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Make Your Own Electric Guitar [Paperback]

Melvyn Hiscock
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: NBS Publications; 2nd Revised edition edition (Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0953104907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0953104901
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 22.2 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very very good 22 Aug 2000
By A Customer
A belter of a book. Assuming you are reasonably OK at woodwork, and know one end of a guitar from another - otherwise you wouldn't be considering a project like this in the first place, Melvyn does not waste time explaining which end of a chisel is the dangerous end, or spend 50 plus pages showing examples of his work. He demonstrates a few styles of guitar - eg a bolt on neck, a through neck, a carved top etc, you could copy one exactly, or (more fun) design your own around his principles.
He explains a bit, but not too much, of where the electric guitar came from, and the early pioneers of the instrument, and also the effect on playing, of using different types of wood, fingerboard radius etc....all helping you come up with your design. Technical stuff like fret spacings is explained, and again copy one of his scale lengths, or go for your own. Electronic stuff is covered - basic, but ideal for the non-electronics person - as an example - if you could figure out the working of a bicycle lamp, you should be OK with his schematics. In short, everything you need to know is covered in sufficient detail to allow you to build a guitar, without going too deep into any one area. If you wish to build something so radical it takes the guitar industry by storm, you may need to find a more specialist book as well, to cover that area. The only down side is there are no drawings of plans for guitars for those who simply wish to copy an existing design. Don't know how important that is though! There is also a handy contacts page to get the gear from.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction 17 July 2001
By A Customer
This book has been an invaluable resource for my first attempts at building an electric guitar. Melvyn Hiscock writes with a relaxed and somtimes humourous approach while still managing to explain in a comprehensive way many of the more complicated issues. Even as a complete novice to electrical wiring I managed to follow the wiring diagrams and explanations with not too much difficulty, and although the section on finishing isn't as comprehensive as it could be it does go a long way to describing the various techniques you could use. Should you wish to get more adventurous in this area there are other publications available.
The best way to sum this book up is that its everything you need to get going altough if you intend to move into guitar building as a career or perhaps a serious pastime you would probably need other, more focused books in addition to this.
Oh, note of caution to Brian May fans, don't buy this book on the basis that there is a forward by the permed ax man, its very short and doesn't give you any particular insight into how he and his dad built the famous 'Red Special'.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction 7 Jan 2003
By 2rb1
Knowing things is only the first step of writing a book. Deciding what to include and what to leave out and how to organize it is equally important. This book has all the essentials of solid body guitar building and is very well written.
The first couple of chapters describes the basic guitar parameters and planning steps as well as the general approach for the woodwork. The next part describes three different guitars which covers most of the methods/styles found on electric guitar/basses. Finally, the last parts describes the finish/assembly/set-up of the guitar.
The book does not give you all the details on wood-working, finish etc. nor does it list all kinds of guitars, woods, pick-ups and other stuff. But it has all the essential information to get you started.
I also have "Building Electric Guitars" by Martin Koch. This is slightly less well organized; but has somewhat more details (more step-by-step instructions with pictures, a few additional tricks, and also covers a few more subjects like winding your own pick-up's). I suggest you buy both of them ;-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Well written book. It tackles all the wood working side of building an electric guitar.
Basic wiring diagrams and explanations are included as well as a section on pickup selection, however for the true DIY build a book or information on pickup winding will have to be sourced. All you need is this book, time (about 250hours) and knowledge of wood working to build a guitar. I am currently re-reading this book as I plan my second guitar. A brilliant book for advice and reference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great instruction or reference book 17 July 2009
By S. Lott
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book for any serious guitarist. Even if you find that you don't have the necessary skills or tools to build a guitar right now, the insights that the book gives as to why things are the way they are is facinating. It has shown that it is serously possible for me to make my own guitar but that I may need to work on smoe skills first.

An A1 read for all guitarists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I made my bass! 2 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From a very early age, I've been fascinated with guitars, how to play them, fix them, change them, but until I found this book I never realised I may actually make one!

I bought the original in the mid 80's and built my first bass, then the book was stolen, and I made a second as it was nowhere near as good. When I bought this 2nd impression and built my third, it was a good as the first.

Melvyn Hiscock is a mine of useful and interesting information. The book is superbly laid out, and covers eveything you need to know from designing, planning, building finishing and setup in excellent clear detail. If if you don;t make a guitar from the book, you'll have a much better understanding of how a guitar works, and how a real setup can help. You will definitely appreciate your guitar more.

If you do follow his guidance and actually make a guitar, with a little care and attention to detail, and practice on scraps first, you may well end up with your dream guitar.

I did, and I now can't buy mass produced guitars again!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime
This is a first class publication. If you have even the slightest interest in what goes on under the hood of your guitar, then you should purchase and absorb the contents of this... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Conehead
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, quirky, amusing
This book covers electric guitar building from every angle, from a short but fascinating review of the history of electric guitar technology, a walking tour of wood choices and the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by M V A Howe
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth reading
a very interesting book , a little dated in its presentation . but on the other hand you can read bits here and there and learn some thing , the main thing iv learnt is that there... Read more
Published 5 months ago by ian
if you're going to build a guitar for fun for a hobby or to sell everything in this book is bang on the mark.
Published 9 months ago by simoon
5.0 out of 5 stars Handy reference for the beginner guitar maker.
As Melvyn Hiscock points out, the internet now provides a huge amount of information for would-be guitar makers and so he doesn't attempt to cover every possibility: what he does... Read more
Published 16 months ago by David Sillars
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Easy to read, contains a lot of excellent information about several processes of making a guitar. I've learned more with this book in a week than I've learned in months over the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Henrique Mariante
5.0 out of 5 stars Great instructional manual
This book has everything the amateur luthier needs to build a guitar from scratch. From constructing your own blank through to wiring pick ups and potentiometers, it's everything... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Yorkshire Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars A must if your building an Electric guitar.
A very well written book. Worth reading from cover to cover first then using as a point of reference thereafter. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need.
When I first got my hands on this book I thought I knew a thing or two about how guitars work and why they are the way they are. Read more
Published on 6 May 2012 by AMSilva
5.0 out of 5 stars A REALLY useful reference for amateur guitar builders
This was the book I chose to help me when I decided to "Make my own electric guitar"!!!

I found it an invaluable help - as a previous reviewer has stated, if you do not... Read more
Published on 28 April 2012 by Mr. Paul Boden
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