The electric guitar is a sophisticated and highly
evolved instrument. But, you can make your own out of a few bucks worth
of junk and parts. Learn to wind your own guitar pickups and build them
into a simple one- or two-string junk guitar with a surprisingly nice
sound. Depending on your ambition and experience, you can make your junk
guitar as simple or as sophisticated as you want, but everybody is
guaranteed to go home with at least a fun twangy noisemaker.
(Note: Like any electric guitar, your junk guitar has to be plugged into a guitar amplifier to be audible. You can get guitar amps for $20 and up (for example, at Guitar Center); you may also be able to plug your guitar directly into your home stereo or laptop to hear or record it).
Bring a nice sturdy wooden beam (1x2 or 2x2 is good, or a wooden broom handle) or a fairly straight stick (at least 1" diameter), 2-4 feet long, to use as the neck of your guitar. There will be amplifiers in class for trying out your guitar; we may have some little ones available for purchase in the class. All other supplies & tools will be provided.
Materials provided include:
- guitar strings (steel, not nylon) - available at most music stores
- magnet wire
- sewing machine bobbins
- a strong rare-earth magnet
- hardware: wood screws, eye hooks, L-brackets, etc.
- audio cable
- bamboo shish kebab skewers (optional) for making frets on your guitar
Absolutely no skills required except use of basic tools (drill/saw/screwdriver). Basic soldering skills are helpful but not necessary. No guitar-building or playing experience is needed!
This class will be led by Ranjit Bhatnagar, from Handmade Music Night. A word from Ranjit: "I've been making junk instruments since I was 4 years old strumming rubber bands and those springy doorstops. These days I teach courses in sound sculpture and performance with handmade instruments at Parsons School of Design in NYC. Last February, I set myself the challenge of making a new instrument each and every day, during which I came up with the simple electric guitar pickup we'll be making in the workshop.
All NYC Resistor classes are for people 18-years and up. Sorry, minors.
When & Where
NYC Resistor is a hacker collective with a shared space located in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. We meet regularly to share knowledge, hack on projects together, and build community. Our interests range from laser-cutting to knitting, and programming to pop-up books.
All NYC Resistor events are strictly 18+, and attendees are expected to abide by our Code of Conduct, which can be found at https://www.nycresistor.com/participate/.