Scott's Guitar Blog: June 28, 2017

Visit from a Diddley Bow Maker

One of the first visitors to my new studio here in Vermont a few weeks back was a man named Eric. He called me to run a couple ideas past me regarding a tuning peg for the Diddley Bow he was making. He came here with his teenage daughter who was a very nice young woman. Eric is a great guy, and his passion in making this instrument really resonated with me. Anything I could do to help without touching the instrument myself, I was happy to do; after all, HE is making it and my fingerprints should not be on it!

A diddley bow is a primitive and very cool instrument with one string. They evolved from being a single string on a nail mounted on the side of a barn or shed, having some sort of screw or other manner of tightening. They were then plucked and noted in a manner similar to a washtub bass.

Eric’s diddley bow is pretty sophisticated, and he’s even making his own electric pickup from scratch. I suggested a simple violin tuning peg, and he agreed. So I handed him a drill, a reamer and a tuning peg, and he went to work. My only request was he bring it by when he is finished.

Thanks for checking in!