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How To Build Your DIY Magnetic Pickup For Diddley Bow: Part 1

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Did you know you can build a DIY magnetic pickup for your CBG or Diddley Bow for next to nothing? Magnetic pickups offer a warmer tone and higher output compared to piezo pickups, which are commonly used in these instruments.


  • Broken headphones (free from friends or electronics stores)
  • Magnet (from the headphones)
  • Copper wire (from the headphones)
  • Scotch tape
  • 1/4″ inch jack
  • Soldering iron (and solder)
  • Optional: Hot glue gun or other mounting materials


  1. Disassemble the headphones: Carefully open up your brokenBroken Headphones headphones. You’re looking for a small speaker driver inside, which consists of a magnet with a coil of wire wrapped around it.
  2. Extract the magnet and coil:  Remove the plastic membrane or diaphragm from the speaker driver. This membrane is not needed for the pickup.
  3. Secure the coil: The coil of wire mCoil & Magnetight be loose after removing the membrane. Use a small piece of scotch tape to secure the coil  around the magnet for stability.
  4. Attach a jack:  Solder the two ends of the coil’s wire to the appropriate terminals of a 1/4″ inch jack. You can find tutorials online for soldering if you’re unfamiliar with the process. By the way, I used the jack from the pre-maid piezo pickup I bought on Amazon.
  5. Mount the pickup:  Here, you have some flexibility. You can use hot gSecure the coil indiy magnetic pickuplue, tape, or other materials to securely mount the finished pickup to your CBG or Diddley Bow in a position where the magnet will be close to the strings.

Testing and Part 2:

Once mounted, connect your instrument to an amp and test the pickup. You should hear the sound of your strings when you play.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll explore some tips on getting the best sound out of your homemade magnetic pickup and see it in action with a video demonstration!

That’s how it looks like as a result.

Didley Bow Close Up
Didley Bow

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