Musical Instruments from wood scraps

Electric bass made from scraps

This is the first of a series of (so far planned) three instruments made from alternative materials – focusing on trash reuse due to the connection with my VOQ project (

The background motivation for this project is the following text: From the 50’s until today the technological – and especially digital technologies – evolution was enormous (see the evolution of televisions, computers, mobile phones and so on, all the electronics in this period). However the electronic layout of guitars (standard passive settings) had no – or almost none – change or evolution. The construction of electric instruments still rely on the use of rare and mostly endangered species of wood. By seeing this gap between technological evolution and the “frozen in time” technology of electric systems of guitars I decided to build an instrument based on the most unwanted woods – the scraps; and then, use “high tech” technology to show that even with alternative materials, if we use the proper technology, we can have great sounding musical instruments with a more balanced environmental impact. For that I used (old) humbucker pickups and a 5.4 Bartolini internal pre-amp. The result was better than I expected. The aim was not to not use wood, since wood can be one of the more sustainable materials if used consciously (with sustainable forest management and etc.). Therefore the aim of to build a wood instrument based on the conscious use of resources – right woods, right pieces and technologies.”

Based on that, I collected scraps of woods from wood workshops around the city of Helsinki – Finland and used Aalto University’s wood workshop and FabLab for handcrafting this first instrument for the project. To see the entire building process, please go to the project’s blog:

Comments, critiques, doubts, are all welcome!


Electric bass made from scraps of wood

Posted by Nicholas Torretta
6 years ago