The Green Lantern

Here’s a cool thing!

I came into this B.C. Rich Warlock for $40 though a combination of goodwill, generosity and luck (thank you, thank you, thank you 99¢).

It was in very good condition, with the only issue being a ding on the 7th fret that catches when I bend the B string. That’s not a big deal. It adds a little character.

Character is exactly what I was hoping for in a guitar. I wanted a laboratory instrument that I could hack and modify. Some features that I especially like about this guitar:

  • The price and condition
  • It’s heavier than the cheapie Stratocasters that are coming from India (or where ever) – it’s solid!
  • The neck feels good in my hand
  • It stays in tune
  • There’s no tremolo mechanism
  • It’s so weird
Step One

I bought a really, really cheap single coil pick-up on Amazon for around $2.00 and swapped out the neck position humbucker.

single-coil

fat-charlie-lends-a-paw

Fat Charlie ate the neck Humbucker. He eats everything.

wiring

At the time, I didn’t have an amplifier, so I tested it through a POD. Oh, and I added strap locks, too. It helps with the body shape.

bich

Since then, I found a Line 6 Spider IV 15 15-watt 1×8 Modeling Guitar Amplifier at Goodwill for $20. It’s easily the best small amp I’ve ever played through  – better than any of my old Fender Champs, or anything I’ve seen at this size. Best of all, it has a button labeled “INSANE.” We all need that.

Line-6-Spider-IV-15-15-watt-1x8-Modeling-Guitar-Amplifier

Step Two:

I strung the guitar with four .012 gauge “E” strings (on the low “E,” “A,” “D,” “G” strings).  I often drop the low “E” to a “C,” and I envisioned the typical tuning of these four string to be that of a cello.

cello-tuning

Listening to my Leezle practice inspired the cello tuning idea. I love alternate tunings. I love cello. I love bass and lower playing in lower registers. I thought that this tuning might make an appealing guitar for her, too.  The added tension of the three heavier strings is the reason I wanted a tremolo free guitar, as intonation can get wonky. The tonal interactions between four string with the same gauge is interesting. Back in the noisy Bazooka Joe days, Jeff “Guppy” Caplin and I spent many hours exploring dissonance, overtones and seeking harmonic resolution. I still find that fascinating, but perhaps without quite so much distortion.

So far, so good – the guitar plays well and has offered some great musical possibilities. I would like to do some recording with it. Soon.

Step Three

I am inspired by the work of Yuri Landman. In particular, I would love to have multiple line outputs and a denser pickup array under the strings (See below).

yuri

So, the next step is add outputs and more pick-ups.

Here’s a recent-ish TEDx talk from Mr. Landman.

More soon, stay TUNED (omg).