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I have to give credit to Avengers63 for me starting this topic when he said "I had a weird dream last night..."

Over the years I've had various ideas that are crazy and yet sometimes actually turn out to be very plausible. Some come from weird dreams and the first that comes to mind is the idea of angled frets. I tried this in 1996 and recently discovered its a well accepted technique. I never saw or heard of it before I did it, so I'm something of a pioneer (tickets on myself ha ha) The only time I saw it was on a classical music album cover showing a guitar with one fret on an angle. It may have just been an artist's impression but then I'm sure no idea is totally new

My appologies if my grammar isn't too good (Yep I bin drinkin again - why else would I be hear?) Anyway here's some of the concepts I've had and if you read the other thread I'll be repeating myself - sorry

Angled or "Fanned frets"

I once had this dream where I had a guitar with a neck that was bent, strings and all. Even during the dream I questioned "How could this be?" and the answer was that the strings were made of stronger, thicker steel and were designed for the purpose. A really nutty idea but it went towards the angled fret guitars I've made

Tool-less locking nut

I once saw a female heavy-metal lead guitarist (on video) who had a muting device on the headstock (for while playing hammer-ons) I immediately thought the idea could be put into a locking nut, or a capo (read on) Btw I know Gretch once had a muting mechanism at the bridge end

Double Fret-dots at E

The "Baritone" guitars I made were designed to tune to D and one of the concepts I had was to have the double fret-dots at E - meaning they would be at the second fret, fourteenth and twenty-sixth

Second Fret capo

To complement the concept above I had the idea of using a capo so the guitar could be used for D tuning or E to suit whatever you were playing. I quite often wondered if you could somehow have a built-in capo or even get the second fret to raise up to become like a zero-fret. The lever-thing the chick was using (mentioned above) kept me thinking along those lines

Fretboard like a piano

Make the fretboard "checkered" to match the major and sharp notes on a piano

Keyboard on a guitar

Hammers like a piano on the strings of a guitar and a short keyboard

The only thing I can still play on the piano is a bit like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company C" and one day I tried playing guitar left hand and piano on the right hand - and I could do it! I suppose the idea came from that

I like the idea of "true pitch" rather than "tempered pitch" but thats impossible with a fretted instrument

(This idea just couldn't work but its still an idea and I'll mention it)

Instead of having frets fixed to the fretboard what if they were attached to your fingers?

Obviously you would be restricted to a 4-stringed instrument and each finger would be "assigned" to a string - It just wouldn't work

Instead of a locking nut

If you have seen my pictures of the tuning pegs as close together as possible then think even more advanced

Have the tuning pegs close to the nut but the winders at the usual position connected to the pegs like a tailshaft

Self - tuning guitar

Have little electric motors in the tuning pegs and a tuner built into the control cavity connected by wires through the neck. And have a switch next to the volume control to choose different tunings...

RATS - its already been done!

In 2002 I was at this gig in Joondalup watching a band with a (or two?) female guitarts. Between each song they had to re-tune their guitars and they commented "Sorry about this, one day someone will make a self-tuning guitar" And I thought don't you worry about that - someones working on it I betchya

Edited by Crusader

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I had the idea of a capo style locking nut, but I'm in no postion to be building such things.

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I quite often wondered if you could somehow have a built-in capo

There is a you-tube video I saw in which Dan Erliwine has capos that screw in to inserts on the fingerboard.

To some this would totally ruin the guitar, but if you're like me and tune a whole step down for any song I sing to, it would be pretty neat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SejHVAFAKAI

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Haha too funny, a few years ago here at PG I photoshopped a picture of a keyboard onto the neck of the guitar and thought it was a funny but cool idea. I can't recall what the subject was about now, but its funny to think back on the idea now. I've also had dreams of ideas that both worked out and some that never did, I always find getting the idea down on paper the toughest because I start forgetting the dream so quickly I end up not getting all of the details. Haven't had any cool dreams like this in a while though, most of my dream lately have been about me partying and smoking, I guess stuff my mind misses, lol. J

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Well, I don´t know if you can count this as an innovation. But

Some guitar builders seem to favor one piece necks and bodies without any glue join at all. So I thought it might be worth to attach fretboard with screws. Then I could say I´ve built a neck without a single glue join.

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I was toying with the idea of inlaying actual numbers in the usual fretboard spots. Sort of a learning thing for reading tabs quicker. :D

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Ever since I started building I've been working an adjustable bridge that won't require any metal to transfer sound. Ideally, it'll be all ebony, or ebony and bone.

I think there are a lot of problems with tune-o-matics. I won't get into it much right now, but they kill a lot of sound with their structure. Also, metal and wood won't ever transfer sound the same way, so there's going to be a compromise no matter what, even if it's non-adjustable. It's more physics than I want to get into right now.

I came up with a design right away, but I've been working on making it better and cleaner. I don't work on it much, only when it comes to mind and I get the itch.

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I was toying with the idea of inlaying actual numbers in the usual fretboard spots. Sort of a learning thing for reading tabs quicker. :D

How about inlaying some of the notes, then? When I studied classical I taped some positions and wrote the names of the notes with liquid paper. Then I taped that too...voila! it would look freaking awesome in MOP

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I believe Russ did a double neck where he did one with the fret numbers inlayed and the other neck with the notes inlayed. This would be a quick way to learn the notes really, lol. It was pretty interesting, the colors and such were not my taste but it was customer requested. Anyhow, I actually just mentioned doing this to one of my friends as I've liked the idea since I saw it. Ooh now I remember it was my buddy Dave who I spoke with it about as he is doing some roman numerals of 12 for the 12th fret inlay which looked really cool and I thought doing all the inlays as roman numerals would be really cool looking. J

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One of spinal tap's nigel tufnel's guitars had the note names inlaid on it...

Nigel%20-%20top.jpg

Ahh...ok, see inlaid named fret markers (notice inlaid upside down so that nigel can read them while playing...and a attackometer that really works...shows the rate of picking...don't red line it!

while looking for it I found this new beauty...

spinal-tap-global-warming-guitar-body.JPG

The Global Warming guitar...thermometer neck to show how hot you are...plus a snow dome with al gore in it...not to mention art work depicting the world in flames and a pyrimid volume knob (why not :D )...the 12th fret is freezing point...hahaha

Remember that Nigel knows his guitars, some of his vintage guitars are so rare, you can't look at them for fear that they will lose their value...

pete

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... So I thought it might be worth to attach fretboard with screws...
Yeah I had the idea of a removable fretboard too, so you can compare the difference between ebony and rosewood etc

The method I dreamt-up for attaching is more like - Ya know how hardware stores sell those shelving systems. You put screws in the wall which you have to adjust to the right distance and the shelving has like eye-things that click in. No tools required, but screws through the fretdots is probably better

...I've been working an adjustable bridge...it'll be all ebony, or ebony and bone...I think there are a lot of problems with tune-o-matics...

Thats excellent, I hope it works out

On the topic of bridges, what I'd like to see is a whammy bar that doesn't need the guts of the guitar routered out like Floyd Rose and Fenders. Its 2009 now and you'd think they'd come up with something by now. Instead all we get is a Les Paul with a Floyd Rose with the usual springs in the back. The Les Paul Access has otherwise got all the changes that I would do to a Les Paul - no need for me to make one!

At the other end, what about a tun-o-matic nut, an adjustable compensating nut?

That yellow Spinal Tap guitar just cracks me up. Does the volume control go to eleven?

But theres been some interesting ideas being thrown around, its good

Oh yeah I nearly forgot, talking about accoustic guitars. This idea stems from when I bought my first mahogany (which was African)

The peice of wood was about 2.5m long and 2 inches thick. I G-cramped my maple guitar to it and strummed a few chords. My jaw dropped and I thought "Ive been using the wrong timber" I was amazed at how it resonated and wondered how it would sound if you bolted a neck to a huge chunk of lumber, like five metres long and three inches thick (or go one better and bolt a neck to a tree)

Anyway at the end of all these thoughts came the idea of an accoustic guitar that was not a portable instrument but one that stays in your loungeroom like a piano

On TV recently on "The Inventors" (I think thats what its called) A guy invented a big accoustic guitar that had two sounboards and gave the player stereo sound. It was like bigger than a double bass

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On the topic of bridges, what I'd like to see is a whammy bar that doesn't need the guts of the guitar routered out like Floyd Rose and Fenders.

Umm..Kahler flatmount anyone?Been around a few decades now

www.wammiusa.com

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Can't make up my mind if this would be an *innovation* or not, but if MOP inlays are supposed to be so cool, then imagine how cool MOP and BUCKET inlays would be !

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Since I'm in a drums-guitar duo nowadays, I'm looking for ways to fill out the frequencies and increase the complexity of the overall sound.

And since I'm starting a baritone build, it strikes me as a good opportunity to try out:

Two separate electronic circuits --one for each pickup. It will mean having two cables (or a stereo cable) dangling off the back of the guitar --but since the guitar risks being neck-heavy that won't be a bad thing. And I have to stick close to the mike, so I don't jump around a whole lot anyway.

I'd be able to treat each pickup's signal with a different effects chain, and run them to separate amps -with the neck serving as the 'bass' pickup, natch.

But I'd also add a switch that would let me join the two pickups together to a single output.

Taking the idea a bit further -- I've been toying with the idea of using half of a Precision-type pickup for the neck position, so I could focus that sound only on the bass strings. Not sure if it's possible to separate the two halves of the Precision pups though.

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On the precision type p'ups I've worked with, yes it is. You need to splice on of the wires longer. Obviously, the pickup won't humbuck anymore. (Unless you use one of those Dimarzio pickups where each half of the thing is a humbucker in it's own.)

I used to have an SG wired for stereo. Wired it up following the diagrams for the Rickenbackers with stereo outs. I had two jacks - a mono jack and a stereo jack, used switching jacks so I didn't need to worry about switching on the guitar, just plug into the right jack. I had some problems with hum running the signal through two amps (I think eventually I ended up using isolation transformers?) but it was heavenly sounding, and recorded awesomely if I remember correctly. Putting separate effects on each signal was super cool sounding.

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I was toying with the idea of inlaying actual numbers in the usual fretboard spots. Sort of a learning thing for reading tabs quicker. :D

I can't find the picture, but Paul Gilbert had a guitar for a while with colored numbers instead of dots.

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Two separate electronic circuits --one for each pickup. It will mean having two cables (or a stereo cable) dangling off the back of the guitar

I think Chris Squire (bassist for Yes) was the first person to do this - send the two signals from two pickups (via stereo cable) to two different amps. Lots of bassists, including Geddy Lee, followed in his footsteps.

On the last bass I did, I hid the access for the truss rod adustment nut underneath a removable fretboard extension (frets #21-24). #20 was epoxied into place. It stays put with rare earth magnets as inserts (tight tolerances!), and plays and intonates just as well as the other 19 frets.

neck92-1.jpg

neck91-1.jpg

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Since I'm in a drums-guitar duo nowadays, I'm looking for ways to fill out the frequencies and increase the complexity of the overall sound.

And since I'm starting a baritone build, it strikes me as a good opportunity to try out:

Two separate electronic circuits --one for each pickup. It will mean having two cables (or a stereo cable) dangling off the back of the guitar --but since the guitar risks being neck-heavy that won't be a bad thing. And I have to stick close to the mike, so I don't jump around a whole lot anyway.

I'd be able to treat each pickup's signal with a different effects chain, and run them to separate amps -with the neck serving as the 'bass' pickup, natch.

But I'd also add a switch that would let me join the two pickups together to a single output.

Taking the idea a bit further -- I've been toying with the idea of using half of a Precision-type pickup for the neck position, so I could focus that sound only on the bass strings. Not sure if it's possible to separate the two halves of the Precision pups though.

This sort of thing is essentially done all the time on guitars with a piezo and a magnetic pickup - it's how I prefer to wire dual output systems, as it's a good bit more flexible, tonally speaking, than an onboard blending preamp. Which, yes, can be insanely useful.

P-bass pickups can easily be 'split' and run seperately - a fair few electric mando makers use half a P-bass pickup as a mando pickup. They are, after all, nothing more than wire wrapped around magnet cores.

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I have to give credit to Avengers63 for me starting this topic when he said "I had a weird dream last night..."

Over the years I've had various ideas that are crazy and yet sometimes actually turn out to be very plausible. Some come from weird dreams and the first that comes to mind is the idea of angled frets. I tried this in 1996 and recently discovered its a well accepted technique. I never saw or heard of it before I did it, so I'm something of a pioneer (tickets on myself ha ha) The only time I saw it was on a classical music album cover showing a guitar with one fret on an angle. It may have just been an artist's impression but then I'm sure no idea is totally new

You were a few centuries late - google Opharion, a variety of lute that had multi-scale (or Fanned Fret, if you want to use the Novax Patent Speak) fretboard. Very little exists in lutherie that hasn't been tried before. Heck, adjustable bolt-on necks (ie, adjust the angle under full string tension) appeared in various forms (Stauffer, Larson) before the turn of the previous century, and now the acoustic guitar world is going 'look! New techology! EMBRACE ME!'.

Angled or "Fanned frets"

I once had this dream where I had a guitar with a neck that was bent, strings and all. Even during the dream I questioned "How could this be?" and the answer was that the strings were made of stronger, thicker steel and were designed for the purpose. A really nutty idea but it went towards the angled fret guitars I've made

There's a company out there that does a compound 'twisted' neck that rotates along the same shape your hand does when it moves up the board. Not sure if they're combined it with fanned frets as well.

Second Fret capo

To complement the concept above I had the idea of using a capo so the guitar could be used for D tuning or E to suit whatever you were playing. I quite often wondered if you could somehow have a built-in capo or even get the second fret to raise up to become like a zero-fret. The lever-thing the chick was using (mentioned above) kept me thinking along those lines

Some crazy folks have invented a bass that converts from fretted to fretless at the flip of a lever. And banjos have had 'built in' capos (for the 5th string, at least) for a very long time indeed.

For the record, I think all the 'alternate fret marker ideas' are fairly pointless, because by definition the guitar is an instrument with multiple potential tunings, and I use capos a lot, so....just learn to play without the dots, checkerboards, whatever. It's also not a piano - there's no '1 note, 1 key' concept, which is what makes it a little more complicated to sight-read non-chorded music on guitar (at least, that's what I found. Mastery is a different issue).

I like the idea of "true pitch" rather than "tempered pitch" but thats impossible with a fretted instrument

(This idea just couldn't work but its still an idea and I'll mention it)

Instead of having frets fixed to the fretboard what if they were attached to your fingers?

Obviously you would be restricted to a 4-stringed instrument and each finger would be "assigned" to a string - It just wouldn't work

The last bit is called a 'slide', and 'fretless instruments', and are older than fretted instruments by far.

As for alternate temperament fretboards, again, a company came out with (and possibly still makes) swappable fretboards with a variety temerament tunings, with micro-fret placements. There are articles on the topic in some of the older (volumes 1 and 2, I think) Big Red Books, which means about 20-30 years ago at least.

Self - tuning guitar

Have little electric motors in the tuning pegs and a tuner built into the control cavity connected by wires through the neck. And have a switch next to the volume control to choose different tunings...

RATS - its already been done!

Yeah. In the 1970's. Modern version's been implemented in Gibson's Robot Guitar, but Jimmy Page was using this decades ago.

Erik: now that's nifty!

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Origional post-

Fretboard like a piano with black and white inlays.... well, I thought of that when I built my first guitar, because I had 10 yrs of piano lessons and dont play guitar. I almost did it and planned on tuning every string to "C" so the "keys" would be right... until one of my friends who plays guitar mentioned chords would be impossible.

Guitar/drummer duo looking for more fill.... Heard a chapman stick?

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I think Chris Squire (bassist for Yes) was the first person to do this - send the two signals from two pickups (via stereo cable) to two different amps. Lots of bassists, including Geddy Lee, followed in his footsteps.

Yeah, I was thinking 'cool features' rather than 'innovation'

Actually, what I'd really like in the guitar would be a built-in motorized hurdy-gurdy type wheel. I imagine that's been done too... I suppose a sustainer would be a similar effect.

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