Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Diddley Bow

I've posted this elsewhere on the internet, but I thought my blog readers would be interested in my recent project to build a diddley bow making, as I'm sure it will, a refreshing change from me ranting about about what's wrong with the music business....

I built the whole thing from stuff I had kicking around anyhow, so my total investment was £1.59 which was the price of a jack socket.

Here's the ingredients, some scrap wood, some large nails, a tin can, some old guitar strings and the original pickup that had been swapped out on an old guitar.  The only thing purchased specially was the jack socket,.

Instead of working out the scale properly I just pencilled a rough idea across from my acoustic with the marks for the key frets - I figure it's supposed to be a folk instrument and therefore doesn't have to be too accurate....

The third & 5th 'frets'.


I filed in a groove for the tin can sound box to rest in

A nail at each end with a guitar string stretched between them, wedge in the tin can, and a block of wood for the nut, and that's the acoustic instrument ready to play. 

The pickup is mounted on two blocks of wood with a hole drilled through to mount the jack socket on the underside.  I realised that I didn't have nails or screws long enough to fix them without splitting them so I resorted to a little glue and a lot of duct tape.  I also added a couple of nails to keep the tin can in place as the groove I'd filed in wasn't enough to stop it moving when I started playing.  
And if you're wondering how it sounds, here it is acoustic:


and here it is electric:



These were very rough demos recorded in a single take after only a few hours practice on my new instrument just to give people an idea of the sound, so please don't judge them too harshly!

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