There ain’t nothing pretty about how this monster looks, but it sure does sound sweet. Honest to God I new when I was about to start building this piece that it wasn’t going to be the most esthetically pleasing instrument, but I had no idea it was going to be this ugly. I think it takes the prize away from the Bowed Web of Tacky Instruments as my ugliest piece to date. I think it’s that ugliness that is drawing me towards it. I can’t stop staring at it, and the worst part is that it’s so shiny that I often find myself caught in the reflection distorted and stretched out like and acid trip in a funhouse of mirrors.
So the instrument itself sounds amazing, and that is kind of what I was hoping when I decided to use the aluminum sheeting for the body. Though it is strung up with heavy gage guitar strings it has a bass sound to it. I could really take this to an extreme and build another Bungee Cord Bass with an aluminum body.
You may notice that there are six strings on The Big Ugly, and that was not some kind of crazy accident. The top string is for the drone I love so much, and the five on the neck are set up as four. The last two stings are both tuned to D an octave apart, the idea is from a four stringed dulcimer I have though I pretty sure the last two strings are of the same octave. A last minute decision caused me to remove the frets from the neck. I was going to fill the groves in, but that would have involved the removal of strings and I ain’t down with that. Besides, I now have markers, and the grooves don’t affect the playability at all.
You also might notice the chicken cooker has come back into play, that’s because I found a bunch of them when Jen and I traveled out east this summer. There will definitely be more instruments with cookers in the near future.