So for my birthday just before the start of COVID, I treated myself to a years-long dream of mine: my own oud! I bought a handmade semihollow that has seen some action (and it showed), and was stripped down to a cheap contact piezo pickup that was low-power, muted, and started humming after a few months. But the oud itself was a beautiful piece of work and cheap for a semihollow, and since I play both for myself/family and as part of electric ensembles, I needed both acoustic and electric options.
Learning the instrument was tough at the beginning, but my experience with guitar helped, and I highly recommend anyone who can to try it!
Seeing as I am supposed to perform with it this month however, I had to do something about the pickup. So I took my brother and some tools (no dremel though!), and went to work installing a new undersaddle (supposedly) Fishman. After cutting the preamp hole (on the front of the instrument since the side was too thin, scariest thing I’ve ever done) I refinished the oud as well, and laquered it up, since it had no coating before and my cat scratched it out of curiosity.
First-time project and while it’s not perfect, I’m proud of it!