Back to the Primitive: New Video Shows How to Build an Electric Guitar Out of Stuff You Find In The Woods

Unsplash/Yvette de Wit
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As a rule, metalheads like to make musical instruments out to be these magical totems of power and might. Sure, gear fanatics know every way in which every piece of equipment used to make an album added something to a band’s sound, but even they like to instill specific instruments and pieces of tech with a kind of reverential and supernatural strength. But the truth is that your average electric guitar is, first and foremost, a big-ass hunk of wood, like the kind you find laying around a forest after a storm. Now, perhaps to prove this point, one YouTuber decided to go into the woods and make the body of an electric guitar out of what he found there.

The video comes from YouTube channel Burls Art, in which one dude builds guitars out of all sorts of stuff, from an epoxy volcano guitar to an axe made out of 800 sheets of paper. This time around, Burls decides to go full survivalist and makes a guitar out of stuff he finds in the woods. While the woodwork itself is impressive — only fallen trees are used, so as not to in any way harm to the natural landscape — it’s the other parts of the guitar that are perhaps even cooler. To glue pieces together, charcoal is gathered from trees that had once been in a forest fire, and pine sap is harvested and then melted down into a paste of sorts. It’s an impressive feat, even if the final product is flawed in the kinds of minuscule ways that normal people wouldn’t notice but your average NAMM attendee might pout about.

Check out this survivalist guitar construction video below:

There you have it, folks — if you’re lost in the woods with nothing but a bag full of pickups, knobs, strings, and saws, at least you know you can construct a pretty rad Strat out of whatever’s at your feet.


Words by Chris Krovatin