Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Homemade Bass Diddley Bow

The diddley bow is a string instrument of African origin made popular in America, probably developed from instruments found on the Ghana coast of west Africa. The diddley bow is typically homemade, consisting usually of a wooden board and a single wire string stretched between two screws, and played by plucking while varying the pitch with a metal or glass slide held in the other hand.

This is my homemade Bass Diddley Bow.

This diddley bow is built using an "A" (.080) bass string and a piece of wood taken from an old pallet.
Wooden board dimension is 103.5cm length, 5.5cm width, 4cm height.
The string action is 3.4cm.
A simple bass pickup is used to amplify this instrument, it's wired to a 250k log pot, and a female 1/4" panel plug, both mounted on a piece of aluminum cut from a pc case. An additional piezo pickup is glued on the wood inside the volume/jack box, it's signal is mixed with the standard pickup, the piezo pickup reacts to the stroke on the instruments, giving a more natural sound to it.
Two piece of aluminum pipe are used as bridge and nut, dimension are: 3.7cm diameter, 5.3cm length, 0.1cm thickness.
The tuning peg is a cheap one used for guitar.
Even it this diddley has no fret reference, the scale is set to 25".
It is painted using wood protective teak finish mixed with black varnish.

  • read risk disclaimer
  • excuse my bad english


  1. Very nice. I think you wired the piezo in parallel with the standard pickup?