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A Good Fiddle Practice Session, and Frankenstrat Adventures

Posted by fiddlepogo on Sunday, November 13, 2011

A couple of days ago I had a good fiddle practice session:

I started using some slurred string crossings in Irish tunes.

I figured out how to use 3-3-1-1 in some Irish tunes.

I came up with an interesting variation on the TUF (Thumb Under Frog hold) based on Byron Berline's variation of it.

BUT then I started thinking that I needed to do some modifying to my two Stratocasters, in preparation for possibly selling one of them.  It involved swapping the pickguards and the bridge pickups and the volume controls between the guitars, but leaving the neck and bridge pickups and the tone control in the guitars they HAD been in, but to do that, I had to swap THOSE into the OTHER pickguard!  Confused??? 

Anyway, I only do this kind of thing at night when the wife and cat are mostly asleep, and won't bother me when I'm working with a hot soldering iron.  But because it's so late, I THINK very slowly, and it takes a long time.

Well, the swap was KIND of a success... in the conventional Strat, I like how the pickups and the pickup combinations are sounding a LOT.... but the tone controls BARELY work.... the changes they make to the sound are almost too subtle even for me.

Unfortunately I had to go to bed before I finished the Hardtail Strat, but it was together enough that I could test its sounds with the help of some alligator clips... and it sounds good too, but its tone controls are hardly working either... and this is the one I'm thinking of selling, so non-functioning tone controls are NOT a plus!!!  ARGGHHHH!!! And I'm not really sure what I should do about it.

And whatever I do is going to involve ANOTHER late night soldering.... DOUBLE ARGGGGH!!!!!

And, the late night soldering adventures have messed up my sleep patterns the last couple of days so I am getting slow starts in the mornings, and not getting practice time in.... NOT GOOD!!!

Anyway, the nice thing about tweaking fiddles is that it DOESN'T involve hot soldering irons.

7 comments on “A Good Fiddle Practice Session, and Frankenstrat Adventures”

fiddleiphile Says:
Sunday, November 13, 2011 @3:42:00 AM

Try changing the capaciters value at the tone pots instead of the pick-up itself. Thin Fender sound uses a .002 mf, Gibson "fatter" sound uses .005 mf. Experiment with different value and see what you come up with. Pretty easy to make two joints and save all the rewire.

fiddlepogo Says:
Sunday, November 13, 2011 @4:16:05 PM

Oh yeah... I've been there too- done that.
It's just that I liked and wanted to save the capacitor combinations, and frankly, soldering and unsoldering
the capacitors makes me more nervous than anything except the forest of ground wires coming off of the top of the volume pot.
Also, I am using some capacitors scavenged from an old TV set that sound really good.

But you're right, I probably should've done that- and probably WILL end up doing it- thanks for the tip.

fiddleiphile Says:
Monday, November 14, 2011 @4:33:51 AM

I know you like playing with your toys. So heres another thought. Try winding your own pic-ups. It's fairly easy. Too early in the morning to go into it, but if your interested I'll tell you how to get started later. I've wound a few single coils that blow Fenders away, with adjustable magnets to tune in string sensitivity.

fiddleiphile Says:
Monday, November 14, 2011 @4:36:12 AM

Pic-ups?... I was just about to say, Too early!

Learner Says:
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @5:27:12 AM

off topic: Michael, you changed your avatar! This is going to take some getting used to! First the European debt crisis, then Occupy Wall Street, and now this!

Best wishes,


fiddlepogo Says:
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @9:31:36 AM

Yup I did. I don't know if it will stay changed.... but, if you look closely, it's similar to the cartoon-
I'm wearing a vertically striped shirt, and looking down at the fiddle in a concentrated way... no birdie nest on my head, though!

fiddlepogo Says:
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @9:32:13 AM

Whoops... no it's not... that was the OTHER avatar photo I tried!

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