So here’s the short version;
I’m Moose, a 20 something graduate who enjoys tinkering with/building/modifying guitars and guitar effects pedals. I have no formal practice in this, everything I’ve learnt has been as a result of trial and error, and resources off the internet and from books I borrowed from the library. I made this blog purely and simply to share what I’ve done with the world.
The longer version? You asked for it…
I first started playing bass when I was about 13/14 years old. To be honest, I didn’t really have much choice in it. My brother came home one day and simply said “I’ve bought a new bass, here, learn to play this. Any questions, ask me.” and with that, he handed me a beaten down Squier P-Bass and a tab for Genocide by The Offspring.
Since then I haven’t really looked back. Before I even had my first guitar I was tinkering around with that P-Bass. In the time since I’ve owned it, it’s had:
- Three different paintjobs
- Replacement pickups
- Replacement bridge
- Replacement neck
- Replacement machine heads
Hell, it didn’t even need any of these “upgrades”. It was a bass in full working order, with no problems or damage. All the work I had done to it in the past was all out of general intrigue/interest in what I could do to customise it and truly make it mine.
Fast forward a few years…
So, a couple years later and I’m tricked into playing guitar. After three or four years of playing bass, I was really into Primus and had my heart set on a £500.00 6 string bass so I could be just like Les Claypool. I
had agreed thought I had agreed with my parents that I would pony up half the money, and they would put up the rest as a Christmas present. One or two weeks before Christmas, and I was waiting for the day we’d go to the guitar shop and get it.
Some time around this point, my mother asked me if I wanted to go with her to the local music shop (a tiny one, run by an old guy just up the road), as she wanted to get drumsticks and bass strings as presents for my brothers. I go with her, and she asks me if I want to play one of the guitars there whilst she’s chatting to the guy. I glumly point to a generic ‘metal’ styled guitar and go “Sure, I guess I’ll play that one”. I plug into a crappy 10-15 watt practice amp and just start doing a few basic power chords and playing reeeal basic riffs. Ten minutes later, I’m still playing it. She turns and says to me “So what do you think of that one?”. I go “Yeah, it’s alright I guess. It’s weird adjusting to guitar from bass, but I’m getting used to it pretty quickly.”
“Great! We’ll take it!” she says to the shop owner.
And that Christmas I had my first guitar. The second instrument that I wasn’t aware I was ever going to play, and love. That crappy, beaten down, Ibanez rip-off is still my favourite. It gets more play every week than any other guitar I own, despite being arguably the cheapest one. It’s covered in stickers, where there aren’t stickers the paint has chipped/peeled away, it required a replacement bridge due to excessive rust, the three old pickups were gutted and replaced with a single Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge (with more stickers covering the cavities left behind), and it’s a goddamn mess by professional standards.
But it doesn’t matter. Because it’s mine, and it’s unique. No-one else has a guitar like it, and no matter how old and beaten it gets, I will keep repairing it and I will keep playing it.
What about right now?
Let me tell you what’s around me at this moment.
To my left:
A soldering iron, a vice, a multimeter, piles of veroboard and two ice cream tubs full of miscellaneous electrical components and parts. I’ve also got several guitar pickups and pickguards, some of which I never even had the original guitar they were put on.
To my right:
Two more ice cream tubs full of various tools, several drawers filled with working, non-working, and some never finished guitar effects pedals. On top of that I’ve got a butt ton of velcro and spray paints. In fact, on the wall I even have my original P-Bass neck hanging. Just the neck, on it’s own. I guess it’s more of an ornament than anything else, but I’ll be damned if it’s being thrown out.
Behind me I’ve got my bass & guitar amps, an assortment of guitars, and of course my beloved pedals.
Did I mention the Squier Jagmaster body underneath my bed? Cos I’ve got that too. Just the body, nothing else. It’s been there almost six months now.
I constantly spend my time researching the latest in effects, guitar technology, and amplifiers. You’ll be hard pressed to find me doing anything else with my spare time. I’ve spent the past 7 or 8 years retrofitting pickups, drawing up and implementing my own wiring diagrams for guitars, building various effects pedals from either kits or based on schematic layouts.
All of the DIY guitar & effects projects I work on, I don’t do them to save money. I do it for the satisfaction of having done something myself, and to ensure that I have something truly unique. Plus, if I made it, I have no else to blame but myself if it f**ks up!