This one has a little more advanced chord progression, but it’s a great song to add to your toolbag.
A number of other big-name performers have also recorded the tune, including Emmy Lou Harris, Stevie Nicks, Don King, Flatt & Scruggs and even Jimmy Buffett.
In this video lesson, Dan Russell shows you how to play the old folk/country song “If I Needed You” on the cigar box ukulele. This one was written by Townes Van Zandt and has been recorded by Emmy Lou Harris and other well-known performers.
This is a great old folk/bluegrass/mountain song, a plaintive tale of longing and regret. Believed to have originated in the 1870’s, it has been recorded many times over the years, by artists such as Lead Belly, Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez, The Oakridge Boys, Dolly Parton and even Nirvana did a version.
Willie released this on his “Heroes” album in 2012, and it kind of sums up his long, often “smoky” career.
In this video lesson, Dan Russell shows you how to play the old song “Stagger Lee” (also known as Stack-o-Lee, Stag-o-Lee and other titles) on the cigar box ukulele This classic number is part blues, part cajun and part history, and has been performed Mississippi John Hurt, Dr. John and many more musicians. Five basic uke chords are used in this lesson, and while the progression is not what would be considered “standard”, it is still a nice easy one to play.
Like many popular songs, this one is a “three-chorder” – just C, F and G being needed to play it.
This old American blues/folk song was recorded by Alan Lomax and first published in 1934. It has been recorded and released by a number of folk singers over the years, including The Byrds, Old Crow Medicine Show, Woodie Guthrie, Jerry Garcia and even the Flying Burrito Brothers!
In this video lesson, Dan shows you how to play the old blues song “The Midnight Special”. This was a traditional folk song first popularized by Lead Belly, and has been recorded by many other artists such as Big Bill Broonzy, The Beatles, Burl Ives, Van Morrison, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney.
This article on how to build a cigar box ukulele comes from the June, 1917 edition of Popular Mechanics. In it S. H. Samuels walks the reader through the basics of constructing a uke, which in 1917 “was made at a cost of 30 cents, by careful selection of materials from the shop scrap stock.”
This is the full how-to guide from C. B. Gitty’s Cigar Box Ukulele kit. While written with a focus on assembling the kit C. B. Gitty sells (which includes all of the parts and hardware you need in one easy package), this how-to guide is a good general introduction to building a cigar box ukulele, and could be useful if you want to try it on your own from scratch.
Click Here or on the image to the left to view the full guide document.
Step-by-step instructions from the early 1900’s, including a detailed diagram, on building a cigar box Ukulele. Continue reading “Cigar Box Ukulele Plans by Charles A. King (circa 1920)”
In this video lesson, Dan Russell shows you how to play his take on the classic blues song “Cocaine Blues”, as performed by Townes Van Zandt on the cigar box ukulele. Five basic uke chords are used, making this a nice easy one for both beginners and more seasoned players alike!
Continue reading “Cocaine Blues in the style of Townes Van Zandt – Cigar Box Ukulele lesson #4 from One Hand Dan”
This printable sheet shows you all of the easiest and most commonly used chords for standard 4-string ukuleles tuned gCEA. These chord forms can be used with cigar box ukuleles, regular ukuleles and any other instrument tuned in this way. Continue reading “Easy Chord Forms for Ukulele”
In this video lesson, Dan Russell shows you how to play his take on the popular song “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers on the cigar box ukulele. Four simple uke chords are used, making this a nice easy one for both beginners and more seasoned players alike! Continue reading “Ho Hey by the Lumineers – Cigar Box Ukulele lesson #3 from One Hand Dan”
Here’s the ultimate beginners guide to make your own 3 string cigar box guitar
By Glenn Watt
Do you wonder how difficult it would be to make a cigar box guitar?
Are you worried that you don’t have the tools or experience to do such a thing?
Look, not only can you make a cigar box guitar, but you will with this easy-to-follow plan.
This plan starts out by listing the tools you’ll need.
Then you’ll see the resources and hardware that you’ll use.
After that, you’ll follow a clear, step-by-step plan filled with crisp, colorful images to build a 3 string, fretless, cigar box guitar.
Enough with all the talk. Let’s do this!