Electric Guitar & Bass Design

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Electric Guitar & Bass Design

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Electric Guitar & Bass Design

By Leonardo Lospennato
How to design a solidbody instrument that looks, plays and sounds the way you really want.

The design process, from first draft to full plan!
When you're ready to add your own ideas to your solidbody guitar or bass building project, you'll find no better guide than this one for making successful decisions. It's all about the design process—a departure from the usual step-by-step construction books. It's planning the ergonomics and proportions; pickup choices and placement for best response; controls and wiring layouts for versatile sound; wood selection for sustain; hardware compatibility, neck customization for ease of playing, and the aesthetics of the instrument. Everything to consider before you start cutting wood for the guitar or bass of your dreams!

Contents in brief

  • Searching for the perfect guitar and planning your project
  • Beauty, playability and sound
  • Designing the body shape and headstock; ergonomics
  • Neck design: angled vs. bolt-on necks; truss rods
  • Fretboard design: scale length; radiused and compound radius fingerboards; fretwire choice
  • Pickup selection: how pickups work, how magnets and coils affect sound, single-coils vs. humbuckers
  • Controlling the pickups: pots, switches and coil-tapping
  • Guitar and bass electronics: pot values and taper; specialty pots; capacitors; drawing the wiring diagram
  • Wiring, shielding and grounding; electronics safety, common wiring diagrams; active electronics
  • Secrets of sustain
  • Selecting the right hardware and wood
  • Finishing: wood preparation, nitrocellulose lacquer, oil, polyester, waterbase lacquer, colors and sunbursts
  • Interviews with guitar designers; lutherie woods; pickup color codes; cavity templates

219 pages, softcover.

Customer Reviews

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  • 4.86 average rating from 14 reviews
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Essential Reading

(Customer's Reviews)

I've read parts or all of 1/2 dozen books on building a guitar and this one filled in ALL the blanks. I loved Hisacock's book--a bible I refer to often--but Lospennato's book was just what I was looking for. It is a fast read and it explained in clear diagrams and bullet points the concepts for proper design so that you can understand relative measurements, anticipate mistakes and identify design flaws, and truly feel that you understand the difference between what you can and can't alter for style. Just appreciating how measurements from the bridge are central to your build was worth the price of the book. It helped me understand the reasons that playability and tone are effected by design and build.

For all the knowledge I had gained in reading and re-reading other guitar-making books, I was haunted by a number of questions that this book finally answered. In explaining not just "How" but "Why," this book allowed me to proceed with much more relaxed confidence as I take the router to the wood.


Great reading!!!

(Customer's Reviews)

I wish this book had come out a long time ago. The favorite in my guitar literature library.


Great book essential for all luthier

(Customer's Reviews)

easy to read with clear examples to teach design any type of solid-body instrument.
Highly recommended


Great read

(Customer's Reviews)

Fun and insightful book to get your creative juices flowing!

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