Daily Tip: What is a Diatonic Scale?

Fretting Scale TemplateFretting your cigar box guitar diatonically can be a nice alternative when building. But a lot of people are not clear on what it is.

A diatonic scale sounds like the familar “DO-RE-MI” scales we learned as kids. It contains only the “whole” tones of the scale, with no “accidentals” (sharp or flat notes that are outside of the primary scale). A chromatic scale on the other hand gives you all of the “extra” notes as well, and though it sounds much less pleasant when played from low to high, it presents a lot more flexibility when playing music.

For more information on this topic, check out our knowledgebase article.

Daily Tip: Open-gear vs. Sealed-gear Tuners

Open-gear TunerTraditionally, open-gear tuners have been used on acoustic guitars and sealed-gear tuners have been used on electric guitars. They do the same thing, but their appearance and methods of mounting differ. Open-gear tuners usually have at least two screws, and often utilize a press-fit bushing that mounts in the front of the headstock. Sealed-gear tuners usually have a threaded bushings that screws through the headstock into the tuner base plate. Choosing which to use is personal preference – both will serve equally well in most scenarios.

Daily Tip: Headstock Thickness on Cigar Box Guitars

A Cigar Box Guitar HeadstockPeople often ask how thick to make the headstocks on their cigar box guitars. Most standard guitar tuners, whether sealed-gear or open-gear, are intended to be used on a headstock that is about 9/16” (0.5625 inches/14.3mm) thick. Ukulele tuners are made to work on thinner headstocks, usually in the range of ⅜” (0.375 inches/9.53mm) or 7/16” (0.4375 inches/11.1mm).

Daily Tip: Understanding Scale Length on Cigar Box Guitars

Tip_3Remember that the “scale length” of a cigar box guitar or other stringed instrument refers to the vibrating length of the strings. It is measured from the point where the strings leave the nut to the point where they first touch the saddle/bridge.

Need help calculating your scale length? Try our free fret spacing calculator tool!

Daily Tip: Mounting Sealed-Gear Tuners

Sealed Gear Tuner MountingWhen mounting sealed-gear tuners in cigar box guitars or other handmade instruments, be sure to keep the gear towards the instrument body, not the top of the headstock. The gear is inside the rounded portion of the sealed tuner base.

For great prices on sealed-gear tuners and other cigar box guitar parts, you can’t do better than C. B. Gitty.

Have you ever wanted to build a cigar box amplifier? New video shows you how

C. B. Gitty has just posted an in-depth video showing you how to build a cigar box amp using their “Oliva G” amplifier kit (product# 52-003-02). From drilling and cutting the cigar box, to wiring the components and finishing assembly, this video has it all. While the video is specific to Gitty’s pre-packaged amplifier kit, you can use this same information for your own amplifier projects as well.

This video is a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough that shows you every step of the process. If you have been thinking about trying to build a cigar box amplifier, but haven’t been sure you could, this video is for you!

New Video How-To: Making your own Cigar Box Guitar Fretboard

Glenn Watt, CBG GuruTake a few minutes and watch the new addition to our knowledgebase here at CigarBoxGuitar.com – a well-done video how-to lesson from CBG Guru Glenn Watt on how you can get started on making your own cigar box guitar fretboards with just a few simple tools!

Click Here to view the Knowledgebase Article!