Have 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!
Folks 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!
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
Now 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
We’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!
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.
Just 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.
In 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.
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.
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.
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!
We’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!