#1
Hey,
I'd recently built a basic electric diddley bow and enjoyed doing so, so I decided to build a similar one-stringed acoustic slide guitar using a metal biscuit tin as a body. The problem is that I cut the neck a bit short. I'm not sure what this means in terms of tension, but I am having a lot of trouble getting a light gauge electric D or G string to a high enough tension to get a good tone. The strings just attach to nails with a small block of wood as a bridge at each end. The question I'd like to ask is, could I find a way of getting the strings tight enough without changing the neck? Perhaps certain types of strings for other instruments?I'd prefer not to have to add tuners but I will if it seems like the only way.

If any additional information is needed or I'm not making sense, please say and I'll try to elaborate.
Quote by supersac
i pick my guitars the way i pick my women
based on how they feel and play
and eventually you find a couple good asians

Quote by Unicorns
Watch some porn while you play bass, you'll probably end up with something funky.
#3
Sorry, I should have been more clear, I need it tighter to get a higher pitch, to get a sustained note. If I'm correct a higher gauge would mean I would need more tension rather than get it. The problem is I am unable to get the string tight enough to get a note rather than having a note and wanting the same note at a higher tension.
Quote by supersac
i pick my guitars the way i pick my women
based on how they feel and play
and eventually you find a couple good asians

Quote by Unicorns
Watch some porn while you play bass, you'll probably end up with something funky.
#4
Quote by Themoleismad
Sorry, I should have been more clear, I need it tighter to get a higher pitch, to get a sustained note. If I'm correct a higher gauge would mean I would need more tension rather than get it. The problem is I am unable to get the string tight enough to get a note rather than having a note and wanting the same note at a higher tension.

Higher guage = More tension when at the same note, and in this case, more tension=your desired result.
Quote by R45VT
Bastards.
#5
Quote by Viban
Higher guage = More tension when at the same note, and in this case, more tension=your desired result.

The problem is that I can't get the string up to enough tension, I sort of worded it badly. I need to get the string up to a sustained note, so really I suppose what I want is a way to get a sustained note with less tension, or a way of allowing the "guitar" to hold higher tension.
Quote by supersac
i pick my guitars the way i pick my women
based on how they feel and play
and eventually you find a couple good asians

Quote by Unicorns
Watch some porn while you play bass, you'll probably end up with something funky.
#6
Quote by Themoleismad
The problem is that I can't get the string up to enough tension, I sort of worded it badly. I need to get the string up to a sustained note, so really I suppose what I want is a way to get a sustained note with less tension, or a way of allowing the "guitar" to hold higher tension.

That's why I'm telling you to get a higher guage string, a new different string than what is currently on there. because when you have a higher guage string tuned to the same note, then it has more tension.

String guage|||||||Tension at E
"""".010""""""""""""""16lbs
"""".011""""""""""""""20lbs
"""".012""""""""""""""23lbs
"""".013""""""""""""""27lbs
^This shows that a heavier guage string will make higher tension at the same note, so all you have to do is instead of using the string you're using, replace that string with one that's heavier.

You lowered your scale length, and as such you will have to adjust your string tension.
Quote by R45VT
Bastards.
Last edited by Viban at Jun 12, 2013,
#7
Let me try, although I'm sure you could have worked this out from the answers you've had.

There are three thing that affect the ptich of a plucked string: gauge, length and tension. Lighter gauge = higher pitch, shorter length = higher pitch, higher tension = higher pitch.

You currently can't get enough tension in your string to get it to the pitch you desire, so your only other options are to have a lighter or shorter string.

However, skimming through again, I think that you have rejected those options and are keen to find a way of getting the tension you want. In this case, it's hard to advise without seeing how your instrument is built.
#8
The point was that I am already using very light gauge strings and that I was asking for an alternative solution

Quote by Viban
That's why I'm telling you to get a higher guage string, a new different string than what is currently on there. because when you have a higher guage string tuned to the same note, then it has more tension.

String guage|||||||Tension at E
"""".010""""""""""""""16lbs
"""".011""""""""""""""20lbs
"""".012""""""""""""""23lbs
"""".013""""""""""""""27lbs
^This shows that a heavier guage string will make higher tension at the same note, so all you have to do is instead of using the string you're using, replace that string with one that's heavier.

You lowered your scale length, and as such you will have to adjust your string tension.

The problem isn't that I want more tension on the same note, I want enough tension to get a note. What I was looking for is a way to either get a note at a lower tension or reduce the tension I need to get a note.
Quote by supersac
i pick my guitars the way i pick my women
based on how they feel and play
and eventually you find a couple good asians

Quote by Unicorns
Watch some porn while you play bass, you'll probably end up with something funky.
#10
Quote by von Layzonfon
So your string is just flopping about and nowhere near being taut enough to play?


Yes, that's what I probably should have said, thanks for putting up with my terrible explanation.
Quote by supersac
i pick my guitars the way i pick my women
based on how they feel and play
and eventually you find a couple good asians

Quote by Unicorns
Watch some porn while you play bass, you'll probably end up with something funky.
#11
OK. So if your only option for securing the string at each end is nails, your best bet for increasing the tension would be to insert taller bridge blocks. Ideally though you should be looking for a spare tuning peg.
#12
Yeah, I'll probably try using a tuning peg as that now seems like the only option.
Quote by supersac
i pick my guitars the way i pick my women
based on how they feel and play
and eventually you find a couple good asians

Quote by Unicorns
Watch some porn while you play bass, you'll probably end up with something funky.
#13
I missed the part where you don't have tuners, my bad.
Quote by R45VT
Bastards.