NTGD, and it's awesome!

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by EsquireOK, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I have been kicking this idea around for a while, and I finally just went for it: Get a Squier Mini, and string it up in A standard using ultra light strings.

    I used a set of E.B. 8s for my first experiment. It's a little tight for most (but not bad – feels like 11s or 12s on a regular guitar). I might try the D'Addario 8s (slightly lighter on some strings, and heavier on the one string that is the loosest – the 3rd string). Or the Billy Gibbons signature 7s set by Dunlop (though I am afraid the 3rd string will be too rubbery).

    It sounds awesome! Tonally, it's like playing an electric with a capo on the 5th fret, but with more space between the frets. This instrument type has a lot of potential for traditional country music, I think. Really gets that capoed tone, but it's more comfortable to play in some ways. Like I said, more space along the neck...but the neck is very narrow, so there is less space across the neck. It would be better with a wider neck, but it is playable as is.

    Another good use for it is playing in the key of D using what would be key-of-A fingerings on a normal guitar. Or playing in G as if you were playing in D (cowboy chord stuff sounds great this way). Or playing in A as if playing in E (though that's not as useful, as on most songs, I find playing in A on a regular guitar to be easier than playing in E). Also, when you're fingering open G formations on this guitar, you're actually playing in C, which could have some use to some people.

    For now, I'm calling it a six-string tenor guitar, as it is similar to a typical C-G-D-A tenor guitar range wise (same high string, and only a major 6th lower on the bottom string). But I might think of a better name later on.

    With this set of strings, I have a feeling it would make a great G standard or open G guitar.

    Total cost? $149 + change for the brand new guitar and the set of strings. There are some refinements to make (e.g. reshaping the neck profile to a V, at least on the bass side of the neck – and perhaps converting to more typical Strat controls and some cooler pickups), but that's not a bad initial outlay for the experiment. At least now I know the concept has promise.

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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  2. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    It completes you . . .
     
    brookdalebill likes this.
  3. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    OK. Here come the mod ideas.

    I want to give it a classic '50s-style guard, first of all. Thin single ply white, not this thick, beveled single-ply white that it came with. Fewer (8) screw holes for a cleaner look, and smaller (Gibson sized) hold-down screws, so the screws don't look so oversized. Same with the pickup adjustment screws: smaller.

    The pickups look too big to me. I am thinking three Wilde Micro-Coil Tele neck pickups, in white, so they are more in scale with the guitar (plus I have always wanted some of those pickups).

    And, of course, I want more typical Strat controls, not just master volume and tone.

    It'd be great if I could find miniature Strat knobs, but I don't think I can (maybe find a kid with a 3D printer to help me). Maybe I can find white small Jazz Bass style knobs instead.

    The neck has a bit much shoulder. I might shape it into more of a V.

    These string trees will be going. They are oversized, and hold the strings at odd angles coming out of the nut. I'll use height adjustable Gotohs so I don't need any string trees.

    I might cheat the strings a bit outward on a new nut.

    If I ever wear out the frets, it'll be getting super tiny mandolin/folk instrument wire, like Dunlop 3330 (.043" wide by .031" tall). And I'll add a ton of radius to the board at this point too. The narrow nut makes the flatter board a bit difficult to play. It'd chord a lot nicer and "feel" like a wider neck with more radius...and it'd be less cramped with the tiny frets (I like tiny frets anyhow).
     
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