#2
Is bamboo a tone wood? Then again, look at the one Les Paul made out of a broomstick.
#3
It's a hollow woody-grass type plant, and most musical instruments made from bamboo are wind instruments such as flutes, so I would imagine that bamboo guitars wouldn't be very good at all.
EDIT: Here's a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqEfa9hAAMo
As you can see it's just a fretboard built into the bamboo stalk with pickups attached.
Last edited by pixysticks at Jun 12, 2010,
#5
I know they'd be light as hell.
R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio. Supplied amazing music to both me and my mother.

He will be missed.
#8
Quote by KG6_Steven
Is bamboo a tone wood? Then again, look at the one Les Paul made out of a broomstick.

I refer you to The Heretic's Guide to Alternative Lutherie Woods. Quoting:
First of all (and speaking from a steel string guitar perspective), let's discard the notion that some species of wood make good instruments and that others don't. The concept of tonewood is a hoax. Of the few things that we can do to a guitar and still call it a guitar, changing the wood it is made of will have the least impact upon the quality of the sound that it produces. The tonal difference between a mahogany guitar and a rosewood guitar is exactly the same as the difference between two mahogany guitars or two rosewood guitars. Can you tell what a guitar is made of while listening to an unfamiliar recording? No one I know claims they can. No one at the blind listening sessions I've attended could reliably distinguish between mahogany and rosewood guitars, or maple and koa guitars for that matter.

Guitars sound like guitars. No matter how poorly or bizarrely they are made, you'll never confuse the natural sound of an acoustic guitar with that of a banjo, a mandolin, a drum or a flute. Obviously, not all guitars sound alike, but even when we think we can distinguish a night-and-day difference, it won't be so extreme that one will sound like a guitar and another won't. We may have a strong preference for one or another, but they will all sound like guitars. If they didn't, they would be called something else.

The tone of a guitar lies more in the hands of the builder than in the materials from which it is constructed. With increased experience, the level of craftsmanship increases. As the quality of the luthier's instruments goes up, the tonal difference between the instruments goes down. There are not only fewer dogs, but it becomes more difficult to build one that stands noticeably above the others. I noted this phenomenon in my mountain dulcimers years ago, and more recently have seen it happen to my guitars.

I think the other posters can probably answer better about how bamboo sounds (I've never heard a bamboo guitar, myself). I just wanted to call bullshit on that old tonewood myth.
#9
You can make tonewood out of anything. My only concern with using Bamboo is that you would never be able to get really large pieces. If you DID get a larger piece, bamboo tends to bend a lot under strain. It can take the strain without a doubt, but it does tend to bend.

You would have to get many smaller pieces and glue it together. In that way, it would be more like a laminate. For a cheaper laminate alternative, it may be decent.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

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#10
For back and sides I'd say it would be ok. The only reason that most guitars have 2 piece backs is that most people thing it looks better, and less glue joints to worry about failing. The only reason I can think of that there aren't many guitars with multiple piece sides is that it would be much more difficult to use more than one piece.

I think bamboo would be a fine choice, lightweight, cheap, and it grows so fast you wouldn't have to worry about it running out. Just don't play it around any pandas...
#11
Quote by soundjam
For back and sides I'd say it would be ok. The only reason that most guitars have 2 piece backs is that most people thing it looks better, and less glue joints to worry about failing. The only reason I can think of that there aren't many guitars with multiple piece sides is that it would be much more difficult to use more than one piece.

I think bamboo would be a fine choice, lightweight, cheap, and it grows so fast you wouldn't have to worry about it running out. Just don't play it around any pandas...



hehe pandas
Last edited by BrylleyM at Jun 14, 2010,
#12
Quote by KG6_Steven
Is bamboo a tone wood?

Every wood is a tone wood.

I'm also curious of how one would find large enough pieces. Can it be soaked and unrolled? I don't think anyone would bother if the back needed eight pieces or something goofy.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Jun 14, 2010,
#13
Never heard a bamboo guitar besides on Youtube, but I can vouch that it's a lot harder wood than one would think, and handles humidity and dryness very well also. I've only installed one Bamboo floor, but was pleasantly surprised at the weight and strength, it's definitely considered a hardwood, and I'm talking solid Bamboo, not a hybrid or laminate. Oh yeah, the planks were 6" if I remember correctly, it was a few years ago.
#14
Quote by GC Shred Off
Every wood is a tone wood.

I'm also curious of how one would find large enough pieces. Can it be soaked and unrolled? I don't think anyone would bother if the back needed eight pieces or something goofy.


IIRC, some cheaper Chinese Go boards are made from bamboo formed into solid blocks. I've never played on one in person, but apparently it gets the job done.
Quote by xadioriderx
you should just mount a really big chunk of wood


Quote by Wisthekiller
How does one safely remove the smell of a corpse from a banjo?
#15
That heretic's opinion at #8 is exactly that, one persons opinion.
And iin my opinion it is definitely a rubbish claim for guitars of classical contruction so, I'm glad the author made the point of not including them.
Identifying a cedar top guitar over spruce is dead easy.
#16
Quote by R.Christie
That heretic's opinion at #8 is exactly that, one persons opinion.
And iin my opinion it is definitely a rubbish claim for guitars of classical contruction so, I'm glad the author made the point of not including them.
Identifying a cedar top guitar over spruce is dead easy.

I see a few problems with the heretic's argument myself (but possibly also your interpretation).

First, the claim is that "changing the wood it is made of will have the least impact upon the quality of the sound that it produces" (emphasis mine). Quality here could be used in the sense of "good or bad," which itself is vague and highly subjective; or it could mean the describable qualities of the sound, as opposed to quantities.

Second, the claim is followed by this supporting argument:
The tonal difference between a mahogany guitar and a rosewood guitar is exactly the same as the difference between two mahogany guitars or two rosewood guitars. Can you tell what a guitar is made of while listening to an unfamiliar recording? No one I know claims they can. No one at the blind listening sessions I've attended could reliably distinguish between mahogany and rosewood guitars, or maple and koa guitars for that matter.

Mahogany, rosewood, maple, and koa are generally used as back and side woods. Indeed, I believe the article as a whole is focused on back and side woods, which have considerably less impact on the sound than the top. The back and sides mostly have to reflect the sound of the top; they don't resonate nearly as much. Torres famously demonstrated this with his paper mache guitar. I personally can't hear much difference between different back and side woods, or solid woods and laminates, and I have a fairly good ear.

Top woods are much easier to distinguish, and I agree cedar sounds recognizably different from spruce. I prefer the cedar sound myself, though I'm very much in the steel-string camp. And to a trained ear, the difference is quite obvious between a laminate and a solid wood top -- at least hearing them in person.

But here we encounter another twist: the specific claim is that it's difficult to "tell what a guitar is made of while listening to an unfamiliar recording" (again, emphasis mine). I'd have to agree; it's difficult to reliably identify an instrument, or tonewood, or pickup type for electrics, going by sound alone. Hell, look at the comments on some of my recordings. What sounds like overdrive and pick attack is actually high-output pickups and a heavily overloaded microphone -- and by the way, I play fingerstyle.

Finally, the heretic never claimed any two woods sound exactly alike. In fact, the rest of the article describes the specific tonal qualities of all the "alternate" woods. I don't think any wood sounds distinct in an absolute sense -- you couldn't reliably say "oh, that must be ________" just listening to it -- and there's too many other factors that affect sound, anyhow. But different woods do sound distinct from one another.

In short, the article makes some valid points, albeit based on questionable arguments, and it's quite obvious to me that you didn't read it.
#18
wow that's pretty cool. I never even considered the usage of bamboo in lutherie
"ba doo doo ba doo doo ba doo daa"
- earth,wind, and fire
#20
Quote by hecks
mashidaniel goddamnit you necrod a thread
Which wasted valuable time, that could have been spent gluing little pieces of bamboo together, in the hope of turning them into a guitar.

FWIW, bamboo is frequently seen as low(er) cost home flooring, as a substitute for more traditional hardwoods such as maple or oak. https://www.calibamboo.com/bamboo-flooring.html

That tells us that its hard as nails, and most likely would be little to no use for an acoustic soundboard. The link above is pointing to an electric guitar. The overall tone of an electric is much less dependent on wood species than are acoustics.

Here, broaden your bamboo knowledge and horizons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 7, 2017,