Guitar Making Tip No. 17 is about how the guitar is a series of interconnected parts. They all have an effect on each other. As you build, you need to pay attention to how one part works with the rest. Here is how.
The Guitar is Individual Parts All Working Together
The guitar is a system of parts. They all work together to create sound. They also work to resist the tension of the strings. Both of these forces work with and against each other to make the guitar what it is.
You need to make the guitar with the whole build in mind. As you are making the body, you can start planning the neck.
Understand that the body and neck have to work well together, and you will build better parts.
One thing that new builders can really benefit from is balance. If you make any changes to the design on the guitar, they can have an effect on other parts of the guitar. This is a good thing in many cases, but it can be bad too if you do the wrong thing…
Don’t Make Huge Changes at First
In the beginning, you really only want to make small design changes. The guitar needs to be yours, so it is natural to want to make changes. Just be careful when you do, because you can accidentally hurt something down the road.
I remember an early build of mine where I really wanted to dome the top much more. I figured that if a little doming was good, then a more pronounced dome would work even better. The idea made sense in theory, so I built the mother of all domes.
However, I did not make the necessary adjustments to the neck angle. Instead of angling the neck backwards a bit more to reach the bridge in the taller position, I left it as normal and glued it in place. This resulted in a very high action, which was nearly unplayable.
Areas That Are Safer to Change
I wrote a gigantic post on the 25 Safe Places to Customize Your Guitar Without Altering the Tone already. This teaches you several places that you can express yourself. They are also areas that have little to do with the sound and function of the guitar.
If you have some experience woodworking, you can really have a ball on a guitar. There are so many places that are just begging to be customized. If you are still new, try to hold back from tackling all of these areas on the first build. Instead, pick out a couple.
If you are really into guitar making, you will end up making several guitars. You have plenty of time to experiment with different custom features. In the beginning, learn the basic process. Then, you will be armed with the knowledge to break the rules correctly.
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