A really quick and dirty way to make a pickup in a pinch. A bolt, some wire and a super magnet. Attach to a xlr microphone cable and plug it straight into a mixer. And by winding this one up the right way, it will become balanced - And therefore have hardly any noise problems.

You need

  • Old steel bolt
  • Insulated wire
  • Neodymium magnet ("Super magnet")
  • XLR-cable


  • First wrap first half (maybe around 50 or whatever) winds of the wire on the bolt.
  • Take out a loop of the wire to access later.
  • Keep winding the rest of the wire.
  • Attach the wires to an xlr microphone cable as indicated in the drawing
  • Attach the super magnet to the end of the bolt. Tape or glue it in place, so it does not snap to the string.  
  • Plug it into the mixer and play!
See it in use at around 00:55 onward