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Tiny Sized Guitars...


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Now, I've decided to build a travel-sized guitar since I'm forced to leave all my guitar gear at home when we go on a trip with the family. I want to build a tiny amp and a tiny guitar to take with me everywhere.

I was thinking of 1/2 at first but then I tried to play the chords at the 12th fret and decided it's too tiny for my plows. :D I'm thinking 3/4 is a bit too small for me. So I tried around the fretboard and decided a 14-15" scale to fit my hands best.

Do this size guitars need a truss rod?

What about tuner options? what's the most compact headstock I can make? (I can't have them on the body because I'm propably gonna have a tremolo on it.)

I thought of also building an amp in there. So I wouldn't have cables in the way.

What strings do you suggest for that scale? Is there an option of having the tuning in the right octave, not octave up? Would that take extra-thick strings?

This guitar is gonna be a lifesaver at places. :D

Thanks in advance.

--------------

Jimbo

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I used to have a Fernandes Nomad, which I sold. Now I have a Steinberger Spirit, which I like a lot better. I use a little headphone amp, but you could also get one of those 9V micro amp things.

Have you considered the Steinberger? For $320, IMO it's a deal. And the headless design is THE best arrangement for a travel axe, IMO.

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You should probably use Steinberger tuners. They can be arranged in a staggered pattern across a very small headstock, because they hang down like a banjo tuner. Sort of like 3 close/3 far, the way 12-string acoustic bridge pins are. Plus they lock, so that's an advantage for your trem idea. I guess you could try banjo tuners too, but they're clumsier and usually have lower gear ratios.

I often thought, why have any wood behind the trem at all? You could have the body shape round over the area where the trem block cavity would be. The trem would just be hanging out there in space. You only need solid wood around the stud area. But then whenever you rested the guitar down it would be sitting on the tremolo. It it were a dive-only vintage sized trem that would be okay. But the "dual strap button" steinberger placement could also make the guitar rest on the buttons.

I don't know if I'd go that short on the scale personally, but I don't know your needs. To me, a 24 3/4" scale guitar with minimal material on each side of the string is still a pretty small guitar. But I don't know, maybe you have to fit it in your car's glove box, or your travel shaving kit bag or something. :D How about a guitar/pen or a guitar/passport booklet? "It's a palm pilot, but it's also a fold-out guitar!" etc.

Edited by frank falbo
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with a 14-16" scale legenth the lowest you could tune without the strings going all floppy on you would be to A (like a guitar with capo on fret 5). I built a guitar with a 24" scale legenth and if you diddnt have any wood behind the trem your looking at about a 25" guitar. That is VERY small. Way smaller than you would probally want to play. To anweser your question there is no way to get it tuned too the regular octave with a 15" scale legenth. It's just not possiable. You would need like SUPER high tension strings which dont exist.

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To anweser your question there is no way to get it tuned too the regular octave with a 15" scale legenth.  It's just not possiable.  You would need like SUPER high tension strings which dont exist.

Actually, they wouldn't be high-tension, they'd be super-floppy. Too floppy to play.

Shorter scale is higher pitch, so you have to lower the tension to keep the same pitch.

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To anweser your question there is no way to get it tuned too the regular octave with a 15" scale legenth.  It's just not possiable.  You would need like SUPER high tension strings which dont exist.

Actually, they wouldn't be high-tension, they'd be super-floppy. Too floppy to play.

Shorter scale is higher pitch, so you have to lower the tension to keep the same pitch.

What I ment is you would need strings that would put more tension because it would be floppy because of the short scale legenth.

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jIM, TAKE any GUITAR,GOD!!I HATE CAPSLOCK!! Take ANY guitar and put a capo on it. Run the capo up a half-step at a time till you find it unplayable. Measure dat and it be your minimum scale-length. I think I would go with a tuning bridge or gearless tuners and a headstock-deprived neck. You really can't care that much how it looks with your other needs considered.

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To anweser your question there is no way to get it tuned too the regular octave with a 15" scale legenth.  It's just not possiable.  You would need like SUPER high tension strings which dont exist.

Actually, they wouldn't be high-tension, they'd be super-floppy. Too floppy to play.

Shorter scale is higher pitch, so you have to lower the tension to keep the same pitch.

What I ment is you would need strings that would put more tension because it would be floppy because of the short scale legenth.

Gotcha

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How about something like the Erlewine Chiquita?

Or the Lazer?

If they're too long, which the Chiquita is only 28", you could make an even shorter guitar or lose the headstock on the Chiquita.

It'd be sweet to build a Chiquita with a built-in amp. Maybe use one of those rectangular mount speakers with the oval driver installed where the neck pickup would be?

Edited by crafty
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If you want short scale but playable in standard pitch, you could try creating your own custom set of strings. They'd have to be thick strings to even have a hope, though. I can't imagine the results would be all that satisfactory, but if you're willing to use short-scale and transposed, you could at least give it a try before saying, "nope, didn't work" and then putting on your standard strings for a transposed scale.

Greg

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How about something like the Erlewine Chiquita?

Or the Lazer?

If they're too long, which the Chiquita is only 28", you could make an even shorter guitar or lose the headstock on the Chiquita.

It'd be sweet to build a Chiquita with a built-in amp. Maybe use one of those rectangular mount speakers with the oval driver installed where the neck pickup would be?

Exactly right. Make it Chiquita-like and 23" or 24" scale so that you can still tune it normally, AND lose/reduce the headstock and you're in mini-guitar heaven, I'd say.

Greg

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