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Re: PREPARING INSTRUMENTS for LOOPING (and any other performance)
A long, long time ago (~1996), prepared guitar was one of the big things I did. I wasn't terribly good at it.
I was a big fan of "drumstick as an alternate bridge". This requires you to tune the strings down so that they won't snap when you wedge a 1/2" drumstick underneath. You can use the drumstick as a tremolo bar. You can grab it with your hand and move the bridge, like Bradford Reed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Btkf0BxM2Fo
- apologies for the hippy-dancing cameraperson). You can also swat the drumstick with your hand and get a nice vibrating sound. If you are not also a drummer, consider trading a new pair of sticks for a drummer's old beat-up sticks. They make great sounds when you pull them under the strings.
I also enjoyed textured metal slides. I used to be good with a 9v battery, that after a year or so of use had lots of nice peaks and valleys in it. (I'd move the slide perpendicularly across the strings to make sound, so that I didn't need a pick.) I also used a textured metal handle from an exacto knife. (With the blade removed.) Without this, I'd maybe take a screwdriver or knitting needles and see if I can rough up the texture with some coarse sandpaper or something.
A regular slip of paper threaded through the strings can make a nice buzzing sound.
Fred Frith frequently uses a silk ribbon to get nice sounds...you can tell that takes a lot of practice, though.
Rick Walker <email@example.com>
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
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.