This cigar box build was inspired by the Star Trek season 3, episode 20, “The Way to Eden”. In that episode Spock joins a jam session where he plays through a blues riff in E with a woman playing a harp-like instrument resembling a bicycle wheel. Although she is playing is a prop, I thought it would be fun to build a functional instrument. The bicycle wheel harp features a unique bridge in the form of a vertical post. The 3/8 inch diameter and 2.5 inch tall post supports 12 nylon strings and arranges them in a spiral fashion.
|Dimensions||Diameter 17.75 inches|
|Body||Liga Privada T52 cigar box|
|Scale Length||7.25 inches|
|Dimensions||25 inches x 8 inches|
|Body||Tabak Especial cigar box|
|Scale Length||1st string 14 inches (at 0 fret)|
|Scale Length||8th string 17 inches (at 0 fret)|
|Pickups||2 Piezo disks|
The theorbo is a lute developed during the 17th century. The main features of the theorbo are the extended bass strings and re-entrant tuning which gives the instrument it’s unique quality. For a full description visit, Theorbo. The Harp Rail makes it possible to explore theorbo music by extending the range of the classical guitar.
The below chart shows the tuning of a 14-string theorbo and the equivalent guitar tuning using a Harp Rail.
Depending on the composition it may become necessary to alter the pitch of the 6th and 5th strings.
The combination of this alternate tuning and the Harp Rail transforms the guitar into a theorbo like instrument.
This cigar box build was inspired by George Stoessel. In 1914 Stoessel invented a hybrid zither-like instrument called the Stoessel Lute. It is fingered by putting one's hand over the end of the neck rather than around it.
Visit http://www.minermusic.com/stoessellute.htm for more information.
The cigar box version of the Stoessel Lute has the bass strings positioned above the fretted strings in the style of the Harp guitar. The fretted strings are tuned like a Stoessel Lute G, Bb, D, F, A, C and E. The five bass strings are tuned as needed. A piezo pickup is installed for amplification.
|Dimensions||31 inches x 8 inches|
|Body||Tabak Especial cigar box|
|Scale Length||Treble strings 14 inches (at 0 fret)|
|Scale Length||Bass strings 19 inches|
The Harp Guitar Kit is a set of attachments that retrofit on an acoustic guitar. The attachments do not require any modifications to the guitar. They consist of a headstock bracket secured by the tuning machines, an array of tuning machines attached to the body with the strap button screw and a floating bridge(s).
Email if you are interested in the Harp Kit.
Head stock bracket
Tuning machine array
The Solene's tubular body with slanted, meandering frets positioned on the outer surface provides a new playing area for the two-handed tapping technique. Since it can be tuned like a seven stringed guitar, guitarists can visualize intervals in a familiar way.
Email if you are interested in the Solene.
Download the Solene manual.
|Dimensions||3 feet long, 3 inch diameter and 0.060 wall|
|Finish||Anodized Black, Blue, Red or Green|
|Scale Length||25.5 inches (at 0 fret)|
|Fret Wire||18 guage stainless steel|
|Fret Angle||45 degrees|
|String Spacing||9/32 inch|
|Pickups||2 rail pickups (bridge, parallel in phase and neck)|
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