Some advice this week on making instruments more affordable.
Build/Convert Your Own: Make instruments you can’t afford, someone somewhere will be dumping broken guitars etc. in the skip. Salvage them Skippy, we waste good stuff despite the poverty/austerity. Give unloved instruments a new lease of life.
Motto: Mending is better than ending.
Conversion to slide: Some cheaply bought stringed instruments never stay in tune when fretted, so they get dumped. With guitars you can always raise the action – the distance between fretboard and string and use them for slide where the frets merely act as markers.
There’s something iconoclastically satisfying about taking a hacksaw to a guitar, I mean, it’s off the dump anyway so have some fun.
Customise your own – I have a McVities-tin resonator.
Remove the back and reline the entire inside with tinfoil. Fit a metallic kitchen collender inside with a twangy bean-can suspended on tension springs for that tinny effect and extra volume, then go street preaching. For slide, you’ll want to retune your contraption – open D or G, tuning DGDGBD or DGGGBD for that thumping Seasick Steve effect.
Try using thinner/thicker strings everywhere, experiment, this is no church of political correctness.
To convert into a flat steel guitar, enlarge the sound chamber by boxing in the whole area from the head to the body – it looks more like an Appallacian dulcimer. Electrify and play grass-skirt Hawaiian steel style using a heavy bar. Tuning is CEGACE, C sixth – a combination of C major and A minor – use minimal delay and/or echo, good also for country if you use the A string sparingly. Paint with acrylics then varnish with Tru-oil.
FRIDAY, MARCH 11 Hadleigh Folk and Music Night: Ansell Centre, 8pm.,£5 on door. £2 under 16s and floor singers. Pete Cooper and Richard Bolton. Supported by Robert Castellani. Bring own drink.
SATURDAY, MARCH 12 Slack Folk Piatto Cafe: Colchester, 2-4.15pm, free. Bernard Hoskin, Ken Butcher, Leon Helmsby, Dave Rado. email@example.com
SUNDAY, MARCH 13 Erskine Centre, Chedburgh: Spring Concert. £5 on door, accompanied under 16s free. Chedburgh Community Choir. Shanties, Russian folk,gospel. Contact Teresa 01284 850073
Black Fen Folk Club: The Boathouse, Cambridge. 7.30pm. Open/guest night. Contact JulieWatson – firstname.lastname@example.org.
MONDAY, MARCH 14 Ccolchester Folk Club: Arts Centre £10, £9 cons. Winter Wilson. Supported by Sinead and Friends.
TUESDAY, MARCH 15
Circle Dancing: Friends Meeting House, Bury. 7.30–9pm. £6 per session. Contact email@example.com
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16
Hunter Club, Bury: 8pm. Free. Open night. Everyone welcome.
Wildwood Restaurant, Newmarket: 8pm. Free. Wordz & Muzic. Speak sing, play. Contact Yvonne 07880 695839
Ely Folk Club: 8pm–11pm Jim Moray Contact Andy Wall firstname.lastname@example.org
THURSDAY, MARCH 17
Wolf Folk Club: Wolfeton Village Hall. 8pm. Free. Singaround. Contact email@example.com.
Drinkstone Village Hall: 10am-11.30am. £5 on door. Circle Dancing. firstname.lastname@example.org
Burwell Folk Club: Ex Service & Social Club 8.30-11pm. Contact Michael Freaney email@example.com
Horningsea Folk Club: The Plough and Fleece. 8pm-11pm.
The Ole Swan, Brightlingsea: Acoustic Night. 8pm-11pm. Free.