This tag should be used for questions about creating or modifying instruments and equipment, whether from the perspective of the craftsman or the layman.

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21
votes
8answers
3k views

Why are the white and black keys on the piano placed the way they are?

I am pretty convinced it is not just for historical reasons. I have found a mathematically-sound explanation of the twelve-tone musical scale, thanks to this question. Does anyone know a similar, ...
22
votes
6answers
30k views

What is the Difference between Maple and Rosewood Fretboards

Is there a difference that's based on feel or sound - why are they the two most widely used choices?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How does the piano middle pedal work? Is there a standard symbol for it?

What are the mechanics behind the middle piano pedal? I have been using the middle pedal for a variety of music, it is wonderful, but I can't figure out how it works (I mean the mechanical process). ...
3
votes
2answers
196 views

Tutorials or advice on layering synths

so I have been into some music production for a few weeks, and I feel like I am improving gradually. The problem I am having currently is layering synths. If I listen to a track, I can sort of make ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Methods of creating woodwind instruments without a lathe

I've been getting into making woodwind instruments recently, and one of the biggest issues for me at the moment is my lack of a lathe. I've instead been chiseling out two halves of the bore and gluing ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Woods to use for woodwinds

What kinds of wood would work well for making woodwind instruments? I know that pearwood, boxwood, ebony, and maple are all standards, but of those only maple is readily available to me (and even then ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

Epiphone LP Special II neck joint corrections and electronics

I just started this summer project with my Epiphone Les Paul Special II, making some kind of overhaul by changing the nut, the bridge, and the electronics. I took my guitar completely apart and now I ...
14
votes
3answers
731 views

Why does a piano have only one or two strings per note in the bass register, but three for other registers?

Does it have something to do with keeping it in tune, since the smaller strings might be more prone to be stretched? (And therefore they spread out the impact to more than one string). Or maybe just ...
1
vote
2answers
323 views

Why do trumpet valves shift down and not up?

I understand how trumpets work - valves open to force the air through crooks, which lengthens the pathway the air must travel, thus decreasing the resonant frequency. The question is, why are ...
2
votes
1answer
897 views

What are the pros/cons of the “tuning-in-slide” method of trombone design?

Almost all American-made trombones are tuned using a tuning slide in the crook of the bell section. However, some European instrument makers sell trombones designed with a one-piece crook and a ...
7
votes
4answers
535 views

How do I go about de-fretting a bass guitar?

I would like a fretless bass guitar, and I am considering giving an old bass a new lease of life as a fretless instrument. I would like to know how to go about achieving this at home, by myself, to ...
7
votes
7answers
953 views

What can I build into my guitar and use the “tone pots” buttons to adjust?

The tone pots are fairly useless, for the most part, so I was wondering what else people have done to take advantage of having those two controls available. I would love some ideas of something I ...
2
votes
1answer
210 views

How to glue a crack in the front panel of a classical guitar?

It was probably caused by dryness or bad storage. The crack goes all the way from the sounding board hole to the bottom edge of the guitar (assuming it's standing).
6
votes
2answers
268 views

What factors to consider when inventing a new (lab) instrument?

I have the idea for a new instrument which doesn't work with wind/blowing, hitting, or keystroked, but rather pressure. What factors should an instrument have? Is there a checklist that I can check ...
3
votes
1answer
607 views

What are the differences for left handed person when playing electric cello?

If I decide to buy an electric cello, should I look for a special one for left handed people, or I will even have to order a custom one?
13
votes
3answers
206 views

What to look for in an independent luthier?

I've long been considering looking for an independent luthier to build me a custom guitar. I have a pretty specific idea of what I want the guitar to be, but I don't know how to find the right ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a Birdseye Maple Neck?

Where does it come from or how is it chosen over regular Maple Necks - is there a tonal difference?
11
votes
3answers
670 views

The skinny on neck constructions. Is it all about tone?

I recently went from a Peavy bolt-on classic bass to Warwick Thumb NT. The tone difference is completely out of this world, and comparatively, so was the price. I want to understand the ...
6
votes
2answers
849 views

Is a guitar body made out of mahogany generally lighter than a body made out of alder ?

I know that each piece of wood is different and two similar pieces of a same essence will have different weight. But in general, for the same body shape and size which wood essence will tend to give ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Building an electric guitar from scratch

I want to make an electric guitar by myself from scratch. How can I do this?
14
votes
1answer
535 views

How does one change bow hair?

What are the steps to follow to unmount the hair from a bow and install a new set ? What kind of tools and products do you need beside a new set of bow hair ? How do you measure/adjust the length ...
9
votes
2answers
146 views

Are there reasons to choose between a round-section or an octogonal-section bow?

The initial part of a violin, viola, or cello bow in modern models is always octogonal, but the rest of the stick can be either of round section or octogonal-faceted. Is it simply a different ...
1
vote
3answers
101 views

Carving a cutaway in a right-handed bass guitar to better suit a left-handed player

I am annoyed with the selection of left handed guitars. What bothers me about turning a right handed guitar into a left handed guitar is that there is not enough room given for the hand to reach the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What pickups should I install on my telecaster?

I have some texas specials on a telecaster right now. The were fine when I was back in the army but now I'm playing a wider combination of music that needs solid rhythm (even acoustic sounding would ...
7
votes
1answer
610 views

Can I build an EBow myself?

It's possible to get some crazy sounds using an EBow on the guitar. I know that it works by creating an electromagnetic field to move the strings. Has anybody tried to build one? Are any schematics ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is “vintage” wiring on a Les Paul?

What does "vintage" wiring on a Les Paul look like? How is it different from "modern" wiring? What are its advantages? Drawbacks?
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Can you make your own Leslie Speakers?

I love the sound when employed with an Organ ( Jimmy Smith) and on Little Wing(SRV) - I vaguely remember seeing Kings X live once and I believe Ty Tabor had a pair of Leslie speakers that sounded ...