Upcycle Progress: Recycled Guitar

For my Upcycle project, I am going to attempt to build a guitar out of spare materials laying around the house. I have always loved playing the guitar and rock music in general, so I thought it would be something fun to try. I initially got the idea from Jack White in the documentary It Might Get Loud. There is a scene in the movie where he builds a 1-string guitar out of a piece of wood and a bottle and attaches an electric pickup so that he can play it through an amplifier and plays some slide guitar. I have also seen street performers do similar things with objects such as oil cans and cooking utensils. I plan on using a section of a 2×4 to build the neck out of, and I have started trying basic designs on that. As for the body of the guitar, I am considering using a tennis racket because it somewhat mirrors the shape. I have a bunch of spare guitar strings/parts lying around, so I will try to make it look legitimate and (hopefully) somewhat functional.

Jack White’s homemade guitar

The aesthetic I am going for in this project is a vintage blues feel. The patchwork nature of my design will look somewhat aged/worn, and the idea of creating a guitar out of spare parts has been around for a long time. By creating something from several different sources, it will mirror the improvisational nature of blues and music in general. I have also always wanted to learn how to build an actual guitar, so I am excited to learn a little bit more about how a guitar actually functions and gets put together!

An example of a tennis racket guitar.

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Levi Cortright
    February 6, 2017 11:41 am

    Great idea! Mixing this class with an existing passion is definitely the best way for any of us to enjoy, and get the most out of the experience. I hope that it is able to make some cool sounds. Are you going to try to make a functional guitar, or something that looks like a guitar?

  • Blake Arellano
    February 5, 2017 4:25 pm

    This is an awesome and ambitious idea! Homemade instruments always have a unique sound and a unique aesthetic. Definitely going to be some work, but also very much worth the effort. I love the jack white reference too, the documentary is one of my favorites as Jack White is definitely one of my favorite musicians. Its definitely exciting to see what people can make into guitars, and this is definitely a project I hope to see in presentations next week. Good luck!!

  • Awesome idea! I really like the look you have planned. Should be pretty cool to see in action. I don’t see any sketches or any plans for how you’re actually going to pull this together, though. What are you going to do for pickups or tuners? Do you have parts from old guitars or are you going to be patching everything together? It’s got a good concept, but I don’t see much direction at this time.


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