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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24
votes
9answers
4k 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
35k 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?
14
votes
3answers
953 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
564 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
225 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
12
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). ...
11
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
717 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
154 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
655 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 ...
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?
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?
8
votes
1answer
93 views

How does bracing work?

I have seen many types of bracing for guitar, for example: How do they work? What do the lines mean? Will they affect the tone?
8
votes
1answer
112 views

Are there any good online resources on how to build drums?

I'm really keen to have a go at crafting my own drum. Not a djembe or ethnic instrument but standard hooped kit drum. I particularly like the idea of something along the lines of Outlaw Drums and ...
7
votes
5answers
643 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
4answers
315 views

How to connect a line signal to a guitar amp?

My Laney Lv300 Tube Fusion Combo amp, doesn't have a Line-In, as such. It merely has one "Input" on the front, for the guitar and a pair of FX sockets, as an FX Loop (FX Send and FX Return). It also ...
6
votes
2answers
322 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
888 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
383 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
257 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
677 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?
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
129 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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?
2
votes
1answer
985 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
217 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).
1
vote
3answers
108 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
289 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 ...