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 home of the most complete, ever-growing knowledgebase of information for building and playing cigarbox box guitars and other homemade instruments.

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.
  • How to Build Cigar Box Guitars – An ever-growing collection of great how-to articles
  • How to Play Cigar Box Guitars – Articles and Videos related to making music with these fun instruments.
  • CigarBoxNation.com – Home of the Cigar Box Guitar movement on the internet, with over 13,000 members 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!  The “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 Ukulele Lessons from One-Hand Dan

Click to see the knowledgebase post and view the video.

Click to see the knowledgebase post and view the video.

We’ve been wanting to add some ukulele-specific content to our knowledgebase for a while, but we didn’t have a uke expert in-house so it wasn’t going very well. Enter One-Hand Dan Russell, a performing musician with an awesome unique style and immense musical ability.

We first met Dan down in Huntsville, AL at the Lowe Mill Cigar Box Guitar Festival last May, and ran into him again at the Chicago CBG fest this past November. Dan plays a mean cigar box uke, so it’s a natural fit to feature some of his how-to-play content in our knowledgebase here on CigarBoxGuitar.com!

This first video lesson has Dan walking you through how he plays the song “Hold On” by the Alabama Shakes. We’ll be adding more great videos from Dan as he creates them, so stay tune. Viva la Ukulele!

Cigar Box Nation is the Online Cigar Box Guitar Community

Cigar Box Nation LogoHave you heard of CigarBoxNation.com?

“King of the Cigar Box Guitar” Shane Speal founded it back in 2008 to be the home of the Cigar Box Guitar revolution, and since then it has grown to over 13,000 members worldwide, with tens of thousands of photos, videos, dozens of topical groups and hundreds of thousands of forum and blog posts.

It is a great place to get to know other builders, share photos and videos of your creations, ask questions and learn about this wonderful, crazy hobby. Stuff posted on Cigar Box Nation is a lot more “permanent” and easy-to-find than posting things on Facebook groups, too – your stuff can always be easily found on your profile page.

So if you are just getting into cigar box guitars, or are a long-time enthusiast, you should discover (or re-discover) Cigar Box Nation! Long live the Cigar Box Guitar revolution!

New Cigar Box Guitar How-to Video: Installing a P-90 “Soapbar” Pickup

glennvidFolks have been asking us to show the how-to steps behind installing electric guitar pickups in cigar box guitars for a long time, especially our P90 Soapbar clones. Well, you asked for it and Glenn Watt has delivered it: a well-produced 10-minute vid walking you through every step of installing one of these babies on a neck-through cigar box guitar.

Click the image to the left or this link to got to the video’s entry in our knowledgebase encyclopedia.

Glenn is quickly becoming a leader in the field of creating informative, easy-to-understand and well-produced cigar box guitar how-to videos, and we are proud to be able to feature his work here on CigarBoxGuitar.com. We hope you are able to make great use of this info in building your own cigar box guitars!

New Tablature for Cigar Box Guitars: Buttercup, Royals by Lorde and Camptown Races

Three new tab sheets have been added to the knowledgebase library in the last couple of days, ranging from classic Americana to feel-good classic rock to a popular modern song. All are tabbed for 3-string cigar box guitars tuned to Open G “GDG”. Use the links below to view the posts about each:

Camptown Races by Stephen Foster

Build Me Up Buttercup as Performed by The Foundations

Royals by Lorde

New Cigar Box Guitars Tablature Added: Bob Dylan & Hank Williams

Blowin in the Wind by Bob Dylan - Cigar Box Guitar TablatureNow that we’re through Christmas, it’s time to get back to creating cigar box guitar tablature for popular songs, and here are the first two!

Your Cheatin’ Heart by Hank Williams – arranged by Glenn Watt

Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan – arranged by Ben “C. B. Gitty.” Baker

Enjoy!

Gitty’s Cigar Box Guitar Jamming Guides Released – The most-used chords from the most common keys

Jamming Guide for 3-string Cigar Box Guitars - Key of GWe’ve just added a great new resource to the knowledgebase: Gitty’s Jamming Guides for 3-string Cigar Box Guitar!

This collection consists of 3 printable sheets that show you all of the chords needed to play most songs written in the keys of C, G and D – majors, minors and sevenths. These were designed with jam sessions in mind – with these on the table in front of you, you’ll rarely be at a loss for how to strum along with most popular songs!

Click the image to the left to go to the knowledgebase page, where you can click to view all 3 printable jamming sheets!

 

3 New Cigar Box Guitar Tabs Added: Auld Lang Syne, Here Comes Santa Claus and O Come All Ye Faithful

We’ve just added 3 new pieces of 3-string cigar box guitar holiday tablature to the library. All three were arranged and tabbed by Glenn Watt, who during the Christmas rush of orders has taken over from Ben/C. B. Gitty as the resident tab-master. Click the links below to check out each – all 3 even include videos by Glenn showing you how to play the songs!

Auld Lang Syne

Here Comes Santa Claus

O Come All Ye Faithful

This is probably the last batch of holiday songs we’ll be adding this year, so we hope you are able to put them to good use, and we also wish all of you a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season.

Christmas Eve with Uncle Enos

Christmas Eve with Uncle EnosJust in time for Christmas, we’ve just posted a PDF of the 4-page Christmas Eve with Uncle Enos story, written by Daniel Carter Beard (co-founder of the Boy Scouts of America), and first published in the 1884-1885 edition of The Book Buyer.

This is more than just a story though, as it contains full how-to plans meant to get boys building their own 5-string banjos out of cigar boxes. As such it was both one of the earliest published mentions of cigar box instruments, as well as one of the first sets of published plans for how to build them!

Disclaimer: We present the digital version of the original document here in its full, unedited form. Some the terminology used in it in regards to race may be considered by some today to be offensive. We present it here only as a historical curiosity and educational artifact.

Shane Speal and C. B. Gitty in New Documentary

Shane and GittyIn this documentary, which is currently running on the local TV station in York, PA,  Shane Speal and Ben “C. B. Gitty” Baker explore the secrets of the York Steam Whistle Christmas Concert – the last of its kind in the world. This steam whistle concert has been going on since the early days of the 1900’s, and the current whistlemaster has been at his post performing the concert every Christmas Eve for the past 60 years.

While Shane explores the story of the steam whsitle concert, Gitty builds a 116db pneumatic slide whistle from and old bicycle pump which Shane later plays onstage at a live concert. Along the way, Shane and Gitty discover and play an amazing forgotten instrument known as a “horse fiddle”, and they manage to get all giddy schoolboy-excited over crazy homemade instruments. Shane even performs an original song “Chasing Steam” on his cigar box guitar.

The Chasing Steam documentary starts around the 14 minute mark; the portion of the show before that features a poetry reading of a forgotten female poet from York, PA, with Shane playing in the background.

2014 Cigar Box Nation Christmas Album Released

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The 2014 edition of the Cigar Box Nation Christmas Album has just been released for FREE download. This album is made up of 35 tracks submitted by Cigar Box Nation members, comprised of Christmas and other holiday music played on cigar box guitars and other homemade/handmade instruments.