Everything Cigar Box Guitar – News, How-To & More

Cigar Box InstrumentsWelcome to CigarBoxGuitar.com, the headquarters of all things related to Cigar Box Guitars and the homemade/handmade music revolution! 

This site is presented by C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply and Cigar Box Nation. This is the central landing page and clearinghouse for all things CBG – from the most recent news and events, to an ever-growing knowledgebase of how-to information, to builder profiles, featured instruments and more!

Here are some handy links to help you find what you need on this site:

  • The Cigar Box Guitar Manifesto – the mission statement and rallying cry of the Cigar Box Guitar movement, as written by C. B. Gitty.
  • How to Build Cigar Box Guitars – An ever-growing collection of articles specifically on how to build cigar box guitars.
  • How to Play Cigar Box Guitars – Articles and Videos related to making music with cigar box guitars.
  • CigarBoxNation.com – Home of the Cigar Box Guitar movement on the internet, with over 12,500 members from around the world. The perfect place to talk to other builders, get advice and tips, ask specific how-to questions, view and upload pictures and videos, and generally have fun.
  • Cigar Box Guitar Kits  – If you are looking for an easy way to build your first cigar box guitar, consider one of C. B. Gitty’s kits!  Gitty’s new “Pure and Simple” Cigar Box Guitar kit is the easiest-to-build kit available anywhere, and the perfect way to get started on this amazing hobby!
  • Cigar Box Guitar Parts, Gear and Accessories – C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply is the largest supplier of kits, parts, gear and accessories to the cigar box guitar and homemade music movement. Check out their web store and get ready to start building!

Cigar Box Guitar performer One Hand Dan featured on Tuscaloosa Monorail

One-Hand Dan Russell is a rising force in the cigar box guitar performance world. Glenn Watt and I ran into him up at the Chicago Cigar Box Guitar Festival several weeks ago, where he performed on the main stage and also ran the C. B. Gitty open mic stage.

Now he has been featured on Tuscaloosa Monorail, a music talk show based in central Alabama that brings in original acts that get performances from “not the norm” bands. When they heard about a one-handed ex pro wrestler playing cigar box guitars on the streets, they contacted Dan.

Dan brought along Bart Lynn for a little trombone backup, and you can see the result in the video clip below! To check out Dan’s various other shenanigans, hijinks and all-around tomfoolery, here’s a link to his Facebook page.

VIDEO Feature: How to play Cigar Box Guitar like Seasick Steve – by Shane Speal

Have you seen this? It’s a video lesson where the King himself, Mr. Shane Speal, walks you through how to tune your cigar box guitars and play them like Seasick Steve!

Christmas Song Tabs to get you ready for the Holidays!

Silent Night Cigar Box Guitar Tablature PDFWe’re busily creating new tablature sheets for popular Christmas and holiday songs and adding them to the tab library here on CigarBoxGuitar.com!

 

While it may be a bit early to start publicly performing Christmas songs, you should start practicing now so that when the season is truly upon us, you’ll be ready!

 

Click here or on the image to the left to see the songs we’ve added so far. There will be more coming in the days ahead, so check back often!

The tale of Nirvana, A Grammy Award, Paul McCartney and Johnny Depp’s Cigar Box Guitar

Paul McCartney CBGCheck out this article from the Belfast Telegraph in the UK, in which Paul McCartney shares some of the backstory behind how he ended up recording a grammy-winning rock song in the middle of a Nivana reunion, while playing a cigar box guitar!

That guitar given to him by Johnny Depp was a “Cig Fiddle” built by our friend Matty Baratto of North Hollywood, California. Sir Paul appearing on stage with it during televised events (the 12.12.12 Hurricane benefit concert, and later that same week on Saturday Night Live) was the biggest burst of publicity cigar box guitars had ever gotten, and the movement has definitely grown because of it.

Thanks Sir Paul! Give us a call when you see this and we’ll have tea!

More Cigar Box Guitar Chord Sheets Added

E Chord Forms for Cigar Box Guitar PDFMany more chord form sheets have been added to the knowledgebase here on CigarBoxGuitar.com, completing the initial series for 3-string Open G GDG cigar box guitars. We now have sheets showing all of the most common and useful chord forms (with power chords, major chords, sevenths and minors) for G, A, B-flat, B, C, D, E-flat, E and F!

We have also created a guide to reading and interpreting the chord form sheets, to help you become more familiar with the concepts if you are a new player.

This is the most comprehensive free resource that has ever been compiled for 3-string cigar box guitars, and it is only going to keep getting bigger and better!

Cigar Box Guitar Chord Forms – 3-string Open G “GDG”

G Chord Forms for Cigar Box Guitar PDFWe have added a new category to the knowledgebase here on CigarBoxGuitar.com – 3-string CBG chord forms! So far we have added G, C and D chord forms. The rest of the common chord forms (A, Eb, E, B, Bb, F) will be coming in the next few days!

Here’s what C. B. Gitty says about these chord forms:

We do not claim that this list is exhaustive or definitive, or that there aren’t other chord forms out there that some might find preferable. Some of the chords here may not even be technically what we have them labeled as… but the key thing is that they work, and they are the ones we use when playing. If one chord form doesn’t sound quite right in the song you are playing, then try a different one! We present them freely in the hope that you can make good use of them too.”

 

 

 

A Great Primer & Intruduction to wiring Jacks in Cigar Box Guitars

The differences between mono and stereo phone jacks.If you have ever been a bit uncertain of how to wire a jack onto the pickup in your cigar box guitar, check out this article just added to our knowledgebase.

In this article, C. B. Gitty walks you through the differences between mono and stereo jacks, how to identify the positive and negative lugs, and how to wire a stereo jack for mono use (if you accidentally buy stereo jacks). Confusion over these points comes up frequently among cigar box guitar builders, and now this article makes it all clear!

 

 

Cigar Box Guitar Tablature Library added

We have just created a new section of the knowledgebase here on CigarBoxGuitar.com which will host a growing library of tablature for cigar box guitars, with a focus on the popular Open G “GDG” tuning style.

We have added a few initial pieces of tablature and more will be coming soon. Click the image below to check out what has been added so far!

WagonWheel PDF Image

Final Two Parts of Canjo Video Series Posted

IMG_8350_2Parts 3 and 4 of the video series “The Essential Canjo” by C. B. Gitty have just been posted here on CigarBoxGuitar.com.

These videos dig into the nitty gritty of how to play the canjo: Part 3 shows you tuning and tablature reading, and then moves into playing a couple of songs (Camptown Races and When the Saints Go Marching In) from tablature available on this site. Part 4 then moves into some more advanced playing techniques that you can use to spice up your canjo playing: hammer-ons, pull-offs, vibrato, tremolo and the like.

By the time you’ve finished watching all four of these videos, you should be well on your way to mastery of the canjo!

The Essential Canjo – Part 3 – How to Play, Tune & Read Tablature

The Essential Canjo – Part 4 – Advanced Playing Techniques

Second Part of Canjo Video Series Added

The second part of C. B. Gitty’s video series “The Essential Canjo” has just been added to the Canjos & Diddleybows section of the knowledgebase here on CigarBoxGuitar.com. In this installment, Gitty walks you through the anatomy of a canjo – the various parts and how they are put together, the fretting style, discussion of the “blue note” and more. A number of diagrams and explanatory notes help illustrate the points Gitty is making in the video.

Stay tuned for parts 3 and 4 to be posted in the near future, which will cover tuning, reading tablature, playing simple songs, and making use of more advanced playing techniques.

Check out the Knowledgebase Post for more info and to view the video!