Etribe travel guitar

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...Evolution and Inspiration

...for etribe travel guitar design

I wanted a guitar I didn't have to worry about too much, that I could break-in like a piece of furniture and have around for years, never in a case, always out free saying "play me." A guitar I could toss in a backpack and take somewhere to serenade my loved ones. A guitar anyone with an inclination could learn to build in a high school woodshop with simple tools, learning practical things along the way.

1988: This was my first home-made guitar body.
Now is owned by Len, in SoCal.
Here are two recordings of the guitar pictured above:

1989 - Second home-made guitar body design. Same alder body with neck from Peacock Music in SF. I slimmed down the body and made several of this design. Took this one across the country in my Fiat.

1990 / 1994 I hollowed out the solid alder bodies with a router and glued a spruce top on. Someone took me to get the necks from this factory in South S.F. There were all these Japanese guys in suits.

1995 / 2000 - Separate back and straight sides.I played the black one when I lived in Colorado, got it finished just before I drove out there. Took the light one to Hawaii.

2001 New prototype, no sound holes, curved sides. This one was still played until recently. It is getting recycled into a new guitar.

2004 Laminated prototype with curved sides. The holes looked cool but didn't change the sound. I drilled them in the solid ends of the body. This must be the reason the soundhole is cut in the vibrating part of the top.


(all the guitars I've owned and two I wish I had)
Year Acquired Photo Description / Best Qualities Origin Cost

Handmade Classical Maple top.

Great bassy sound, durable, user friendly

Bought from my Dad for $10


70's Gibson SG - low end, two black humbuckers, only two controls unlike most SG's

Good electric sound, nice, shiny and black

Purchased from Atlas Pawn shop on Alvarado Street in Monterey (current site of Plume's Café), on the way to MPC one morning

1982 1970 Fender Telecaster

70's Fender Telecaster

Good electric sound, nice, shiny creamy color.

Traded my bike for it. Later learned that it had belonged to Dave of Dave and the Wave, a Journey cover band.

traded for 12 speed bike
1983 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top

70's Gibson Les Paul Gold Top

Super cool, rare and valuable

Worked on it with a Dremel in Sean's parents' basement to get P-90 single coils to fit.

1984 1968 Gibson Melody Maker

1968 Gibson Melody Maker, seen and played in a used guitar shop in Arizona. Unable to purchase due to low funds.

1984 No Name Hollow Body

no-name hollow body, Gibson ES-335 style.

Extremely light, cheap, hollow, good cheap "cigar box" acoustic sound, inspiring as to what is possible to get away with, good view of innards.

Atlas Pawn shop on Alvarado Street in Monterey $12.95
1985 Westminster Les Paul Copy

Westminster Les Paul Copy

Good value, user friendly, shiny black, ok sound.

Aaron at Margot's Café $50
1985 1984 Fender Stratocaster

1984 Fender Stratocaster, cream, US made

Super cool and valuable.

Brand new from Guitar Showcase in Santa Cruz

1986 Yamaha SC-300

Yamaha SC-330, Mother of Pearl white

Low investment and bolt on neck invited deconstruction. Decent sound, even unamplified. Tremolo springs made echoey sound.

Speed Coseboom's used record shop on Lighthouse near recycled records.

1987 Gibson ES-225

1957 Gibson ES-225, golden sunburst, Kluson style tuners, trapeze tail piece, one single coil pickup.

Super cool, rare and valuable

South Seas Guitars on Pearl Street in Monterey.

1988 Classical

Thrift Store Classical, super cheap, ok sound.

Goodwill Downtown Oakland Ca

1988 1988 Cort Steinberger Copy

Steinberger Headless Copy by Cort

Stayed in tune remarkably well. Carried in backpack on bike from Penngrove to Monterey.

Brand new from Abinante's Music. $400 partial trade for Gibson ES-225
2005 2005 Squier Jagmaster

2005 Squire Jagmaster II - 24" scale
This is the coolest guitar for the least money ever.
I want one.