The Diddley Bow for the 21st Century

by Nigel Holland in Wellingborough

The Diddley Bow for the 21st Century
Not quite
Unfortunately this project was not successful.

Arca instruments would like to put a Diddley Bow in the hands of musicians and non-musicians alike. The Diddley Bow one string slide guitar.

by Nigel Holland in Wellingborough

Nigel Holland proudly holding the first prototypeWho Are We?

Arca Instruments was born out of frustration and the love of music. It was started by myself, Nigel Holland (on the right) and Martin Scarborough. We are both music lovers and frustrated guitarists.

I’m an ex drummer who played in the pubs and clubs around London and Martin has seen more gigs, trod in more Glastonbury mud and has more gig tickets decorating his kitchen than you can shake a stick at. He also has an appreciation for good old British rock.

So what is a Diddley Bow?

In 2015 both Martin and myself were at a gig where the guitarist, Markus Reeves from Dr X, a blues guitarist, picked up a plank of wood with one string on it and played the most amazing blues riff. We wanted to know more about this strange but simple instrument. We researched the history of the 'Diddley Bow' and despite its origins felt that it needed to be bought up to date.

This single stringed instrument influenced the development of the blues sound in the deep south but has been around for a lot longer. Now Arca Instruments have bought it into the 21st Century.

How does it work?

A simple setup consisting of one string that is plucked but instead of holding down the string on the fretboard to change the note the player uses a 'bottle neck' slide. Hence 'slide guitar'.

With different types of strings and tuning it can be used for classical, rock, blues and more.

Models

This is our prototype Diddley BowWe are going to be producing three models over the next year. They are;

The Standard Bow which features;

  • Solid Wood Body (stained either blue, red, green or natural)
  • Volume Control
  • Tone Control
  • Single wound, shielded, lipstick pickup

The School Bow which features;

  • Hard plastic body (several different colours)
  • Volume Control
  • Tone Control
  • Single wound, shielded, lipstick pickup

The 'Delta' Bow which features;

  • Solid Wood Body (stained either white, black, blue, red, green or natural)
  • Volume Control
  • Tone Control
  • Overdrive Control
  • Two single pole double wound pickups
  • Three way pickup switch

Our Aim

We would like to be able to produce the first batch of Diddley Bows ready for this Summer, which will go on sale mid September. The Arca Instruments Diddley Bow will retail for £249.

We would like to put a Diddley Bow in the hands of musicians and non-musicians alike. We have found that beginners can start playing the Diddley Bow and soon play a tune on it, children find this very gratifying. We have taken it into schools and left it with them for the pupils to get a feel for the instrument and the response has been very positive.

People with disabilities can also benefit from playing the Diddley Bow. As there is no need to press the string firmly to the fretboard like a normal guitar it's a lot easier to play, and as there is only one string it can be mastered reasonably quickly.

We are also aiming this instrument at the seasoned blues player, with its rich sound and versatile set up there's not a lot that can't be played on it. We have already been honoured to have our prototype given the live treatment at a gig to commemorate the Diddley Bow.

Steve Chown from The Yellow Dog Rhythm & Blues Band and Markus Reeves from Dr. X were on hand to put this instrument through its paces.

Steve Chown from The Yellow Dog Rhythm & Blues Band and Markus Reeves from Dr. X were on hand to put this instrument through its paces. 

Our Target

We are looking to Crowdfund £6000 to help with the following;

  • To help with the cost of the first 12 production models
  • Marketing Materials
  • Guitar Magazine Adverts
  • Development of the School Bow and Delta Bow models
  • Development of a display stand for UK Guitar Exhibitions

Rewards

 The Diddley Bow T-ShirtDiddley Bow Poster

 

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

A thank you mention on the supporters page of our website.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

A thank you mention on the supporters page of our website.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

A thank you mention on the supporters page of our website and an Arca Instruments Diddley Bow Poster

£250 or more

£250 Reward

A thank you message on the supporters page of our website, your contact details added to our priority list for first offers of new models, a 50% discount voucher off an Arca Instruments Diddley Bow, Diddley Bow Poster and a Diddley Bow T-Shirt.

£500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£500 Reward

A thank you message on the supporters page of our website, your contact details added to our priority list for first offers of new models, a new Arca Instruments Diddley Bow and a Diddley Bow T-Shirt.

£1,000 or more

0 of 4 claimed

£1,000 Reward

A thank you message on the supporters page of our website, your contact details added to our priority list for first offers of new models, a new Arca Instruments Diddley Bow and a Diddley Bow T-Shirt.


Let's make 'The Diddley Bow for the 21st Century' happen