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Unique Musical Instruments Tags: music instruments


Folks may know that I make box guitars (also known as "cigar box guitars" or CBGs), as well as standard electric guitars, guitar pickups, flutes and other music instruments.  The very name "box guitar" classifies it as a "guitar"... however it's played differently, tends to have only 3 strings, and most I've seen are made by hand (power tools are okay too).  To me, that makes almost the entire genre "unique".  All one has to do is Google Image CBGs and wow... what an odd assortment of instruments.  One of the things that makes CBGs "unique" to me is that if you ask a CBG maker what the basic "rules" are he'll say every time: "Only one:  there are no rules."

My store:

Chicken Coop Blues:

Great documentary:

Terrific playing of a simple 3-string amplified CBG (gotta luv it):

Pure unplugged folk:

Another instrument that strikes me as unique is the bodhran, which is a thin Irish drum that is played with a double-headed drumstick called a tipper.  Because of that it sounds like one is playing with two drumsticks, when in reality it's one drumstick being flipped back and forth in one hand.  The other hand is placed behind the drum head to change timbre.  Of course they are mass-produced, but the concept always fascinated me.  I own a nice one and it is fun to play.

Great Bodhran demonstration:

An American instrument is the spoons, in which one cradles two wooden or metal spoons between the fingers and clacks them rhythmically between the leg and palm of the other hand.

This is as "folk" as you get:

Well... maybe except for this:

Ocean Drums are odd in that they are played using pebbles inside the drum for an effect similar in concept to another interesting instrument, the rain stick.

Really good short ocean drum solo:

The Cajon is a drum made entirely out of wood.  The thicknesses of the wood on the front side are inclined.  One sits on the top of the drum and plays the front, which will give different tones depending on where it is thumped.  Players typically wear tape on their fingers to prevent injury.

Talented Cajon solo:

The Ektara (east Indian), Canjo (American instrument made from a can and stick of wood) or the Diddley Bow are all single-string instruments played either by finger pressure or using a glass / metal / ceramic / wood slide.  They are extremely easy to build by hand and produce an unexpectedly rich and incredible sound.

Short simple Diddley Bow demo:

Is it bed time yet?  That was a longer post than originally intended. ;D

My first CBG:

Notice the highly-professional metal hardware bolts used for the nut and bridge? :D


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