Nineboys Wedge review

A UK-made, off-the-shelf diddley bow!

  • £79
Channel your inner Southern bluesman with this glorified string on a stick

MusicRadar Verdict

Strangely addictive. Sure, you could make your own, but if you can't be bothered, Nineboys has done it for you.


  • +

    Well, someone had to do it.


  • -

    Nothing... if one- string blues/world music slide does it for you, that is.

MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

We've tested some strange things over the years, but this has to take the biscuit, or indeed the tin can.

The diddley bow was created in the American South - and before that in Africa - by nailing a piece of wire to the side of a shack (or something more portable) and creating a vocal-like wailing tune by sliding a piece of metal or glass up and down it: a one- string slide 'guitar'.

Our sample is more sophisticated, but not much - like a one-string lap-steel with a bolt as the nut and a slightly flattened tin can as the bridge/ resonator. A rather over-spec'd Gibson-style humbucker picks up the sound, and we even get a volume control.

All of this, along with a transparent stick-on fret guide, is mounted on a tapered piece of two-and-a-half by four-inch pine.


"We made a right ol' bluesy racket that modern slidesmiths such as Jack White or Seasick Steve would be proud of"

We tuned the thick unwound string to G, picked up a slide (a kitchen knife worked well!) and made a right ol' bluesy racket that modern slidesmiths such as Jack White or Seasick Steve would be proud of.

Fans of African and Asian music will easily find a use for it, too. It has a honky resonance, very different from even the cheapest lap-steel, and plugged in with some gain it also has a tendency to self-oscillate like a kind of lo-fi Fernandes Sustainer or other-worldly theremin, but in a good way.

Dave Burrluck

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.