In the kingdom of rock and roll it is important to set oneself apart. With millions of people in this world who can play the guitar, simply playing well is just not going to cut it. You need something extra to rise up as a rock god. Consider this guitar the mystical glowing ax bestowed upon you by the Rock Goddess of Bangs; The fabled ax that will lay waste to nonbelievers and shred through the aether with the transcendent glory of rock. With this weapon of unfathomable power, you will be an explosion of light and sound rising up above the writhing masses.

While there are a couple of other glowing guitars out there, this one by and large sets itself apart. For starters, it is frosted to diffuse the glow of the LEDs. This means that the whole body glows instead of being just edge-lit, and you can also see it during the daytime. The other unique feature of this guitar is that it responds to the music being played. The brightness is adjusted by the volume, and the color is controlled by the duration that it is being played. So, the harder you rock, the more colors you will see.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

You will need:

(x1) Clear acrylic guitar (search Google)
(x1) Arduino Micro (Radioshack #276-258)
(x1) Addressable 3-color LED strip (Radioshack #276-339)
(x1) LM741 op-amp (Radioshack #276-007)
(x2) 2N5457 transistors -- alternate: NTE457 (Radioshack #55050922)
(x1) 10M resistor (Radioshack #271-1365)
(x2) 2.2M resistor (Radioshack #55049482)
(x1) 470K resistor (Radioshack #271-1133)
(x4) 100K resistor (Radioshack #271-1347)
(x2) 47K resistor (Radioshack #271-1342)
(x2) 10K resistor (Radioshack #271-1335)
(x1) 1K resistor (Radioshack #271-1321)
(x1) 10uF capacitor (Radioshack #272-1025)
(x2) 1uF capacitor (Radioshack #55047773)
(x3) 0.1uF capacitor (Radioshack #272-135)
(x1) 1N4733A zener diode (Radioshack #276-565)
(x1) PC Board (Radioshack #276-150)
(x1) 6' mono audio cable (Radioshack #42-2472)
(x2) 4 x AA battery holder (Radioshack #270-391)
(x1) M-type power jack (Radioshack #274-1582)
(x20) 4-40 x 1/2" bolts
(x1) 6" x 6" x 0.025" glossy stainless steel
(x1) 2-part epoxy
(x1) 12" x 24" x 1/6" sheet of acrylic
(x1) electric guitar string set
That's awesome! Now all it needs is one of these things: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andrewdeagon/neckfx-do-it-with-the-lights-on/?ref=kicktraq
You definitely did set yourself apart man! That's awesome, the closest word there is to that guitar. Good job man!
Is the acrylic tele body pre-routed for a humbucker or am i going to have to do that myself? <br>Captcha: subminee believeth
a true masterpiece!
VERY cool! <br>Check this starting at 1:16:45 mostly through through 1:18 <br>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjBSBUXYgCo
Oh wow. That is really nice. I like their solution to this. Thanks for sharing that.
I totally dig your yours! It looks fantastic....I especially like the frosted look of the body. Did you have to seal it to prevent it from getting smudges &amp; dirt imbedded in the finish?
I considered that, but then decided against it. So far it has held up pretty well.
Sweet Guitar! Probably very expensive at the time, but Styx could afford it! Now all we have to do is buy an Arduino Micro, some LEDs, and an 8 pack of AA batteries.
The materials themselves probably weren't that bad, I don't think LEDs have ever been overly expensive...But the labor involved probably cost a bit. The really cool/probably most artistically challenging part of it is how it was painted to look traditional sunburst-style unless the LEDs are on. <br> <br>Your work on this &amp; the documentation is fantastic :)
Wow! That intro paragraph was superbly written. It made me want to do just that.
Nice job - and good plug for the Shack! This also gets onto building electric guitars, which every maker should find fun. The frosting is a great idea! &nbsp; &nbsp;<br> <br> So how would this concept work to wrap an existing guitar for coloration, or use of optic fiber to direct light? How about tying the triggers to the beat, or song section, so that the color changes could add to the overall light show and/or to the song's dramatic content? &nbsp; &nbsp;<br> <br> Again, nice job, with lots of potentials.
I thought about having the colors respond to different frequencies. There are some good Instructables on the topic, but they all use the Arduino Uno and I was lazy at the time and did not feel like modifying that code to work with the Micro. It is still on the 'when I get around to it' list of things to do. It would not be hard to reprogram.
Lovely project... I tried to implement the frequency based colour changing effect in my RGB controller box using fast fft but the end effect wasn't impressive, so ditched it. If you come around to adding it to your guitar, it will be amazing.
Very nice project and execution . You are very tallented , Bravo ! <br>Build_it_Bob
This really is outstanding documentation on an outstanding project.
Great 'ible! Very detailed. Every step was covered. I was wondering how it would be if you made a thin plexiglas cover and heat-bent sides to go around a regular guitar, which are then solvent-welded together and sand-blasted. Then you could put the led strips on the inside of the sides. The bottom of the regular guitar would then be the only place you would need to rout and drill to place the battery boxes and circuit board, plus the holes to the led strips and other wiring. It would make the plexiglas top closer to the strings, but no closer than the pick guard, which it could replace. I would think a regular wooden guitar would be considerably cheaper to buy than a clear one, and you wouldn't have to disassemble the wooden one nearly as completely. Just a thought.
I forgot to add that the plexiglass top could be cut out to fit around the pickups and bridge, so their spacing would not be affected. The control panel could be put on top of the Plexiglas without a problem, as could the outlet plug and strap buttons.
I'll never do this but I'll echo Sadi789 comments - one of the most thoroughly documented Instructables I've ever seen. Impressive indeed.
Another alternative to sandblasting is use a palm sander and just sand the surface. I've used this method before on a polycarbonate aquarium tank lid that I put LED in.
I'm impresed! It's a bright idea!!
Really cool!!!
Painting the back white after sandblasting will kick more light out and make it more even, perhaps not what you are looking for but just a thought, I did that on a backlight I made for a sign. Great project BTW!
So great! Nicely done!!!
Very impressive project. Your pictures are how I want my pictures to look but they never do.
This has gotta be the most thoroughly documented Instructable I've ever seen...

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Randy and I founded the Instructables Design Studio. I'm also the author of the books 'Simple Bots,' and '62 Projects to ... More »
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