So, a friend of mine has a Stratocaster-esque guitar that he’s building. He’s set on this particular body he bought long ago (has to do with the type of wood I think), but it’s routed to have three pickups and he only wants two. So he’s got this hole routed in the middle of his guitar. (For those of you who don’t know guitar anatomy and have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s the middle pickup indicated below. Now I’m quite sure his guitar isn’t pink and probably looks nothing like this. But if I’m going to show a Strat on my site, it’s gonna be pink, damn it.)
Because of the special type of wood and finish he’s planning, he can’t just fill in the hole and paint over it (which was my first thought). So he needs to get creative. Here were my ideas for what to put in that hole, in descending order of normalcy:
- Put a gold plate over it. OK, so that was actually his idea. Just fashion a shiny gold plate that covers the whole space between the two outer pickups. Not bad. Depending on the color scheme, could look cool.
- A “fake” pickup. A facade, really. Just because you have no use for that middle pickup doesn’t mean it can’t still be there. Screw it in so it looks normal, but just don’t wire it to anything. No one has to know it’s dead. Presto!
- Smoke machine. As much as I hate hate hate the band Kiss, they did have one good idea. Ace’s smoking guitar.
- Lasers. If there’s smoke, there’s gotta be lasers too, right? Why not mount some laser pointer type things in there to shoot out into the crowd and blind anyone who looks directly at your guitar? Alternatively, you could have a tiny flood light in there blasting your fans with your heavenly brilliance.
- LED. You could have a little light board in there that displays messages to the crowd. You could even set it up wirelessly to accept text messages from your audience, and their messages could scroll on it.
- Cubby hole. Who says you have to put anything permanent in there? Just leave it as is, and use it for on-the-go storage. Keep some extra picks in there, maybe a rolled up set list. Heck, what better place to store your doobage (if you’re into that sort of thing; I am not). Of course if you’re going to go that route (ha!), you might combine with a version of #2 above and have some sort of fake pickup cover to hide your stash.
- Camera. Check this out… put a live camera in there aimed at the crowd. Then have the video image projected on the jumbotron! Then the crowd can see themselves larger than life on the screen behind you while you’re playing, and I can only imagine the kind of interaction that would encourage.
- LCD screen. Hell, this is 2010. Just mount a whole LCD screen in the space between your pickups. Then you could have some trippy swirling visuals running on it the whole time… a technicolor vortex hypnotizing the audience as you shred your ass off.
- A glass eye. Ideally, this would be a large and active eye that would move around while you played. The intended effect would be to not only make the guitar seem alive (and possessed), but also to creep the crowd out completely. I feel like this is something Gwar would do.
- Fish tank. OK, I know, it’s too small to hold a fish tank. You’d have to settle for like… some sea monkeys. And really, that’s not very rock and roll. A goldfish would be better, but for that I think you’d need a full glass guitar. Hey, there’s an idea! Aquarium guitar!
Alrighty folks, that’s all for now. Clearly, I should have been in a hair metal band. Just look at that list.