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Thread: Making one's own musical instruments

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    Scotland Avalon Member greybeard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    Quote Posted by Wmel (here)
    This might not be appropriate in this thread but i'll still post anyway.

    There are quite a number of theories out there related about music and healing, one being the 432Hz frequency. There are others that claim it is a matter of tuning the instrument in more pure intonation, not the pitch itself.

    I re-tuned my sitar in pythagorean tuning (as a result get a scolding from my teacher as it sounded "weird"), I tune my tanbur in the so-called gandharva grama tuning calculated by Mitzi DeWhitt (https://www.amazon.com/Nearly-All-Al.../dp/1413482821) to experience the power of the sound. And there are various books talking about music, tuning and its influence to human being, such as:

    Alain Danielou's Music and the Power of Sound: The Influence of Tuning and Interval on Consciousness
    Ernest G. McClain's The Myth of Invariance
    Richard Heath's The Harmonic Origin of the World
    Ted Gioia's Healing Songs
    Hazrat Inayat Khan's music essays
    Joselyn Godwin's Harmonies of Heaven and Earth
    Robert John Stewart's The Spiritual Dimension of Music

    So, could it be that music is one of the best practice to just BE (therefore the tuning and theories are just aesthetics and secondary, the intention being the primary) and when the mind is powerful enough, the music might bridge between the metaphysical and the material world.
    On the other hand, music serves as a hidden symbol/code for the ancient to teach about the law of the world, together with science and philosophy, like DeWhitt's claim about G.I.Gurdjieff's theory making much more sense when using music as analogy.

    I would like to read and discuss more about the power of music as an agent of healing...
    One more rare instrument to share before closing the post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN5VSt3jj0c&t=336s
    For me its a question of feeling rather than musical knowledge--sometimes I wonder if the bass is playing me rather than the other way about.
    Depends on the music played and the instrument.
    My guitarist friend whom I record with, counts all the beats and is a brilliant guitarist but some songs particularly the blues he is not quite in the essence of it, so to speak, technically correct but!!!
    Music is alive and playing an instrument lifts one to a better place--mind set.
    Im prone to mild depression but the moment I start playing its gone.
    I dont thing the tuning really is an issue--I use standard.
    Lets face it lead guitarists pull the string to get notes a tone above fretted.

    Playing requires single minded ness till one gets in the zone then its like meditation--Im aware of the fingers moving the notes produced the tone--the other playing but it does not feel like im doing it--if that makes sense.
    Playing the bass that I put together, even more so--its a part of me.
    Obviously hours were spent learning in my youth but now its as natural as breathing.
    Can anyone identify with that?

    Chris
    Last edited by greybeard; 5th July 2019 at 11:43.
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    England Avalon Member Did You See Them's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    I've built a "Fender" Stratocaster in the Past - a long time hunt finding all the correct hardwear for a 78 neck I had ( would never attempt to make a neck !! ) - but I loved the one piece Body that I crafted and finished with a walnut venner - and finally a layer of nitrocellulose.
    I hope I can find the pics !

    On the subject of guitars I'm in the market for one now !

    I want a Gibson SG but I need to justify the price to myself ! - so I'm trying to decide whether to go cheaper and am looking at the high end Epiphone G-400 pro (about £350 ) in comparison to the almost entry Gibson SG Tribute 2019 (£699 )
    Does anyone have any input ?

    Edit - I'm actually going to guitar shop tomorrow to try them out but does anyone have any experience of either models ?
    Last edited by Did You See Them; 5th July 2019 at 12:06.

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    Scotland Avalon Member greybeard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    Did You See Them I would suggest having a look at Harley Benton guitars.
    There are loads of u tube videos of satisfied guitarists--some have even sold their Gibsons to get a HB
    There is an enormous mark up on the price of Fender and Gibson.
    Anyway the build, quality, sound and play-ability would seem to match the market leaders at a fraction of the price.
    Three year guarantee.
    You wont find them in a guitar shop--hence cutting out middle man profit.
    They are designed in Germany and made in Asia--
    Who actually builds the Gibson and Fender guitars--made in USA? I doubt it.

    Chris

    Ps here's one £222

    https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_ben..._f_b_stock.htm
    Last edited by greybeard; 5th July 2019 at 12:24.
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    England Avalon Member Did You See Them's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    Quote Posted by greybeard (here)
    Did You See Them I would suggest having a look at Harley Benton guitars.
    There are loads of u tube videos of satisfied guitarists--some have even sold their Gibsons to get a HB
    There is an enormous mark up on the price of Fender and Gibson.
    Anyway the build, quality, sound and play-ability would seem to match the market leaders at a fraction of the price.
    Three year guarantee.

    Chris
    Thanks Chris I will check them out now.
    I know Gibson have been having problems recently so I am bit wary ( Would love to be able to solve the problem by just buying an original 60's one - but the wife wont let me sell the house !

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    England Avalon Member Did You See Them's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    I'm impressed with what I've quickly read and seen Chris - Thanks for that.
    Now you've really dropped the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons !!
    Time for a bit MORE research

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    Scotland Avalon Member greybeard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    Quote Posted by Did You See Them (here)
    I'm impressed with what I've quickly read and seen Chris - Thanks for that.
    Now you've really dropped the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons !!
    Time for a bit MORE research
    Please let me know how you get on.
    U tube is awash with HB guitar demos by unbiased guitarists.
    Some are really good players.
    There will be a copy close to the Gibson of your preference.

    Chris
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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    Just to add Chris - I feel your description above about playing/feeling and musical knowledge is spot on.
    Playing puts me in a different place - somewhere I can go anytime I need to change my mood or just forget the world ( oil painting does the same - almost - but I can get exasperated when things take a wrong turn ).

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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    This was one of dad's greatest mistakes and illustrates the generational divide...

    My dad asked me what instrument I wanted to learn how to play (the fact that I was going to learn how to play an instrument was not up for discussion). I said I would love to learn how to play the guitar. My dad decided that was not going to fly - so I was told I would learn the accordion.

    Fast-forward three years...my accordion has tape on the bellows and chunks missing from the corners from being thrown against the wall countless times - I hated that instrument but had to go to class every week.

    Then for my birthday I was given three music books with all rock songs! I tried playing the first one - stairway to heaven, and played it through and sounded pretty good. Then I tried the next and the next. I had learned to play any song I wanted! But still I hated that instrument.

    Now many moons later, I wish I had learned another instrument for a completely new reason - accordions are very expensive and I cannot afford one. I wish I could afford it because I miss playing music.

    If I could I would build one - but I have neither the time nor the inclination.

    Beautiful instruments folks! Quite the latent talent around here...
    If not now, then when?

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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    Good question Ryan

    I have always had a fascination for instruments, why are some recognized by whoever to be a "proper" instrument ?

    As child I loved André Franquin's comic books about Gaston.
    Gaston invented a new instrument once, called in swedish translation Elefantofon, (Elephantophon in Eng) , If my memmory serves me .

    It looked like a harp with drumbs built in a tree trunk, and it made an awfull racket, made everyone flee from Gaston while he was playing, but Gaston had his eyes shut and enjoyed the music he produced from this instrument. (couldnt find pic from internet, searched but no luck.)

    Several years late I stumbeled on a clip on internet about the Theremin, (The only electronical instrument allowed in a Symphony orchestra) and I ordered one of thoose from "Moog"
    https://www.moogmusic.com/synthesizers?type=52, Then I realized I need a I an amplifier, and my friend Magnus had one I could have for free. Yippie aye ! only problem was it was HUGE, LOUD, and made crackling noises.

    Living in a small flat with not so tollerent neighbours, Trying to play it, was hard enough.

    As a last step bought a silly puny amplifier ( with 4 Batterys in it) that hardly gives out any sound at all

    It then went to be boring, so I put it on a shelf.

    To conclude what this topic was about, is that I still had a sparcle of hope in my mind to be creative enough to either get this instrument, The Theremin to a new step, or from the Theremin giving me ideas to invent other musical instruments.

    PS: A Theremin is played by just using hand movements in the air beside it, which makes it the only instrument you dont touch while playing it.

    PS S The Theremin was invented 1919 av Léon Theremin

    Check this out!
    Last edited by Rawhide68; 5th July 2019 at 19:00.

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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    I suppose if I wasn't so busy playing my instruments I might attempt to make some. But there are only so many hours in the day!

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    Scotland Avalon Member greybeard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    If music be the food of love play on. etc
    Every culture has music and dance--no one is immune to it--smiling
    Its a good feeling to play an instrument that one had a hand in the making of.
    I have some expensive bases, second hand, but I am aware that they were made with love by a crafts man
    Chris
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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    About 12 years ago, I had the fortune of undergoing an impromptu apprenticeship with none other than Bernie Goodfellow - those who know their basses well will appreciate the scenario.

    I worked beside him for around six months, visiting the timber merchant he sourced his exotic materials from, as well as learning many of the basics of bass luthiering. It was a real eye-opener to work with a master even if only for a short period of time and gave me insights into routing, rasping, sanding and finishing as well as fundamentals of design in general.

    He was also a right good laugh!

    Since then I’ve assembled a couple of my own P. Basses with bodies, necks and other components sourced from Ebay all for a fraction of the price of one of those more “familiar” guitar brands.
    the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated --- Gandhi

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    Default Re: Making one's own musical instruments

    That must have been an amazing experience Akasha.
    I was an apprentice boat builder--Sailing Dinghys and love the smell of fresh cut wood.
    I have a Warwick bass and it is unbelievably heavy.
    The wood gives the tone even though it has pickups.

    I still have the same enthusiasm for playing and the different tones of the instruments that I had as a teen learning to play bass.

    Chris
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