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Has anyone heard of the tradition of gluing a rattlesnake rattler inside your guitar???


onewilyfool

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A bit of voodoo to make you play like Son House or...RJ?

 

 

 

It will keep the dog on his toes! (Poor mutt hasn't recovered from the cat fight next to our front window in the middle of the night - he woke us all up to indicate it would be a really good time to go out for a drive in the car and possibly not come back - snake rattles in the guitars would confirm...)

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I have heard much about placing one in the guitar....but not glueing.

 

I have played one, but I didn't like the 'rattle'.....seriously!

 

iT IS JUST SOME OL COUNTRY MOJO BS!!!!

 

....it may work for you however! ...OWF!

 

 

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I bought a guitar from an old timer that had a snake rattle inside. The gentleman didn't mention the rattle until I shook it and asked him about it. He said his dad asked for one for his guitar but he didn't really know why. I was curious what his answer would be so I kept pressing. Eventually he said:

 

"Well, I don't know, it's supposed to keep it in tune better, I don't know, it's just kind of, that's what he wanted."

 

Do with that as you please.

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My sister and her husband get lots of rattlesnakes in their yard. I asked them to give me a rattle next time he got a good sized one. I put it in one of my guitars, didn't help, I still suck as a player !

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So in case the instrument shows no signs of loose brace-ratling, trus-rod-shield-buzz, under-bridge-sizzle, etc., you'll have a little weird noise to work with. . .

 

Nope, , , never heard of it - but a funky idea to have such a ghost lying free inside the body. To kind of give the soul of the guitar company.

 

 

Only knew popcorn, hair/dust balls, picks, , , , , , , , , , , , and socks. . .

 

 

 

 

 

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Think of the mojo the guitar would have and all the noise around it if you put the whole snake in there.

 

 

Complaint to the guitar tech/Gibson Dealer.......

 

 

 

'Doesn't matter what I try, I can't seem to get rid of the HISS when I play this guitar!'

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Never heard of gluing them down but just throwing them in there.

 

Old time fiddlers supposedly started the practice. Some say it gave their instrument a bit of a distorted sound which they liked. Others that it kept critters out of the instrument. Still others claim they did it for good luck.

 

I actually purchased an old guitar that came complete with a couple of rattlers in it. Having lived in Mississippi a number of years I have learned not to mess with such stuff so just left them there.

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I guess you kids are too young to know the answer.

 

Back in the "old" days fiddlers would drop a rattle in their fiddle to gauge the humidity. If it was damp the rattle would swell up with the moisture and it wouldn't rattle. If dry it would rattle like crazy. It got to be a tradition and the guitar players just sort of tagged along. The rattles just lay on the back of the instrument and make no noise at all unless you shake the instrument.

 

I must admit that some of you are quite creative in your thinking. I hope I didn't spoil the fun...

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In Kentucky the use of the rattler in a musical instrument stems from the mountain supersition that such an amulet in an instrument would (1.) ward off evil spirits (2.) Keep the mice from nesting in the instrument (mice love f holes!) as snakes eat mice and mice smells snake .... and nobody ever heard of a case in the old days. Come to Owensboro sometime for the festival and the oldtimers there will give you the tale that has no ending for as long as you are willing to listen!

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Here's the way I heard it: Back in the olden days the fiddle was considered the Devil's instrument so the lady of the house wouldn't let the man keep the fiddle in the house. So, he kept it in the barn or a shed which left it open to mice nesting inside. As a deterrent he'd put a rattlesnake rattle inside (unglued). It became "the thing to do" and mandolin players followed suit and then eventually guitar players. I remember seeing a picture of a great old Martin D-18 not long ago where the rattle was glued to the centerline strip directly in the center of the soundhole line of sight. That guitar had so much mojo that just looking at the picture made my fingers more limber. Since I live out West I can get rattles pretty easily so when I come across one I drop it in the guitar that is lacking. I've never had a luthier even mention one of them to me.

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In Kentucky the use of the rattler in a musical instrument stems from the mountain supersition that such an amulet in an instrument would (1.) ward off evil spirits (2.) Keep the mice from nesting in the instrument (mice love f holes!) as snakes eat mice and mice smells snake .... and nobody ever heard of a case in the old days. Come to Owensboro sometime for the festival and the oldtimers there will give you the tale that has no ending for as long as you are willing to listen!

 

I BET!

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To be honest, I played a fairly newish ($5500) Bourgious ADI/BRW recently that had rattles in it. Did not help to 'open up' a damn bit....Just bugged me when they shook around in the guitar! I am a country boy and dig MOJO, but that did nothing for me!

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I guess you kids are too young to know the answer.

 

Back in the "old" days fiddlers would drop a rattle in their fiddle to gauge the humidity. If it was damp the rattle would swell up with the moisture and it wouldn't rattle. If dry it would rattle like crazy. It got to be a tradition and the guitar players just sort of tagged along. The rattles just lay on the back of the instrument and make no noise at all unless you shake the instrument.

 

I must admit that some of you are quite creative in your thinking. I hope I didn't spoil the fun...

 

it's a wonder planet waves aren't selling them at a price.

ye olde humidity tester

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  • 4 weeks later...

I guess you kids are too young to know the answer.

 

Back in the "old" days fiddlers would drop a rattle in their fiddle to gauge the humidity. If it was damp the rattle would swell up with the moisture and it wouldn't rattle. If dry it would rattle like crazy. It got to be a tradition and the guitar players just sort of tagged along. The rattles just lay on the back of the instrument and make no noise at all unless you shake the instrument.

 

I must admit that some of you are quite creative in your thinking. I hope I didn't spoil the fun...

 

 

I have to question this. I live in Alabama and we get more humidity than a bathroom after a hot shower. I have kept a rattle in one of my guitars for over 10 years and I have never had it swell up and not rattle. they just don't absorb moisture. The story about keeping rats away in the old days makes more sense. Country ingenuity. I have a cousin that always kept rattlesnake skins around his corn and goat feed to keep the mice out. it works.

 

 

I think after putting it in there to keep mice away, some guys started tapping on the fiddle and loving the snare drum sound while they played.... it just took off from there.

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