c.1965 Harmony Stella Low-Brow Bouzouki

After noting that my recently-finished tres had left the fold I needed to make another one (I had been carrying it with me all over the place, hah hah) and eyed this poor old Harmony my friend Mr. Sween sent me out from California in a big batch of brutalized guitars. This has been hanging from the wall in the shop for about a month now and I never intended to do anything with it (seeing as the neck was loose, only one back brace remained, and two top braces were missing) because of the costs and effort associated... but after 40 minutes of work this poor man's trichordo (three-course) bouzouki was born.

Obviously, it's just a mucked-up old 000-size all-birch Harmony that's restrung but a fret level/dress, bolted neck, and funky compensated banjo bridge (as well as the missing braces and light stringing, I'm sure) give it that classic bouzouki/tamburitza sort of sound. I've got it tuned DAD just like the three-course Greek zouks with gauges 10/22w, 13/13, and 9/9. It's loud, has zing, and that long sustain just like a classic zouk but the big soundboard does give it more breath to play with.

This is not an instrument to be proud of -- but it is an example of what you can do with something that's otherwise not fit to serve...!

New bone nut, too.

As on the tres, the travel stickers hide the old glued bridge footprint.

Conveniently, a former owner had attempted a neck bolting at some point in the past so this was an effortless install.

To continue with the dumb-as-nails approach -- heh heh -- I also used screws as a tailpiece. Why not? If it's good enough for tamburitza instruments, it's good enough for me. To be sure, though, I used longish thin screws to make sure they had a good hold.


bonnybroome said…
Glad you sold the tres. You selling this one?
Jake Wildwood said…
Nah, this one is too beat. The tres was in great shape for its age but this one is too funky to sell. If something like this is up your alley, though, lemme know and I'll keep a looksie for cheapy guitars for conversion.