I have always been fascinated with the tone of a resonator guitar. Intrigued by the combination of form, function, and materials that produce a really distinct sound. However, every time I’ve picked one up to play they sounded too mechanical for me. As much as I wanted to – I just couldn’t bond with them. I wanted a more organic raw sounding tone. Granted, great players make these things sound fantastic so I certainly admit it’s not all in the instrument (I am not a great player).
I’ve been “building” and customizing my own guitars for over 30 years now. Mostly component type builds, tinkering with electric guitars, and tweaking my acoustics. Seems my passions or attention are more skewed towards playing with my guitars than playing my guitars – appreciating the shapes, and feel, as much as the sounds and music. I’ve dabbled with various woodworking projects along the way honing my skills and I’ve occasionally peeked into the world of resonator guitars and their construction.
Over the years I have accumulated piles of notes, sketches, thoughts, and tested bits and pieces of what I believe to be a great recipe for a unique resonator guitar. One that would produce a durable, stable instrument with the ability to adjust the tone to the player’s interests. Possibly by the player themselves!
The goal of this project: Produce a prototype by combining what I believe to be the most interesting design elements I’ve encountered, and the concept of having the ability to truly tune the tone of a resonator guitar to suit the player without highly customized construction.
Yeah I’ll still use the other more common stuff too – like everyone else building guitars: specialized “tone woods”, “vintage” tuners, “unique” finishes, etc… BUT if you pay close enough attention you might just see some of the secret sauce in this build…
Follow along as I construct the Hijinx Resonator Guitar prototype.
Let the Hijinx begin…