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PREPARING INSTRUMENTS for LOOPING (and any other performance)



Tony's post about Bart Hopkins new book on Guitar Preparation got me inspired.

I have experimented with a lot of different ways to "prepare" instruments for unconventional
performance.

I thought it would be cool to assemble all the different creative ways everyone on this list has
figured out how to 'prepare' an instrument.


My own tiny arsenal for guitar and other string 'preparation':


1) large and tiny alligagor clips (the size has a huge impact on the resultant timbre so try lots of different sizes) 2) Magnets- from very tiny (Bucky Balls) to very large ones (these are very hip, especially when attached to alligator clips) 3) Martini skewers (I particularly love a set of blue plastic Tiki ones that I found because they have incredible bounce characteristic (not unlike hammer dulcimer mallets) and you can turn them over and use them as tiny plastic 'slides' to change the pitch of the instrument 4) Suzuki 1/16 sized bows..................amazing and only $25 USD for a wonderful approach to any string instrument 5) E-bows and, better yet, multiple E-bows..............make any multiple string instrument with metal strings a fantastic drone instrument 6) Metallic Chinese 'health' balls (the ones that have little chimes inside of them).............try rolling these guys down any string instrument
       for random pitch shifting experiments
7)   Brushes of all kinds:
a) vegetable brushes (they come in varying 'stiffnesses' so their texture is different b) metallic (careful, these eat up strings on good instruments) I love the kinds used , specifically, for flea eradication on pets c) the ones that come off of temporary hair dye products (specifically on 'Dye Hard' products or Hot Topic 'Temporary Dye' products d) any drum stick or mallet you can think of (I particularly love velcro-ing different kinds of bells and rattle sounds to strikers like this) 8) Slides of any kind (glass, metal, ceramic, bottle caps, backs of finger nails, any damn thing) 9) Vibrators (again, anything--- back massagers, dildos, clitoral vibrators, anything that vibrates a string potentially) 10) Drills (again, anything that attaches to a drill that can cause rapid re-playing of the string---Eddie Van Halen, notroriously used guitar picks inbedded into a drill bit that allowed for hyper, faster than human, picking techniques.
11)   Okay, there are more but I"m running out of steam...
12)   What the f*ck else?

Rick Walker