No. 3A Mount Close, Awkunanaw Street, Enugu, Nigeria

How we made our First Ever Electronic Guitar

Our objective was to design a playable LEAD GUITAR which will look like a box guitar but can be controlled electronically.

Equipment Needed

  1. A very light Plywood
  2. 19.5 and 21 inch SWG copper wire.
  3. Strings (1 – 6)
  4. Guitar Turner/Adjusters
  5. Mini amplifier
  6. Sandpaper
  7. Super Glue
  8. Filler.

The top and bottom bases were first carved out on a cardboard sheets and then transferred to the main plywood. We choose plywood because we needed something that is light in weight and off course something that will not absorb sound. A special type of plywood was chosen and the inside polished to still increase the reflecting ability. The two faces was made to be of equal dimension but opposite phase. Phase A (top face) leads phase B (bottom face) by exactly 180 deg. The edges were smoothed to ensure a uniform curve running through the entire length. The average dimension was 100*50cm. The qualities of the wood used must satisfy some criteria especially weight and durability. It must also be easy to work on.

A 10cm in width plywood was then cut and filed down to 9.5cm. The 0.5cm that was removed was  to ensure smooth lapping with both faces of the guitar. We then joined the base with the 9.5cm wood we have made earlier. The joining was made using the 21 inch SWG copper wire. Note that there is no bound to what type of material one can use to join. We only chose copper because we were looking at strength too.

An arm made from strong African iroko tree was carved out to hold both the strings and the adjusters. The arm was then attached to the upper face of the guitar ensuring a firm grip so as to avoid wobbling during play.

Note: Since the faces are made of plywood, it will not be strong enough to withstand the torsional stress that will be induced when the strings are drawn. To avoid that, a strong short flat wood of  5cm less than the width was introduced at regular places where deformations was expected to take place.

We then made a circle of radius 5cm at the top face of the guitar at a position 1/3 from the bottom part of the upper face of the guitar. This was used to transfer the string vibration to the box cavity from where it will be picked by the transducer and then amplified.

We then join the upper face to the 9.5cm wood carved earlier to form a  beautiful boxed guitar. We used filler to fill the edges to ensure a smooth running curve all the entire length of the guitar.

We then use the 19.5 inch SWG copper wire to ridge the guitar arm. This was used to form the musical notes providing all the required keys from C through G. You will need the knowledge of musical notes to know at what point each ridge will be. Alternatively, you can use that of a standard guitar.

We then fix the adjusters and draw the strings on them. We then tune the strings to give the right notes. Note that at this point, you will need the knowledge of a good guitar player to be able to get the right tuning. Now you can ‘kwafu’ high-life, blues, hip-ups or even R&B.
Electrical Section:
The electrical section was designed to capture the sound from the trin vibration and turn it into an electrical signal which can be amplified by the preamplifier. The block diagram below shows the signal flow.

Signal Flow
Electrical Signal Flow
Description: The transducer is what is responsible for converting the sound signal from the strings into electrical signal which can be easily manipulated. The transducer we used is a mic condenser. The signal from the transducer is then fed to the pre-amplifier which amplifies the signal to 5V. The output of the pre-amplifier is then fed to a filter to remove noise that may arise from reverberations in the box. The second stage amplification then amplifies the output signal from the filter to a reasonably fair amount which is then fed to the power amplifier for signal boosting. The feedback signal is fed back to the amplifier to help regulate the output signal and to maintain a stable output. The guitar box holds the transducer and the pre-amplifier circuit. This deign is not the best design but we are proud of it because we created it out of nothing.
The Finished Guitar

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Ply wood?… Dats nice

  2. Confirm

    1. Baba na d only tin wey u go talk

    1. Great

  3. Nice approach. I’ll give you a 4 star for the originality but a lot has to be improved to make it marketable.Good job buddy.

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