#1
Well, I would like to start off by saying that I am a new member here and that this is my first post/thread on this website. I am also not a very advanced guitarist and have a limited knowledge of guitar playing and maintenance.

With that said, I've been playing guitar for about three and a half years and have just discovered the art of experimentation. Through the brilliance of Sonic Youth, who is well-known for their guitar innovations, I have recently decided that I want to start experimenting with the guitar.

One of the many things that Sonic Youth did to get the sounds that they got was to insert various objects, such as a drumstick/screwdriver/bike horn/etc. in between the strings and the fretboard at a particular fret. There are a few videos on YouTube of live performances of their song "The Burning Spear" in which guitarist Thurston Moore uses this technique.

I am fully aware that they used custom-made guitars that had been prepared specifically to handle that sort of thing, but my question is: Is it safe to place a drumstick or a screwdriver between the strings and the fretboard on a standard guitar? I own an LTD brand guitar (specifically an LTD MH-100QM) that has a locking neck. I have also been wondering if my guitar having a locking neck would somehow have an effect on whether the guitar will be able to handle having a drumstick/screwdriver in between the strings and fretboard.

I don't want to risk damaging any part of my guitar by attempting this, so I was hoping somebody here would have some information about this style of playing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
#2
I was thinking that you going to ask about playing guitar with a drumstick instead of a pick (lack a whamola). This changes everything though...

But ah, the wonderful world of prepared guitar...

It's pretty safe as long as you are careful not to scratch tip of the screwdriver on your fretboard. I suppose if the drumstick is particularly large and really threaded in there, it could cause an increase in tension on the strings which could in theory warp the neck, but I don't know how much this tension would be and if it would even be enough to actually have any significant effect of that type. If it was the case, standard tension problem fixing things would work.

If you really are worried about tension problems though, you can always experiment with putting thinner (and therefor lower profile) objects between the strings. Also having something that is a bit pliable could be helpful if you want something to thread between the strings. Actually, some folded up tinfoil could work beautifully if you did it correctly.

Obviously one thing to consider when playing is the effect on intonation (though this is a purely playing thing and wouldn't damage the instrument) due to having significantly raised strings. In fact, putting a screwdriver under the strings is an old trick we slide players use to quickly raise the strings on guitars with very low action so that it will make slide easier (keep in mind that for slide, the higher the strings the better, at least in terms of playing).

Also the same thing works well as a makeshift capo for slide guitar (putting the screwdriver at the third fret brings your open D guitar up to open F just like that). That probably won't be much use unless you are playing slide though, since you could just use a real capo.

Also consider putting the stick as close as possible to the bridge for a different effect, or even behind the bridge if your guitar is hollow and has string length between the bridge and tailpiece. I put things under there on my banjo and it has a rather neat effect, though much of this has to do with an object vibrating against the head of the banjo.
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