Instructables

Acoustic Guitar Diy Piezo Pickups

Step 1: Items Needed

-1 or more piezos (you can find them at radioshack but you need to get the piezo out of the plastic case.)
-Tape (I used masking tape but you can use any tape)
-Guitar Cable Spliced on one end
-Acoustic Guitar
-Amplifier 

Step 3: Apply tape to wires

Picture of Apply tape to wires
 Tape the wires together making sure that the two groups dont touch. If the two groups of wires touch you wont get any sound (If you want to check to make sure wires are not touching plug the guitar cable into an amp and tap the piezo if all is good you will hear a thump from the amp).

Step 4: Tape the piezos to the guitar

Tape the piezos to the guitar's top.
Now you can have a little fun experimenting with the piezos positions. Different placement will give different tones.

Step 5: Secure the wires to the body

Picture of Secure the wires to the body
Now just tape the wires down onto the guitar body to ensure the piezos don't get pulled off while playing.

Step 6: Make some music

Just plug the cable into the amp and make some music :)
Actually, polarity should be followed as out of phase piezos will cause strange cancellations. I've found the best place for the piezos is on the bridge plate, on each side of the plate. Inside the guitar is good.

Tack type poster putty, the blue or yellow kind, works good to attach these.
Good point about using something other than drafting tape on the nice finish of your acoustic guitar.
You don't want the finish to come off with the tape!
Another substance that works quite well is Beeswax. It is also a bit more acoustically transparent than putty and is more inert to chemical interaction with most finishes.
rbneville (author)  Steve Dallman3 years ago
Ah thanks for the comment. I didn't think about wave interference while using multiple piezo's. If your using only a single piezo it doesn't matter.
It's always good to keep everything in phase. Especially if recording or playing gigs with monitors.
Who knows…"strange cancellations" might be interesting if using several pickups. Since this setup is easy to rewire, it might be worth playing around with it.
sconner12 years ago
allelectronics.com usually has piezo elements for cheap and not in a plasic case.
I don't work for them, I just get parts from them sometimes.
I've made piezo contact mics the same way. hook the piezo to a 1/4" plug with shielded cable and plug into an active direct box.
Great to suppliment a piano mic on the soundboard to add some twinkle to your mix.
tlzaz2 years ago
I used a undersaddle pickup. I routed a groove in a strip of oak just deep enough for the top of the pickup to be slightly higher than the wood(I drilled a hole in the groove for the wire to pass through). and glued and clamped a flat piece of oak of the same size to the bottom piece. giving the pickup the compression it needs to work. and then I just wired it to a jack and glued the wooden "pickup" inside the guitar onto the soundboard directly under where the saddle rides. Works alone or with a pre amp. Actually sounds darn good.
sdallman3 years ago
The brass disk attached to the piezo provides a ground plane and is best used for connecting the ground to. The hot should go to the piezo material. This is the common and accepted practice.
zazenergy3 years ago
Fun and easy!
rbneville (author)  zazenergy3 years ago
Thanks, Glad you liked it :)