Everything Cigar Box Guitar – How to Build, How to Play, News & More


Glenn Watt’s How to Build a Cigar Box Guitar

This kit from CB Gitty has everything you’ll need to build a basic 3-string Cigar Box Guitar!

Glenn Watt’s how-to video is a great way to introduce new builders into the wold of homemade guitars.

Since being released almost 2 years ago, the video has helped thousands of builders get their start with this wonderful instrument.

Check out Glenns’ video below, and see how easy it can be to build a 3-String Cigar Box Guitar, using only basic tools!

Auld Lang Syne – Cigar Box Guitar Tab for Open G by Glenn Watt

Auld Lang Syne is a well known poem penned in 1788 by famed Scottish Poet, Robert “Robbie” Burns. Parts of the original poem were derived from ballads that Burns had compiled into one piece and is paired with a traditional folk tune.

Commonly known as the tune farewell to the past year during New Year celebrations, Auld Lang Syne roughly translates to Long Long Ago, and is a song about farewell and remembrance.

It is a great song for beginners and experienced players alike, and Glenn boils it down beautifully with tabs for the basic melody, as well as a secondary measure that includes accompanying chords.

There is also a bonus How-to Play video that walks you through how to play this beautiful song!

Aule Lang Syne - Melody Only - Click Image to view PDF
Auld Lang Syne – Melody Only – Click Image to view PDF



Auld Lang Syne - Melody and Chords - Click image to view PDF
Auld Lang Syne – Melody and Chords – Click image to view PDF


Add a Gain Pot to your Cigar Box Amplifier

These amplifier kits are the perfect pairing for your Cigar Box Guitar. Check out C. B. Gitty’s full kit by clicking the image above!

In this video, Ben “Gitty” Baker and Glenn Watt illustrate how easy it is to increase the versatility of the 2.5 watt amplifier boards that are the heart of their Cigar Box Amplifiers.

By removing the on-board trim pot and replacing it with a linear-taper audio pot, you will get better tone control, making your amplifier more versatile by helping to dial in the perfect sound.

Click here to find out how to add a gain pot to your next amplifier!

How to build an Electric Diddley Bow

A year ago yesterday, Gitty took to Cigar Box Nation TV to illustrate how you can to build a simple Diddley Bow, using what you have lying around. And, toward the end, gets crazy with adding different gadgets to it.

You don’t want to miss this!

Have you built a Diddley Bow before? What materials did you use? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t Fret About Fretting Your Cigar Box Guitar

C. B. Gitty’s Complete Fretting Kit provides everything you need to get started!

Adding frets to your Cigar Box Guitar expands the instruments versatility and has been proven to make them more attractive to potential buyers. It can also pose unique challenges during construction that can be intimidating to newer builders.

It doesn’t have to be!

In what was originally a 4-part video series, Ben “Gitty” Baker brings you a step-by-step breakdown of the fretting process. From determining the scale length of your instrument, to the fine detail of the dressing the frets for optimal comfort and playability.

PLUS: The tips here can be applied to any instrument with frets. From Canjos to Ukuleles, this guide is sure to help. Fretting has never been more accessible!

Check out Gitty’s Guide to Fretting in the new Knowledge base entry!

How To Video: Using Capacitors with Piezo Pickups

Need Capacitors for your next build? C. B. Gitty has you covered! Click the image to see their selection.

Piezo pickups are a great way to electrify your Cigar Box Guitar. Installation can be as simple as gluing the disc in place and drilling the hole for the jack.

This style of pickup puts out a respectable sound, but can sometimes be a little rough around the edges.

This video aims to explain you how a simple Capacitor can help reduce feedback and improve the tone of your guitar, as well as how to go about installing one.

The best part about this is they are generally easy to find and don’t cost an arm an a leg!

Click here to check out the video featuring Ben “Gitty” Baker and Glenn Watt!

Amazing Grace – Tablature for One-String Canjo

American Canjo CompanyAmazing Grace is one of, if not the most recognized folk hymns ever written. It was originally published in 1779 as a poem by British Clergyman and Poet, John Newton.

Having been adapted to numerous different melodies, the one we know so well today didn’t come around until 1835. Since then, this iteration has seen use as hymns at funerals, church service, backyard picking sessions and so much more.

Below you can find free tablature that shows you how you can play this song on your One-String Canjo. It’s fun and easy, and you’ll be plucking the tune in no time!

We’ve also included a fret numbering chart!


Canjo Diagram

Amazing Grace (Version 1 – Low)

1 2 4 7 4  7      5   4     2   1      1    4     7 4 7    5    9
A-a-mazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
7 9    7   4     1   2   4   1      1   4     7 4 7   5 4
I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.

Additional Verses

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fear relieved,
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come;
'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come;
'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.


Looking for the Cigar Box Guitar version? We’ve got you covered with the FREE 3-String and 4-String guides!

“Gone for Good” – Samantha Fish and her Oil Can Guitar

Samantha Fish has made a name for herself as an accomplished musician.  With her incredible vocals and skill on both conventional and homemade instruments, she commands the stage when she performs.

Here she is putting a 6-string Oil Can Guitar through it’s paces, with her equally talented band. Together they crush it with her song “Gone for Good”!

Samantha Fish and her Oil Can Guitar – "Gone For Good"

SHARE THIS! Samantha Fish and her Oil Can Guitar – "Gone For Good"

Posted by Cigar Box Nation on Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Primer on Rod Piezo Pickups

These Pre-wired Harnesses from C. B. Gitty are a great place to start!

When you want to electrify your Cigar Box Guitar, there are several styles of pickups to consider.

The following article dives into some of the mechanics of how Piezo pickups translate the vibrations of the strings, and some of the differences between the Rod and Disc varieties.

Click here to learn more about Piezo pickups!

Have you used a Rod Piezo Pickup lately? Let us know your thoughts on this style in the comments section!

Blowin’ in the Wind – by Bob Dylan 3-String GDG Cigar Box Guitar Tab

Presented by the Southbound String Company. Strings specifically voiced for your Cigar Box Guitar!

Originally released as a single in 1963, “Blowin’ in the Wind” is possibly one of Dylan’s best known songs.

It has been covered by a number of artists ranging from Peter, Paul and Mary to the legendary Dolly Parton, and appears as the Ultimate Question in the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Featuring the melody line, as well as a combination with chords, you’ll be singing and playing this classic in no time.

Click here for the free PDF download, brought to you by the Southbound Strings Company!