Electric Guitar and Bass Design: The Guitar or Bass of Your Dreams, from the First Draft to the Complete Plan (英語) ペーパーバック – 2010/10/11
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Are you ready to design the ax of your dreams? Unlike other DIY guitar making sources (which deal with woodworking, mostly) this book focuses on how to achieve astonishing looks, excellent playability and a killer sound. Written collaboratively with top luthiers from the U.S. and Europe, this inspiring book covers in depth each aspect of electric guitar design, plus topics not found on other sources, like: - How to design a classic, how to design a radical - Thousand-year wisdom applied on Stratocasters and Les Pauls - Secrets of sustain - How to create a well balancing guitar - Ergonomics - How to choose, match and place pickups - Control design - The 4 laws of wood selection ... And much more. These 220 pages will have you making sketches from the first read!
Leonardo Lospennato was born in Buenos Aires in '68-at the heart of an Italian family. He lives in Berlin, Germany, with his wife Andrea and with Tango, their black miniature schnauzer. Son of a manager and an artist, Leo became a bit of both when he started designing instruments and setting up a company to bring them to the market. Curious by nature and inspired by a Renaissance spirit, he became a computer engineer, pursued a masters degree in marketing and management, worked many years for companies like IBM and eBay on both sides of the Atlantic, and published articles as a journalist-all while adding English, Italian and German languages to his native Spanish along the way. Truth be told, the "Renaissance spirit" also shows up in the form of a shameless affair he maintains with Italian cuisine-a mix of heritage and hobby. But in the whole of this history, what remains a leitmotiv is his passion for the ancient art of creat-ing musical instruments, an infatuation that began when he put together his first bass, at 16. Creating something out of nothing. Searching for meaning. Chasing the utopia of perfection. Being a designer does not require much more than that. Nor anything less.
You won't find any step-by-step instructions or how-to chapters. This book is about design. And as a result, it discusses topics such as ergonomics and playability as well as electronic configurations, wood choices, and scale lengths. The section on pickup wiring and impedences is easily worth the price of the book. As are the somewhat controversial opinions expressed in a few places. (ex: the argument that the body wood has the least possible effect on the overall tone. Which brings into question the whole assertion about the need to use expensive or exotic 'tonewoods' when constructing a high quality bass.)
If you simply want to build a high quality bass for your own use, this is probably not the book for you. Martin Koch's 'Building Electric Guitars: How to Make Solid-Body, Hollow-Body and Semi-Acoustic Electric Guitars and Bass Guitars' - which is also available from Amazon - is a much better choice.
However, if your goal is to craft something totally unique, or design your own line of professional instruments, this book is probably one of the best places to start. If for no other reason than it encourages you to start thinking about design and materials for yourself instead of simply accepting marketing opinions masquerading as established facts.
It's also extremely useful if you have no intention of ever building your own instruments. Knowledge is power. As is a reputation for genuinely knowing what you're talking about. Armed with the information found in this book, you can become a much more knowledgeable buyer - whether you're buying an instrument "off the rack" - or commissioning a custom built 'one-off' from a boutique builder.
Excellent book. Buy it, read it, and give some serious thought to the topics discussed in its pages. You don't need to accept everything in the book as gospel truth (which I certainly don't) to benefit enormously from it. As long as this book gets you to start thinking about things, and questioning received wisdom (something the authors themselves encourage you to do - including the opinions expressed in their own book) it will have accomplished its goal.
Again, this is a very good read and you will not be disappointed. Even if you do not want to build a guitar and just want to learn how to take care of the guitar you currently own, this is a very useful reference. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED