Ned Evett Fretless Guitar Blog: Always Be Prepared
Prepared guitar involves attaching objects to the strings, causing exciting artificial overtones. Objects can include sinker weights, felt, pipe cleaner, etc.
Here, in my new video, "Bend Me," I attached a prepared wooden mute across the bridge of my Republic Highway 61 Fretless resonator.
The mute was carved from a piece of balsa wood by my guitar tech, Dave Barlow. I used prepared guitar to a certain extent on my first album, An Introduction to Fretless Guitar, I believe it was paperclips and sinker weights.
On my latest album, Treehouse, I used the mute on "Bend Me." "Bend Me" is a positive, upbeat song, and the mute provides something akin to a steel drum sound. Upon hearing the demo for "Bend Me," producer Adrian Belew specifically asked to have the sound available for the finished album version.
The tuning is open E flat major, capoed at the fifth position: positions are equivalent to frets on fretless guitar. The solo was double tracked, no small feat on a fretless guitar.
I produced the video for "Bend Me" in Nashville, Tennessee; stop animation and sculpture are both hobbies of mine.