As I opened Junkyard Jam Band, the first thing I thought of was a couple of books I read in the mid-1990s by a man named Craig Anderton. I still have his books covering electronic projects for musicians and do-it-yourself projects for guitarists on my shelf, but they are a bit outdated. The connection is a positive one. I have played guitar for more than 25 years, built my own effects, and even built my own full-on tube amplifier.
Junkyard Jam Band is a worthy heir to the maker-musician throne that Anderton’s books sat on for me. David Erik Nelson does a great job of mixing practical and easy projects with inspiring ideas. Here you will learn how to make some instruments in less than 5 minutes, provided you already have all of the tools and have collected the supplies you need. You will also discover some projects that will take longer, but which are useful as building blocks for larger musical ventures.
I was thrilled to discover a chapter dedicated to a project that I tried more than 15 years ago, just at random. At the time, I learned that piezo pickups and piezo speakers were very similar, so I bought a $1.99 piezo speaker from Radio Shack, cut it out of its plastic case, soldered the leads to a guitar plug jack, and mounted it inside a guitar. It worked! I wish I had potted the project at the time, as it was (still is) a bit noisy, but that procedure is covered in Junkyard Jam Band with the use of Plastidip. Cool idea!
No more spoilers. If you understood any of the contents of the last three paragraphs, take a look at this book. You may find it as fun and enjoyable as I have. It has also given me some ideas for projects that I must make time for soon.
Disclosure: I was given my copy of this book by the publisher as a review copy. See also: Are All Book Reviews Positive?