The Orange Monster
by Remington

            Hi, my name is Remington.  I am 10 years old and am in Mrs. Sheahan fourth grade class at Shepherd Public Schools in Shepherd, Michigan. For my fourth grade music class we had to build a music instrument of our choice, I choose to build an electric guitar. I choose a guitar because I like the guitar and have been taking lessons for about a year now. Also, I have great uncles who play in a band, playing guitar and bass guitar.

Music is a big part of my family’s life. I named my guitar the Orange Monster, orange is one of my favorite colors. My step-dad Matthew and I made my guitar together; it was a good bonding experience for us. First we sat down together and looked through body designs, deciding on an offset v shape body. Matt is a good artist and drew the pattern free hand. Woody at Woody’s Music in St. Louis, Michigan sold us a junk electric guitar for the neck and electronics, because when building a guitar the neck is the hardest part.

Matt and I tore down the electric guitar and made a template of our pattern out of a thin piece of wood. Matt found a nice piece of cherry wood for the body of the guitar. We traced the template onto the wood and Matt cut it out, but it was too thick. Matt than cut it in half but it was too rough, so our cousin Jason took it and planed it smooth for me. Matt used power tools to cut the space for the electronics and for the neck to fit into, while Matt was cutting the spaces I was working on sanding down the neck for painting. I also did some sanding on the body to smooth yet any rough spots before we painted. We put painters tape over the frets so they would not get painted and then used metal coat hangers to hang the neck and body up in the garage to primer and paint. I got to use the primer and spray paint and painted both sections. We hung them in the house to dry because it was too cold in the garage.

Then Matt and I attached the neck to the body. I applied the stickers and then we clear coated the whole thing so that the stickers would not come off and the paint looked shinier. We than put on the hardware onto the neck. Matt had to take the pick guard to work to drill holes for the electronic knobs, because he did not have the right tools at home. After Matt had the pick guard done, I painted it purple. Matt broke six other pick guards trying to cut it out. Matt wired the electronics and the helped me align and get the pick guard and sting holder in place along with the pickup. Matt and I strung the strings.

Once it was built and fully put together I took it to my guitar lesson to make sure it worked because I do not have my amp yet. The way I make sound on my guitar is my strumming a pick over the different strings. We strum different strings because each string has a different pitch. Depending on where your fingers are on the frets and what strings you strum make different notes. When putting the different notes you strum together, you can play cords and play songs.

How I make the dynamics is strum them hard and soft. Depending on the type of guitar you have you can get different musical sounds. A guitar used in a blues band has more of a bluesy or tangy sound. Where an electric guitar has more of a hard core rock song and when using a whammy bar can have a whiny sound. My guitar is an electric rock sounding guitar without a whammy bar. Then mom helped me tune it and make my video slide show and type my paper!