Slow-Bow Fretless Slider

I play fretless slide guitar just a hair better than I play The Great Stalacpipe Organ, which is an electrically actuated lithophone located in Luray Caverns, Virginia. I bring to fretless slide the same technical proficiency I bring to the Glass Harmonica, which was invented by Benjamin Franklin during a period when he wasn't  fooling with electricity or otherwise busy inventing the odometer and the flexible urinary catheter.

I play fretless slide guitar almost as well as I play professional football.

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So, you have probably gathered that I really don't play fretless slide guitar all that well. Because of this glaring character flaw, I was compelled to build the cigar box version of an electric, fretless, slide guitar.Your first look at this instrument's 1.5" diameter, oak-dowel neck (finished to a fine shine with Tru Oil), and its carefully selected hex-bolt bridge/saddle, will confirm that you've entered a world of heretofore unknown quality. A gander at the way in which I cleverly attached a traditional headstock to the aforementioned oak dowel (I do like my scarf joints) will leave you semi-agog with amazement.

What's more, since this thing has no frets, I thoughtfully pasted some "Ying Yang" stickers as position markers for the spots where the third, fifth, seventh, and twelfth frets should be . . . but aren't.

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We're talking three strings of slidey goodness here, a real, live, screened soundhole cover, a trio of economy tuners, and an uber-nifty, handmade, itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie, credit-card-thin humbucker painstakingly wound in Austria by a guy named Elmar. I'm actually not even making that last part up (Elmar calls his invention a "Flat Pup").

Here are the details . . . as if you need them

Neck:  1.5" diameter oak dowel

Position Markers:  Yin and Yang stickers (from China, I think, which means they're culturally sensitive)

Strings: 3 of 'em

Body:  Punch cigar box - 8" x 11.5" x 2"

Bridge/Saddle:  A big ol' hex bolt from Lowes

Nut: a chunk of surgically shortened all-thread (also from Lowes)

Pickup: A "Flat Pup", credit-card thin, humbucker made in Austria by a guy named Elmar

Total Body Length: Just shy of 36”


© Ron Marr 2019