60P3zwG4m98tY-xIQuR2rhLtFFhlt69e6bUDetWZ5saAp15EALw_wcB. Stagg also make a similar cello, which would be more electric bass sized.

Ned Steinberger also produces a range of upright basses, from the (relatively) affordable WAV to the flagship EU models. https://thinkns.com/instrument/ns-desig ... ight-bass/
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Re: Building Drone Instrument from Guitar Parts

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:27 pm

Coincidentally I was looking at Cellos with a view to building a more portable acoustic upright bass but the scale length on a full sized Cello is only around 27½" which is only 1" longer than the guitar in my sig and much shorter than even a very short scale bass (obviously disregarding Uke basses with their rubber strings).

Sounds like an interesting project, keep us posted PLQ if you don't mind :thumbup:
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Re: Building Drone Instrument from Guitar Parts

Postby blinddrew » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:07 am

BJG145 wrote:
PLQ wrote:I was thinking sort of a bass that could be more easily played with a bow.

I guess you've considered an eBow...? I like this improv on a fretless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8xsvATckV4
Ebows can be a bit hit and miss on basses though, sometimes they stuggle to get the string moving on anything lower than the D
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Re: Building Drone Instrument from Guitar Parts

Postby PLQ » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:47 pm

Thanks for the replies! Really helpful, I am on a budget and also fancy trying to build something so I think I will have a crack at a homemade instrument. I have been given a piece of Ash that I think will work, need to figure out the basics and the wiring etc. Might test it all on a cheap piece of pine at first.
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Re: Building Drone Instrument from Guitar Parts

Postby BigRedX » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:58 pm

blinddrew wrote:Ebows can be a bit hit and miss on basses though, sometimes they stuggle to get the string moving on anything lower than the D

There's a bass version of the Gizmotron available.
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Re: Building Drone Instrument from Guitar Parts

Postby BJG145 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:12 am

blinddrew wrote:Ebows can be a bit hit and miss on basses though, sometimes they stuggle to get the string moving on anything lower than the D

Oh, OK. It'll be interesting to see whether Paul Vo's Wond II is more effective when finished. ("Bass players take note: Works with any gauge of string! The new tech loves fat bass strings!")

There's also the TC Aeon, perhaps inspired partly by the Wond, which may work better on bass, though there's some debate about how good that is too.
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