Have you heard about the well-known country singers or bluesmen whose career started on just a simple cigar box homemade guitar? There are artists like Carl Perkins, Roy Clark, and Jimi Hendrix, who made a great career because of the Cigar Guitar Box and made endless moving stories to their fans. Many people are amused and even pleased that they get to witness artists play a Cigar Guitar Box, for it comes with a short basic string attached in an empty cigar box to produce sound.
Since many can’t afford a very pricey instrument before, many frustrated artists built a guitar out of an empty cigar box, and these creatures of theirs were handmade. Just so you know, most of these artists were the poor black Americans. A Cigar Guitar Box is just a standard cigar box until you integrate music and create a guitar out of it. It’s just a simple box that is made of wood that turns out to be a musical instrument that is capable of creating an unusual, original, and authentic sound.
If you have a passion for music and want to know more about how the Cigar Guitar Box works, this article will discuss this product more.
How to Play Cigar Guitar Box
So you get yourself a Cigar Guitar Box, or perhaps you got it from your father’s long time and oldened stuff, and you’re wondering how to start and how to play. Worry no more as we will give you tips on how to play it yourself. You’ve got to learn just a little understanding of the basics, especially if you are trying to perform a specific song.
The Cigar Guitar Box usually comes in 3 strings, and the two are tuned to the same pitches. These two have limits, and the other one is open to possibilities. You only need to understand the tunings, little scales, and playing with the chords to enjoy this instrument.
Step 1. Just simply tune the 3-strings to the Key of D or My Father’s Tuning. The low D and High D strings contain eight notes in between.
Step 2.You’ve got to do reviews, and one tip to have this is, you must set it to E, G, B, D, and F tune and FACE on the spaces.
Step 3. You only need to skip a fret between everything since C major scale does not contain sharps or flats.
Step 4. Do the finger fretting to play a D major scale from high to low. It is to maintain the same levels and to keep still in the process.
Step 5. Repeat the steps except for the C as this is a natural fret above B. You only begin with the 5th fret on G and play with the notes up to high. Once you master it, you can proceed to progression little by little.
The Easiest Way to Make a Cigar Box Guitar
Do you get that sense of fulfillment every time you build something? How about building your Cigar Box Guitar in your own simplest ways? This section will give you a step-by-step procedure in making a Cigar Box Guitar, which you could consider as a little learning experience.
- Flat-lid Cigar Box
- Tape measure
- 4-foot hardwood
- Razor knife
- sandpapers (different)
- a couple of different files
- coping saw
- lots of clamps
- hot glue or wood glue
Step 1: Making of the Body
In making the body, it is essential to find a box that you like. Having the best box would make your instrument stand out. The neck, which will be discussed later, will be pasted to the top of the box; you would most likely cut first to know where the collar will go through using the coping saw.
Step 2. Creating Circular Sound Holes
On either side of the box, you need to create two circular sound holes to run the neck down to the guitar’s body.
Step 3. Installing the Neck
Making of the neck is quite a time consuming, but if you wanted to keep it simple, just simply run the neck along the entire body, thereby pasting it sturdily to your cigar box’s top. Make sure to use wood glue in sticking it.
Step 4. You need to cut the neck first to your desired length. This will help you know where to add the base.
Once the neck was already cut, you can immediately work on your neck’s heel bottom. You need to cut two pieces of wood for about 4 inches long, and you may cut it from the remaining neck wood. These cut out woods should be glued together using a clamp. Let it dry for 30 minutes, then let the two pieces glued to the central neck board.
Step 5. Making of the head
The head is also an essential part of the guitar, and it should be slightly lowered so that the strings you are going to install will get more tension. You only need to glue another piece of wood to the head and make a gentle curve.
Step 6: Making of the Bridge
In making the bridge, you only need a screw to keep it in place. You need to screw it through the cigar box and into the piece of wood for the neck. And it only needs shaping afterward.
After that, you do the fretting that will be discussed later in this article. Right after fretting, you will need to apply finishing touches so that it’s ready to play.
How to Make a Fretted Cigar Box Guitar
When it comes to making a Fretted Cigar Box Guitar, you should:
- Determine the note on how the string plays. You must restrict the length along with parts that vibrate.
- Make use of the fret wires and cut them a little long using dremmel. You then grind them to shape.
- Paste the wires on the top of the fret using wood glue or epoxy. Make sure you accurately measure the distance from the top fret going to the bridge.
- Once done, you can stick the frets in to proper place. You will be using plywood and clamps to hold frets in place.
- Let the glue dry and cut the edges using dremmel, and then it‘s done.
10 Cigar Guitar Box
If you want to know the best-selling Cigar Box Guitar in the market, take a look at these products along with its one of a kind features that could help you decide the best one to have.
1) Incredibly Fun Side Guitar – 3 String Electric Blues Box Slide Guitar Kit (EBB) by Hinkler
Editor’s Rating: 4 out of 5
Experience an even and classy performance with this cigar box guitar by Hinkler. It is called The Electric Blues Box Slide Guitar, and it comes with a kit. The kit would give you the convenience you need as this guitar is easy and straightforward to handle and contains everything you need instantly.
This little instrument is good for its price. From homemade DIY cigar box guitar to jumping with an integral pickup and CD with complete instructions, this one is a whole lot of package and increases your blues-playing confidence. It comes with three strings that have an open G tuning and made in high action, so it is not meant only to be used and played with a bounded glass slide.
The setting up is also natural, and it weighs lighter than the Ukulele, that’s why you don’t have to worry about comfort when it comes to playing it. Overall, this product is a good catch, especially because you can feel the history of blues and touches of melancholy long ago. It’s one way of remembering those people.
Easy to install – It comes with some string-guide ferrules, and you can easily add strings to the guitar. In short, you don’t need much assembly and taking time for it.
Can be lap-side guitar- You can hold it with ease and tuck under your strumming elbow like a ukulele
Affordable – The guitar is not that pricey to its quality. The materials were made of high standard and quality that are worth more than the price C.D.s contains 20 tracks- It contains companion tracks that can be played with a backing band. Very ideal for starters and those who are in the process of learning.
- Thick rectangular neck
- Strings are tuned to GDG
- Set-up with electric pickup
- Kit contains the history of cigar guitar box
- Has strumming, slide and picking techniques
- Could play long tracks
2) The Best New Orleans Themed Graphic Design – “French Quarter” 3-string Acoustic-Electric Cigar Box Guitar – Fun to Play, Made in the USA!
Editor’s Rating: 5 out of 5
Increase your guitar skills with this French Quarter Cigar box guitar from C.B. Gitty and enjoy lots of beautiful pieces. This guitar is considered to be the top of the line among guitars, as this is highly planned to get the heart of essential and fundamental stringed instruments. If you are up to collecting things made from the United States, then you might want to consider this one, as this was made by hand.
You will be impressed by its quality, as this is made up of long-lasting materials and guaranteed to be sturdy and durable. Moreover, this is also made up of a tone-rich box that is wooden, necks that are also made from hardwoods, and reliable hardware materials. Despite its built and finish, the quality of the sound stands out.
The performance is suitable, and the intonation is on point. It has an amusing acoustic tone with contact pickups that are built-in if ever you need to strengthen it. Always the finest of all at a very affordable price even if it was made from the U.S., and the drawing is made directly using a very tough ink. You will always get the price you paid with this one of a kind guitar.
Built to last- This cigar box guitar is designed to last long even after how many use. These are craft boxes made of wood that don’t break easily.
Authentic sound – if you set the strings accordingly, it produces a smooth and original tone.
Impressive design – This guitar attracts many buyers because of its New Orleans them graphics that are made out of real art
Easy to play – Even if you are a beginner or a professional, playing with this guitar is just a piece of cake as it’s like all the modern guitars nowadays. Clear instructions- Also come with clear and detailed instructions that could be a big help to users
- Comes in the original design of the street maps of New Orleans
- Contains three strings
- Tuning is an Open G
- Broad high-pitched traditional/country tune
- Chromatic Fretting style
- Pickup is built-in into an Amplifier
3) The Easiest, Most Affordable and Simple Box Guitar- Complete”Pure & Simple” Cigar Box Guitar Kit
Rate of Editor: 4 out of 5
If you are looking for an original, playable yet straightforward cigar box guitar, this complete Pure and Simple Cigar Box Guitar is the one for you. This is known to be the most natural kit to build and allows pretty much anyone to put together to be able to play. The built is very simple, but once you happen to play with it, you will experience that mellow sound in your head that you’ve been longing to hear.
Everything is pre-marked and even pre-made so that it is easier for you to put on the screws, tap the string ferrules, string it up and start playing. There will be no wasted time for the set-up and more time for practicing and performing into a whole new level.
Despite its simple appearance, this beautiful and simple guitar sounds good. It could catch the attention of the listeners once it is being played by the best guitarist. Everything you are looking for a low key guitar is with this one, and this is ideal for beginners and amateur artists who are starting to learn.
Bare and straightforward- Its simplicity is its edge among all cigar box guitars. But this does not limit its capabilities to be the very bright guitar
Comes in a kit – The kit contains all the necessary parts to let the cigar box guitar function. It includes the hardware, neck and the instruction booklet
Easy to install- It only requires a screwdriver and small hammer to assemble. It will not take you long to install.
Affordable- The price is just appropriate to its quality, and it is built to be durable Quality sound – The sound it produces is undoubtedly excellent and pleasing to the ears.
- Complete set in a kit
- The neck is pre-marked with visible fret lines
- The kit was built as “stick on top” style
- Nice loud CBG tunes
- Nylon Strings with ball ends
- With Piezo pick
4) The Best Cigar Box Guitar with Great Sounding Ukulele – 19 Fret Concert Rosewood Spruce Top Print Vintage Cigarbox Ukulele with Case, Royal by Bugs Gear
Editor’s Rating: 4 out of 5
If you are fond of hearing ukuleles sound, then this 19 Fret Cigar Box Guitar by Bugs Gear sounds more practical. This Cigar Box Guitar comes with Top Water Decal print with Ukulele that will surely enhance your guitar skills. The back and top portion are made of plywood, and you can design it yourself.
The Ukulele sound of the BugsGear Cigarbox is better when it is mixed with other ukuleles. You will enjoy playing with this and the people who hear its sound in a gig. Overall, you will be satisfied and can practice and perform with a quality sound.
Includes many chords – One way to practice and master because of the chords included in each of the 12 keys
Easy to play – despite its too many chords, this guitar is known to being user-friendly
Complete guide or instruction – The instructions were clear and easy to understand Ideal for beginners- It contains a summary of easier chords for first-timer.
- Three strings in GDG tuning
- Simplified chords
- Made of durable plywood
- With Top Water Decal Paint
5) James Neligan CASK-PUNCHCOAL Acoustic-Electric Resonator Cigar Box Guitar
Editor’s Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
For those who wanted to learn the characteristics of a sound color of resonator guitars, the PUNCHCOAL cigar box guitar is a good try. This guitar openly allows you to come up with original tuning variants. Strings are being apart purposely so that users can easily play with it in slide or picking styles.
This is your one of a kind cigar box guitar for gigs and lives performances as it gives electric P90 pickup experience. It is a real deal, and it got all the qualities of an ideal resonator. Even if it is smaller than the others, it undeniably produces compressed sound.
High-quality sound – Even if it appears smaller, this cigar guitar box will give a great sound that would linger in your ears for long
Lightweight – This cigar box guitar will provide convenience to users because it will not cause any stress to the arms after hours of playing Durable – This guitar is built from materials that are from the highest qualities. It gives you confidence while performing because you know it will not get damaged.
- Four stringed guitar
- Single cone wooden resonator
- Diecast nickel with chrome knobs machine heads
- Contains volume and tone controls
- P-90 pickup electronics
6) The Flexible Cigar Guitar Box – The”Reso-Plate” 3-string and License Plate Resonator Guitar Kit
Editor’s Rating: 4.4 out of 5
If you are looking for a guitar that is very flexible in playing all kinds of music, including country, folk, or blues, then the Reso-Plate 3 string Cigar box guitar will give you everything you need. It comes with a kit to quickly assemble whenever you play it. This guitar has a license plate resonator and new plywood where you can make your design.
There will be no advanced woodworking to do with this cigar box guitar because only the essential clamping, slight drilling, and managing screw are all it needs to come up with a three-string tenor guitar. The kit includes strings that are compatible with GDG Tuning and open more for more tuning.
Flexible tuning – This guitar is not only limited to GDG tuning, as this is also open for more tuning you desire.
Easy to assemble – You will not need a lot of time to have it assembled. Only the minimal installation and assemble is required before you play with it. Recommended for beginners- This cigar guitar box is not difficult to use. Even novices can play ad learn from it.
3-string license plate guitar
23 inches scale length
Has real license plate for resonator
With full fretboard
7) The Easy to Build with Great Acoustic Tone Cigar Box Guitar – Tupelo Tenor 4-string Electric Box Guitar kit
Editor’s Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars
This Tupelo Tenor is an electric cigar box guitar kit that comes in 4 strings with “Open G” tuning. It has a nice lipstick tube pickup that would help you play with ease. The name was derived from a town called Tupelo, Mississippi, in the core of Blues Country and the place of birth of the king.
Just so you know, Tenor guitars have been used for how many and considered underrated. Now it’s time to change that impression because this one offers a significant upgrade from being a 3-string cigar guitar box to becoming 4-string.
Upgradable – This cigar guitar box expanded from being 3-strings to 4-strings
Easy to assemble- Assembling of this guitar is easy and would only consume little of your time
Instructions are clear- This cigar box guitar come in detailed instructions that would help you in using and assembling
- 23 Inch Scale Tenor Guitar
- 4-string electric cigar box guitar
- Contains top panel flips for left and right-handed guitars
- Amplifying sound
8) The Best Electric Cigar Box Guitar with Ukulele – The Electric Strum Box Ukulele
The Electric Strum cigar guitar box is the most sought after guitar because it encourages users to also learn with ukuleles. It is a complete kit that contains everything that you need, even if you’re just learning. It comes with a book that is very helpful as it includes illustrated instructions on how to play and assemble.
This one impresses because it helps guitarists to have a correct positioning of the finger as well as posture. When you are planning to play and practice, you can make use of the CD and do an original piece using this cigar guitar with the Ukulele. The stage is truly yours.
Flexible mode of play – You can play it acoustically or electrically.
Easy to assemble – Assemble with be quick as instructions were clear and understandable Guides finger positioning – This guitar helps those who are just learning to strum as it features finger positioning
- Four strings with A, E, C and G tuning
- 32-page instruction book
- Amp for significant volume
9) The DIY Best Cigar Box Guitar – Tin Pan Alley 3-String Cigar Box Guitar Kit
Editor’s rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
Get into your inner star attitude and be creative with this complete kit Tin Pan Alley Reso-Cigar Box Guitar. This kit contains a complete set of cigar guitar that is easy to build because of simple hand tools. You will be having a great time customizing and building it.
It sounds awe-inspiring, that’s why it is recommended for music lovers. This is very affordable, and everything about this is worth the price. The kit also includes some of the accessible components of CBG that will help beginners and learners. This product nailed it, especially getting a sense of fulfillment after assemble.
Detailed instructions –The kit comes with easy and clear instructions for assembly.
Can make you decide the design – This guitar has an unfinished body to let you come up with your design Basic tools needed – There’s no complex tool to install or assemble, only the basic ones that are easy to install
- Fully fretted neck
- 25 inches standard guitar scale size
- 3- string open-gear tuners
- With basic hand tools
10) The Best Cigar Guitar That an Amazing Sound – “The Chicago” Premium Electric 3-String Cigar Box Guitar Kit
Editor’s Rating: 3.4 out of 5
This Chicago Premium Electric Guitar Kit provides everything you are looking for in a Cigar box guitar. It creates an astounding sound with heirloom quality. You can never go wrong with this as this is truly an advanced kit that encourages DIY savvy people to work creatively.
The kit contains all the essential items to build a quality electric cigar box guitar. Also, the items are made of decent quality to ensure that the one you will be playing is durable and sturdy. You will be pleased and impressed with this because it is not only affordable, but it is proven to work with your talent.
High-quality – This cigar box guitar is built from high-quality materials as well as the tools
Complete set – Every essential you need are inside the kit Unique design – This cigar box guitar is different from the usual guitars. It has an unusual box that is durable
- 25 inches scale
- With Open GDG tuning
- 3-string Bridge with wrench and screws
- Finest Wooden Cigar Box
- Pressed and fit knobs
Right before deciding on buying instruments of any kind, you must be looking for something that is a total package. The same is true when you plan on purchasing Cigar Box Guitars. There are so many factors when it comes to buying this instrument, and these are:
An ideal Cigar Box Guitar should be long-lasting and durable. It must be in their excellent condition because you will be playing with it. Look for something that has sturdier built and correctly pasted box because it would be very embarrassing if you are performing in front of the crowd, and it suddenly gets broken or malfunctioning.
Quality of sound
After the durability, the next important feature to consider is the quality of sound. An ideal cigar box guitar must be able to produce or deliver a very high quality of the tune. Always choose a piece of music that reminds you of beautiful melodies that come to age.
Easy to carry
Look for a cigar that is easy to bring so that whenever you are playing with it, you will not get tired quickly, especially your arms. As much as possible, choose the product that is light in weight.
With blank strings
Cigar box guitar without strings is way better than those with built-in strings. It gives you the chance to look and install string that is of excellent quality and helps in producing quality sound.
Contains a manual or instruction book
Products with detailed and understandable instructions are ideal to come up with the best guitar and to play it with ease and fun.
We know that a lot of questions are bugging you about the cigar box guitar. In this part, we will give you the frequently asked questions that will surely help you.
Is it easy to play a cigar guitar box?
Yes. It is easy to play a cigar guitar box as long as you know the basics. This is somewhat an old school guitar, and if you know how to play modern guitars, then it is easier for you to play with cigar box guitar.
Who invented the cigar guitar box?
According to its history, the cigar guitar box was created by two American Civil War Soldiers at a campsite. These two soldiers designed the instrument, and one of them is playing with a cigar box.
What strings do you use in a cigar box guitar?
Cigar box guitar usually comes in 3-strings. In choosing the strings, it should be based on a “medium” weight that sold in a standard 6-string. In this 6-string, it includes the three highest-pitch strings to avoid leftovers.
How is a cigar box guitar tuned?
Cigar box guitar is tuned through strings. These strings can produce the standard tuning, like the “Open G” or the GDG tunings. Take note that the weight of the strings and gauges are significant factors when you are trying to tune your guitar.
Old-school stuff never goes out of style if we take care of it. The Cigar box guitar is one of the instruments that people or artists patronize until today. This musical instrument was beyond the expectations of many. Many people have also upgraded and making a modern and a new one because some would prefer using it than the high-tech ones.
With all the cigar box guitar mentioned in this article, you now have the idea or preferences in buying. We highly recommend the French Quarter 3-String Acoustic and Electric Cigar Box Guitar for you. This product is the top of all, and the user was impressed. In the end, it’s all up to you. You must know what entails an ideal guitar, and if you have a passion for playing the guitars, it would be easier for you to learn cigar box guitar.