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”
Musical Styles: Blues, Punk, Lo-fi, Originals
Handmade Instrument Played: Cigar Box Guitar
“I struggle to understand these blues artists who endlessly retread the old blues standards – have they nothing to say? Are they so vacant they have to sing other people’s words?” – John Farr aka Hollowbelly. Continue reading “Hollowbelly (John Farr)”
The tablature in the PDF link below will show you exactly how to play the melody and chords for the classic anthem of the American West, Home on the Range. Continue reading “Home on the Range – 3-string Open G GDG – Cigar Box Guitar Tablature”
A classic American song, evoking images of the wild west, cowboys and the wide open vistas of the plains. View the full text of this entry by clicking the “Read More” link below for the formatted canjo tab…
Home on the Range is one of the most well-known western songs of all time. Now you can learn it for your One-String Canjo! Continue reading “Home on the Range – Traditional”
Learn how to play the bass line for Home On The Range on your 2-string bass with the free, downloadable PDF tablature in this post. Continue reading “Home On The Range 2-String G-Bass Tablature”
This video from December 4, 1928 shows a young African American (likely identified as “CoCoMo” Joe Barthelemy) playing a homemade drum kit consisting of a wooden box, tin cans and cake tin cymbals. As he plays, two other boys dance. This type of homemade instrument was a part of the New Orleans “spasm band” tradition, which began in the late 1900’s on the streets of the city, playing a variety of Dixieland, skiffle, jug music and other forms of early jazz forerunners. Continue reading “Homemade Drum Kit being Played, filmed in New Orleans 1928”
Learn how to play Honky Tonk Moon on your 3-string cigar box guitar with the free-to-download tablature in this post. Continue reading “Honky Tonk Moon By Randy Travis 3-String Cigar Box Guitar Tablature”
The tablature in the PDF link below will show you exactly how to play the melody and chords for the song Honky Tonk Women, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and recorded by The Rolling Stones. This is a classic rock and roll anthem through and through – from the starting cowbell solo to the unforgettable lyrics to every one of the instantly recognizable guitar licks throughout. Continue reading “Honky Tonk Women by The Rolling Stones – 3-string Open G GDG – Tablature for Cigar Box Guitars”
Improve your cigar box guitars by getting to know the anatomy and orientation of open gear tuners
By Glenn Watt
Ever wonder which way is up on a cigar box guitar tuner?
Would you like to learn how a cigar box guitar tuner works, how you should orient them, and why it matters?
Well, you’re in luck, my friend.
In this article you’ll learn:
- the anatomy of a tuner
- how you identify which direction a tuner is oriented
- and why the orientation of a tuner is important
Plus, you’re going to get a bonus tip on how to flip an open gear tuner for a mistakenly drilled hole.
Let’s start with… Continue reading “How a Cigar Box Guitar Tuner Works”
Cigar box guitarist & builder, Shane Speal demonstrates an easy technique for loosening the shafts on tight volume pots, making them more playable. This is an easy step that can be done before wiring the instrument.
Cigar box guitarist & builder, Shane Speal (ShaneSpeal.com) demonstrates an easy technique for loosening the shafts on new volume pots, making them more playable. Using an older electric cigar box guitar that he recently overhauled, Speal shows exactly where to spray the shaft of the 500k pot with Radio Shack contact cleaner. See video and photo below. Continue reading “How to “Break In” Tight Volume Pots in Cigar Box Guitars”
This free 8-page guide will show you all of the steps needed to build your first 3-string slide Cigar Box Guitar. The guide makes it easy, outlining all of the parts and tools you will need (along with helpful hints on where to get them), and with clear, photo-illustrated instructions on how to assemble your instrument.
This free 8-page guide will show you all of the steps needed to build your first 3-string slide Cigar Box Guitar. The guide makes it easy, outlining all of the parts and tools you will need (along with helpful hints on where to get them), and with clear, photo-illustrated instructions on how to assemble your instrument. Continue reading “How to Build a 3-string Cigar Box Guitar – Free Plans”
This is the perfect introductory video for anyone wanting to build their first cigar box guitar from scratch. Continue reading “How to Build a Cigar Box Guitar – Video by Glenn Watt”
Rod piezos can give you great improvements in overall tone and sound on your instrument builds, compared to a standard disc piezo. However, the standard rod piezo is made for a 6-string guitar, and at 2 ¾” in length, is often longer than a cigar box guitar builder needs or wants for embedding in a bridge. Fortunately, it is a fairly simple process to cut the rod piezos to a shorter length, for 3 or 4-string setups. However, it is important to cut it them in a certain way so you don’t ruin them, which is what this article will show you.
Electrifying your cigar box guitar or other homemade instrument build can be a very rewarding experience. Being able to plug into an amp not only gives you more volume, but it opens the door to a huge range of effects that would not otherwise be available. And it is a proven fact that having a pickup in a guitar makes it easier to sell – being able to plug in and rock out evokes images of Eddie Van Halen and Slash and is sure to get any would-be rocker’s blood pumping.
In an ideal situation, electrifying your build is as simple as gluing in a piezo (or mounting in a magnetic pickup), wiring it to a jack, and bingo. Continue reading “How to Eliminate Hum and Buzz on your electric Cigar Box Guitar”
Cigar Box Guitar craftsman Glenn Watt shows you how to ground your pickup to reduce humming, even if you’re not using a metal bridge!
By Glenn Watt
The simplest solution to your most maddening problem
For the love of all that’s good, why is my magnetic pickup humming?
You’ve installed a magnetic pickup in your cigar box guitar, and the darn thing is making noise.
“Oh, just ground it to the bridge.”
That’s the advice you read in every online forum.
“I can’t ground to the bridge, ‘cause the bridge is wooden.” you think to yourself, fuming behind your computer, and wondering what your next move is.
Well, you’re in luck. There’s more than one way to roast this chicken.
The solution: Ground to a metal tailpiece.
The point in grounding to the bridge is to connect the strings to the ground loop. Continue reading “How to Ground Cigar Box Guitar Pickups Without a Metal Bridge”
Glenn walks you through how he installs the mini humbucker pickup in the “Mi Amor” cigar box guitar he designed for C. B. Gitty.
How I Took This Cigar Box Guitar to a Whole New Level
The Mi Amor meets the Snake Oil Humbucker: A Killer Combo
It sounds raw and dirty.
A single coil pickup in a cigar box guitar has grit and a surly swagger. But for this build, the sound of a solitary single coil pickup is missing something.
When designing the Mi Amor – a recent addition to the C.B. Gitty line of guitars – I wanted it to have a big punch. Picture a cinder block-sized fist, wearing brass knuckles, being thrown into your gut. You know, really taking the air out of you.
Yeah. That’s what I wanted for this CBG.
And the Snake Oil Humbucker gave me just that.