build a shuitar (PDF)

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Build a Shuitar. Easy.
1 Get any acoustic guitar. A used one is best. The world
doesn’t need more junk. Spend $0-50 at most.
2 Buy any jingle stick online with a flat handle. Drill a 1/4” hole in the end of the handle. Drill a 1/4” hole through
third fret of the guitar (offset to the right of the neck). Put a 1/4” bolt through the neck. Use a washer on both sides
of the jingle stick handle, fit over the bolt. Put two nuts on the end of the bolt and tighten them together snugly (two
wrenches). This allows the jingle stick to swing freely.
3 Drill a small hole in the side of the guitar near the end of the jingle stick. Cut an
elastic hair tie. Tie one end to a washer. Put your hand inside the guitar and run
the loose end of the elastic through the hole you drilled. Tie this loose end to the
end of the jingle stick. The hair tie should be very taught. Play the jingle stick
with your left thumb for cymbal hits, open hi-hat, accents.
4 Cut a rectangle of wood for a bridge riser: 1/4”-1/2” thick, 5-6” long, 1 1/2-2”
wide. Place the top half of this wood over the guitar bridge. Drill two 1/8” holes
that pierce the riser and the guitar bridge simultaneously (red dots pictured). Start
a wood screw in each hole that will reach to the inside of the guitar. (You will finish
this piece in step 5.) Play the bridge riser with the whole weight of your right
hand. Don’t tap, this is the bass drum.
5 Bother a guitar shop or a friend for 3-4 used guitar strings (original
length, not cut). The bottom strings of a guitar or the smaller strings of
a bass work well. You can buy new strings but likely in bulk to get four
of the same string. Wind the strings around the three or four tuning
machines on the left of the guitar. Place the loose ends of the strings
just past the guitar bridge. With the two screws, tighten down the
bridge riser (step 4) over the strings to secure. The brass circle on the
guitar string hanging off the bridge edge, under the riser, will keep the
string in place after you tighten them. Tighten the strings a bit until
just before you would hear a tone. Play these loose strings with your
right thumb. This is your hi-hat. Practice hard to gain skill between
your right thumb and your right fingers (bass drum).



6 Get a thick ring. Place it on the middle or ring finger of your left
hand. You will hit the side of the guitar firmly with this ring. The
ring should hit the middle of the guitar side in the hollow-sounding
sweet spot. This is your snare drum.
7 Other things: Place a “scrunchie” hair tie or the soft side of a
string of velcro around the neck to mute the strings. Place a chunk
of foam inside of the guitar when using a mic on the hole with a PA
system to stop feedback.
8 Make a scratch ring (10” long wire coat hanger). With pliers and by
wrapping around a broomstick, shape into the design below. Wear on
right index and middle finger together. Play the frets like a washboard.
middle finger

index finger
Nub to scratch metal
frets, tap shuitar top

9 Type “Shuitar 1” at Youtube. Hold the shuitar like a cello. Play
along with records for 100 hours.


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