I was thumbing through the Summer 2006 issue of The FretBoard Journal
(Number 2), a gorgeous magazine for stringed instrument players, collectors, and builders, and came across this short piece about "tone balls." These are the "nebulous balls formed from the bits of lint, dust, hair and insect husks that fall into the soundholes of guitars and mandolins."
Steve Olson, who repairs guitars at Elderly Instruments in Michigan has been collecting tone balls for years and has "catalogued dozens of examples by make, model and year of the host instrument." He says his favorite tone balls are the "densely compressed, perfect spheres formed by rolling around under the cone of old National guitars (top left)."
The Fretboard Journal Number 2 is sold out at the publisher's website, but is available at Elderly Instruments' website for $9.95 (the same issue contains an article I wrote about a ukuele strumming robot used to break in newly-made ukuleles).
The titular track from 1971’s (For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People by The Chi-Lites.
Tom T. Hall’s “May the Force Be With You” always was the first single from his November 1977 album New Train Same Rider. The song hit number 13 on Billboard’s “Hot Country Songs” chart and went to number 5 in Canada. Sing along with me now, sweetheart: There is a force that moves our lives […]
George Michael, 23, had just ended Wham! and launched his solo career when he spoke with Joe Smith, author of Off The Record: An Oral History of Popular Music: I do have the advantage of youth. I’m going to make two types of music: one is the type that people are expecting me to make […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]
When Apple revealed the new MacBook in 2016, one of the biggest issues raised with the notebook’s new design (aside from ire over the slew of new adapters you’d inevitably have to buy) was the removal of one of its most beloved proprietary features, the magnetic charging cable. Thankfully, third-party peripheral makers have taken up […]