When I began video taping for my online videos, the first thing I noticed
was that my fingers weren't too visible because of the light color of my maple
fingerboards. Rather than buying all new necks (or refingerboarding them
with ebony or rosewood), I came up with a simpler solution... stain them.
All of these fingerboards are maple, but are first drenched in black shoe
polish, followed by a coat of black woodstain, a light coat of clear is
applied, then are light-sanded with Scotchbrite. For full access of all
27 frets, I glue on a chunk of 3/4" x 1.5" inch maple wood to the end of
the neck, then lay down a fingerboard that extends over the neck, shape it,
cut 27 fret slots, then after the staining, refret with Jim Dunlop 6000
extra high jumbo frets.
I also didn't care for how my strat shaped guitars looked on video tape,
so I decided that I needed to move on from the body shape that I have been
playing for nearly forever. I came up with a wacky shape that is far more
comfortable to play standing up, and I can reach the higher frets by leaning
the guitar forward while resting the base of the guitar on my right thigh.
Around the time of my first video taping tests, Blotted Science was getting
ready for a live rehearsal and I didn't have a 7 string. On the 'Machinations'
recordings, I used two guitars. For the higher stuff, I used my purple and
yellow strat tuned to E standard. For the lower stuff I used my Ink guitar,
tuned A E A D G B. I considered playing my doubleneck for these rehearsals,
but wanted a new body design anyway for the videos, so I built the black
(with red blots) 7 string. I bought this BC Rich neck off of Matt Powell
(an old student of mine), reshaped the headstock, and refingerboarded it
maple. I really liked how this gtr looked on video tape, so I decided to
fire up a 6 string to match it.
Next to be built was the red (with black blots) 6 string, which is now my
main gtr. The neck that is on this guitar is from an Ibanez RG120. It was
also refingerboarded with maple, with a scale length of 25.2 inches.
A few years later I built guitar that is painted purple (with yellow blots),
which I use for local gigs where I need to tune to Drop D. Actually, this gtr
is now my main gtr because the neck that was on my purple and yellow strat
is now on this guitar, and it's been my favorite neck for nearly a decade.
The bodies are made of alder wood, have Seymour Duncan Distortion
pickups, and Floyd Rose tremolo systems. The paint jobs were done by first
applying a few solid color coats, then the last coat is done by laying the
gtr flat, and smearing around the solid coat color with a different color
forming the "blots".