A custom design can make a great acoustic guitar look even better. While electric guitar designs are available in a number of interesting and unique shapes, sizes and colors, most acoustic guitars tend to have fairly traditional designs. However, anyone with a flair for creativity can at least design unique acoustic guitars, while luthiers can allow their imaginations to run wild and create guitars that are works of modern art.
Ways to Customize an Acoustic Guitar
There are a number of ways that you can customize an acoustic guitar that you already have or create a custom design for an acoustic guitar that has not yet been built.
Custom Paint Jobs
One relatively easy way to customize an acoustic guitar is with a paint job. This requires little to no knowledge of how guitars are built or put together. You will, however, have to know the specifics of how guitars are painted. Painting a guitar is closer to painting a car than it is painting a house. That is to say, there are a specific set of skills involved in painting a guitar. Custom paint jobs on guitars also take a very long time to dry and require several coats of paint. Before you take a spray paint can to your favorite acoustic guitar, make sure that you know the proper way to paint a guitar.
Once you have decided that you want a custom paint job for your guitar, there are a number of designs that you could choose, including:
- Animal prints
- Flag prints
- Bullseye patterns
- Mexican Day of the Dead designs
- Psychedelic patterns
Players who are artistically inclined could put just about anything on their guitars. Think about having an acoustic guitar with the Mona Lisa on it, your favorite Pablo Picasso painting, or the corporate logo of a product that you enjoy. You could also copy the paint job from one of your favorite guitar player's instruments. Imagine being the only person on your block with an acoustic guitar designed like Eddie Van Halen's distinctive ax.
If you're not content with just having the flashiest paint job in town, you may consider designing your own guitar. You don't even necessarily have to want to execute your design. Crafting a unique look for a guitar can be a fun exercise in and of itself, particularly if you have a parametric, three-dimensional, solid-modeling program to make the design come to life on your computer. You could choose to design an acoustic guitar in the shape of one of the more adventurous electric guitar designs, like the Flying V or the Explorer. Additional designs include double-necked guitars (in the style of the distinctive Gibson EDS-1275, used by Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and John McLaughlin of the Mahavishnu Orchestra), a favorite building, a star shape or any other shape you can think of. You could also choose to design something totally unique, something that no one has ever thought of before. Such a guitar would border on abstract art.
Executing Your Design
Getting your custom acoustic guitar off of the page and into your hands is going to be far more difficult than actually designing the guitar. Unless you have training as a luthier, you're going to have to get someone else to make the guitar for you. This will likely be at great personal expense. Still, if you've got some extra cash to throw around and a guitar design burning a hole in your brain, you might wish to consider doing just that. While anyone can get an acoustic guitar off the shelf from Guitar Center and start playing in subways, only you will have the unique design that is a product of your own ingenuity.