We’ve been diligently adding new song tablatures for one-string canjos to our knowledgebase. If you haven’t looked it over lately, you should! If you don’t own a canjo, well you either need to build one or check out the American Canjo Company store page and get one, so you can get busy pickin’!
Take 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!
Ben “C. B. Gitty” Baker was recently called out to do the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Never one to just pour a bucket of icewater over his own head all willy-nilly, Ben gathered up the C. B. Gitty crew and headed up to the roof of Gitty Mills to sing a little blues and take care of business.
In the next few weeks Ben and the Gitty workshop crew will be making custom guitars from those paint cans, and listing them for sale at $100 each on the C. B. Gitty web store. Half of the proceeds of those guitars will be donated to the ALS Foundation.
If you haven’t seen/heard this yet, you have to check it out. Shane Speal and Aaron Lewis, a member of Shane’s Snake Oil Band, belt out an awesome bluesy version of the King of Pop’s “Billie Jean”. This was recorded at a Pennsylvania public radio station. For more vids and clips of Shane Speal’s Snake Oil Band in action, visit www.ShaneSpeal.com!
- How to Build Cigar Box Guitars
- How to Play a Cigar Box Guitar
- Cigar Box Guitar Kits
- Cigar Box Guitar Parts, Gear and Accessories
- The Cigar Box Guitar Manifesto – mission statement & rallying cry!
- CigarBoxNation.com – the home of the Cigar Box Guitar movement on the internet, with over 15,000 members around the world. Talk to other builders, get advice and tips, ask specific how-to questions, view and upload pictures and videos, and generally have fun.
by Glenn Watt
It’s the feel of your favorite bathrobe with a hot cup of coffee steaming in your hand on a morning when you can take your time to get your day going.
It’s the feel of a cold can of your go-to beer, and the satisfying pop of the top before sitting down in your chair to watch your favorite team for the afternoon.
It’s your old dog, faithful and loving, sitting next to you, waiting with loyal eyes to heed your every word.
These situations are all comfortable. They’re simple. They feel timeless, and like they are all your own.
These are things we seek to find stability and joy, reliability, and mastery.
Your cigar box guitar can provide for you these same things.
Your cigar box guitar can give you untold happiness
There is an undeniable nostalgia in re-purposing goods that seem to have lost value. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Creating something from what appears to be nothing is a beautiful accomplishment. When that something can make music, well then it turns magnificent.
However, building your cigar box guitar doesn’t have to involve using a tarnished, bent and twisted, old spoon as a tailpiece or a neck made from a privateer shipwreck. Parts for a guitar can easily all be purchased, some even pre-built. This is exceptionally handy when you have a modest supply of tools and a developing skillset.
The key is to make use of and develop whatever skills and tools you already have
The joy in the pure nature of the cigar box guitar can get lost with unrealistic expectations and standards. Don’t compare your skills, craftsmanship, or tools to what someone else has or has done. There are always going to be people further along the timeline of experience than you. And whatever tools and skills they have, have come over the course of time and possibly many builds.
To find the highest satisfaction in being a builder, develop these three skills
- Humility. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are terrific online communities and groups chock full of people who are glad to lend a hand. There is nothing wrong with not knowing how to get started or how to overcome a particular obstacle. Everyone began with their first build. So will you, if you haven’t already.
- Acceptance. You will make mistakes. Embrace them. Each mistake you make, as small or as large as it may be, is an opportunity…no, an obligation for you to learn. Some of the most exceptional CBG designs that you can find have been born of a mistake turned into something positive.
- Gratitude. Be appreciative of the time you have to build, to explore, to create. Give thanks to those that help you. It’s easy to gripe about not having enough time, not having the “right” tools, and having too much of the dreaded lack of know-how. It’s easy to fly off the handle if you scratch your pristine cigar box with a drill bit or drill a hole in the wrong place. It can be much more difficult to practice gratitude, but developing this tool will ensure continued growth and success as a builder.
These simple skills are imperative to a fulfilling experience.
So enjoy that hot cup of coffee in the morning while looking over your build. Heck, go ahead and build in your bathrobe.
Sit in your chair with your cigar box guitar and feel the instrument in your hands. Feel the weight of in build, the gravity of the situation. This is your creation. This product of your imagination produces music with your attention.
Care for your CBG. Keep it safe in its own place and in plain sight. Your cigar box guitar will wait for you, faithfully, to coax out of it the music you were meant to play.
It’s a simple thing. Find your enjoyment in its simplicity.
Glenn Watt is a maker of simple things. Join him in celebrating the cigar box guitar at glennwatt.com
Have you got a tiny workshop? Have your building projects been relegated to a closet-sized area in the home? Do you feel like you are trying to fit a massive holiday family dinner for the whole clan onto a quaint little table for two?
Follow my four tips to overcome the obstacle of space limitation and enjoy the time you have in your own little workshop.