Other Guitars

Cigar Box Guitars - I think I’m hooked


After Grumpfest (see thread), where BabaJoe bought Grumpy's daughter a little 3-string Cigar Box Guitar, and I saw how cheap it was (I got mine for only $27)... I thought "I've always wanted to play slide, but never got off the ground, 6 strings is just too many, and especially in standard tuning.... and I don't want to leave one of my guitars in open tuning just for slide.... I'll get one of these CBG's"

Even tho this is is a borderline toy (the box is not wood, it's a hard cardboard like our old "pencil boxes" when we were kids), it does tune up, and sounds pretty good plugged in! For $27 I'm astonished. It's a little tricky getting the saddle slant right for proper intonation (it's just a bolt lol), but it works.

I'm sold enough that I am already planning to do a build this fall/winter (when I have more time)... and I already bought a P90 for it LOL. I need a "normal" scale, like 24"-25", this little things is only 21", and the strings are kinda' floppy, especially for any kind of strumming.

And, for context, when I say "I've always wanted to play slide", I'm not talking about the Allman/Trucks/Walsh school, I'm talking more of the Ry Cooder school.... more of the delta blues, crying bluesy type slide.

Anyone else playing these things?

Here's the CBG in question, for those who might be interested in trying themselves for very little money:

HOLY CRAP!!! PRICE DROP!!! ONLY $22 now!!!



Yeah, man!

Easy to make, fun to play.

There's a whole subculture of cbg fests out there, and the good ones have plenty of character.

Check out Seasick Steve, or Gerry Thompson.

One of my favorites is Ben Prestage, who makes cbgs, and cbvs(cigar box violins) and makes it all work as a one man band. He's really quite good.


And if you're looking for a big brown beaver played on a two stringed broom handle diddy bo...


Justin Johnson is ridiculously good on a cigar box. Does pretty cool instructional vids as well.


I have some Seasick Steve. Quite raucous lol.

I'm familiar with Justin from youtube. I'll check out the others.

The playing in these 2 videos (Shane Speal, he's one of the founders of the "rebirth" of the CBG, apparently), are what I really like (to play)... kind of a melodic, soulful, melancholy thing... as opposed to the gritty punk-like rock/blues of a Seasick Steve (which I also like... but for some reason, for me, a CBG is pulling me toward the more mournful-sounding stuff, lol)


For my build, my big decision is going to be fretted (so I can also fret chords/notes, but the lower action may hinder my slide playing, especially being a beginner), or fretless (which makes it much easier to play slide, but it's slide ONLY)...

....maybe I'll build one of each LOL


I kinda cheated and used a neck off an old 50s or 60s solid body, I don't recommend piezo pickups cause they tend to react to every touch on the box! Bridge is a 30-06 brass!


I like mine. Gretsch brand! Six strings.


Where would Bo Diddley be without them?

Variants of the diddly bo are found all over the world. They're a perfect example of ingenuity and inventiveness. People have made their own instruments forever. Fiddles, guitars, dulcimers, and other things have all come from someone who wanted to make some music.


I like mine. Gretsch brand! Six strings.

Pic or it didn't happen!

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