Open G “GDG” is one of the most popular tunings (if not THE most popular) for 3-string cigar box guitars. For a CBG with a scale length between 24 and 26 inches, use these string sizes: .042” (Low G), .030” (Middle D), .009” (High G). This is one of our most popular Southbound String Co. string sets.
We have much more info about strings and tunings for cigar box guitars in our knowledgebase. Click here to browse through them.
If you keep breaking a string trying to get it up to pitch on your cigar box guitar, try moving a gauge or too smaller. For example if you are trying to get a .012” plain steel string up to high G and it snaps, try a .011 or .010” instead. In general, smaller = higher, larger = lower in terms of strings, pitch and optimal tension. Check out our knowledgebase articles about strings to learn more!
You can also make it easy on yourself by grabbing some of string sets for cigar box guitars available from the Southbound String Company, from C. B. Gitty.
We just added sound clips to go along with each of the tunings in the Open G “GDG” Tuning Article, so you can hear what each string combination sounds like when strung up on a cigar box guitar! All four of these clips were recorded on the same cigar box guitar, using the actual strings/gauges recommended in the article. Enjoy!