My first Diddley Bow

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

My first Diddley Bow

Postby Kurbads » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:35 am

Hey, guys. Wanna hear your opinion - this August built my very first Diddley Bow.
Well, its not a classical version of Diddley, it has two strings. It's pretty raw sounding piece of wood (which I like actually, sounds a bit overdriven).

Here in this vid I just wanted to check the sound of my Diddley (not to be considered as a cover or so, I have absolutely no skill at playing Diddley's, just a soundcheck).
So - I want to hear your thoughts on how it sounds. Also - what kind of pickup would you suggest? Someone told me an old telephone speaker will do (as I want it to pick up the raw sound of the Diddley, not just the strings, which would be the case if I installed a magnetic pickup, I guess).

Comments are welcome!

Kurbads
Regular
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:16 am

Re: My first Diddley Bow

Postby zhyla » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:56 pm

Wow, that sounds awesome. The suggestion to just use a telephone microphone isn't a bad idea, though you're probably better off taking a cheap dynamic mic apart and embedding it somewhere.

I'm not super familiar with diddley's... only 2 strings? Which strings? What tuning?
User avatar
zhyla
Site Admin
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:43 pm

Re: My first Diddley Bow

Postby Kurbads » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:00 pm

zhyla wrote:Wow, that sounds awesome. The suggestion to just use a telephone microphone isn't a bad idea, though you're probably better off taking a cheap dynamic mic apart and embedding it somewhere.

I'm not super familiar with diddley's... only 2 strings? Which strings? What tuning?


I used two old acoustic bronze strings. Tuning - E2; B2
Yeah, I've been thinking about cheap mic also, but telephone mic just seems a more interesting/unusual option :)
Kurbads
Regular
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:16 am

Re: My first Diddley Bow

Postby zhyla » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:13 pm

Kurbads wrote:but telephone mic just seems a more interesting/unusual option :)


Worth trying, but keep in mind the frequency range that a telephone needs to be able to reproduce is quite small, so you could be giving up some of that lovely low-end growl.
User avatar
zhyla
Site Admin
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:43 pm

Re: My first Diddley Bow

Postby cpt.blueZ » Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:28 am

Great job on the diddly bo!...recognized the tune straight away. Ive been on a Jimmy Page benge lately so it was timely.
User avatar
cpt.blueZ
Regular
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:25 pm
Location: Tulsa, Ok.

Re: My first Diddley Bow

Postby zhyla » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:50 pm

My uncle liked your recording so I headed down to the garage today with an old cello string, a tele pickup, a tuna can, and some random tuner. A few hours later I've got something similar.

My original idea was to use a big bigsby spring that I had as a bridge, thinking it my reverberate and sound cool. It kind of did, but the sound thru the pickup was boring. So I ripped that off and put down the tuna can. Much better! Only meaningful difference from your build is I made a saddle that sits in the middle of the can to raise the string up and let the can vibrate. Works like a charm.
User avatar
zhyla
Site Admin
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:43 pm

Re: My first Diddley Bow

Postby Kurbads » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:08 am

zhyla wrote:My uncle liked your recording so I headed down to the garage today with an old cello string, a tele pickup, a tuna can, and some random tuner. A few hours later I've got something similar.

My original idea was to use a big bigsby spring that I had as a bridge, thinking it my reverberate and sound cool. It kind of did, but the sound thru the pickup was boring. So I ripped that off and put down the tuna can. Much better! Only meaningful difference from your build is I made a saddle that sits in the middle of the can to raise the string up and let the can vibrate. Works like a charm.


If you post a video of your build some day let us know. I really want to hear what your diddley sounds like.
Kurbads
Regular
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:16 am

Re: My first Diddley Bow

Postby s1120 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:51 pm

zhyla wrote: Only meaningful difference from your build is I made a saddle that sits in the middle of the can to raise the string up and let the can vibrate. Works like a charm.



Thats cool. So kinda like a resonator Diddley bow. SOmething about the simple, basic insterments just grabs me!
s1120
Regular
 
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:21 am
Location: upstate ny

Re: My first Diddley Bow

Postby zhyla » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:12 am

Kurbads wrote:If you post a video of your build some day let us know. I really want to hear what your diddley sounds like.


You asked for it... I have no idea how to play this thing. I have to say it doesn't sound as good as yours. I should probably tune it higher. The cello string isn't helping, since they are nylon on the inside they sound pretty mellow.

I added a cool little detail tonight, I marked the 3, 5, 7, and 12th frets with a few .22LR rounds I had lying around. Just drilled holes and glued them nose down.

User avatar
zhyla
Site Admin
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:43 pm

Re: My first Diddley Bow

Postby Kurbads » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:47 am

zhyla wrote:You asked for it... I have no idea how to play this thing. I have to say it doesn't sound as good as yours. I should probably tune it higher. The cello string isn't helping, since they are nylon on the inside they sound pretty mellow.

I added a cool little detail tonight, I marked the 3, 5, 7, and 12th frets with a few .22LR rounds I had lying around. Just drilled holes and glued them nose down.



Yep, you're right. You should better use a steel-core guitar string and tune it higher. Your string vibrates relatively OK when open, but there's a noticable loss of volume and sustain as you put the slide-bottle to use for the string has too little tension.

Guitar string/higher tuning and it should sound awesome.
Kurbads
Regular
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:16 am

Re: My first Diddley Bow

Postby zhyla » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:07 am

Ok, I scrounged what I think is a bass D string and tuned it to an A. Judging from the 26.5" scale I think that ends up being a 5th higher than the D string on a bass. Sounds much better. Might benefit from a larger can, but I don't have one.
User avatar
zhyla
Site Admin
 
Posts: 947
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:43 pm


Return to Guitar

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests

cron