Ned Evett Fretless Guitar Blog: Always Be Prepared

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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.