Wednesday, May 27, 2009
An idea, a germ, a seed, a double-neck
As I posted on a Facebook blurb a bit ago I was thinking today about a guitar instrument that would be a double-neck with one neck fretted and the other fretless. This of course is not completely new in guitar making the idea of double neck and I'm almost certain someone has manufactured a fretted-fretless creation but this was floating around my head today. I have an upcoming travel gig that will require flying and it's the energy that spurned this interest/need as I play both with fretwire and without. When I do shows these days I often take at least two instruments and sometimes three. With the airlines now scrambling to make up for lost income by charging for any checked baggage this adds a potentially annoying stipend to my travel budget.
So what I saw in my mind was sort of more of an electric body but still some hollowness to have some natural sound amplification but the idea would be more portable with pickups for the main sound generation. Then six string scale fretted and fretless necks.
And to continue to dream a bit as custom guitars always tip the price tag 4-7000, it would be nice if this could be made of possibly recycled materials and not so much rare tone woods and selling for a musicians affordable price.
My friend Eddie Powell, a fine fretless player, has built a double or triple fretless necked instrument. Eddie has had influence on my fretless interest though as this need/desire sounds out, I'm still got a foot in both fretted and fretless worlds. There are really neat things about both textures in my music creation these days. My more percussive and earlier work when I was more composed really makes better use of the wire and the newer improvisational work is more linear and lyrical and has me leaning towards fretless guitar.
A sidebar, my newest CD Vertical is completely fretless and includes me on oud and violin in addition to the fretless guitar.