Cigar Box & Homemade 3 string guitars



This is where the "Blues" all started.
An old used cigar box and homemade music.
This painting is of "L. Rupert" 1868
It's from the G.D. Flynn Brewery
New River Falls, MA





If you are new to this site. This is a website with cigar box guitar information and Disc for sale World wide.  

I also have homemade Cigar Box Guitar Pickups at the bottom of the page. Made just for 3 and 4 string guitar. They will give you a vintage and authentic tone and they drop right down in any neck thru guitar. 




The rest of this webpage is compact disc for sale covering the subject of cigar box guitars.
 I have How to Play and How to Build Cigar Box Guitar DVDs and also Cigar Box Guitar Music CD's for sale.
 All of the music and information on this site is only recorded with cigar box guitars, both 3 and 4 string guitars. No regular guitars were use in recording or filming the videos. 
If you are looking to buy a guitar email me at john@reddogguitars.com or visit reddogguitars.com





This photo was taken sometime in the late 20's to mid 1930's.
Cigar box guitars, cookie tin banjos and homemade guitars and instruments of all types really became popular for poor people during the 1920's and 30's.
During the Great Depression of the 1930's buying an instrument was not really an option for must people, but poverty did not stop people from enjoying music, they just made their own instruments!



Here below is some of the Cigar Box Guitar Music and How to play and Build DVDs I have for sale.
Email me anytime and I do mail them worldwide. anywhere in the world is Flat rate shipping 2.15. Anywhere, same shipping price, just 2.15!


3 String Delta Blues Cigar Box Guitar Music CD

     


 This is an all Delta Blues and cigar box guitar CD disc recorded in honor of the 3 sting guitar. In these recordings, I wanted to record authentic Delta Blues and BottleNeck slide cigar box guitar as realistic as possible. The music on this Disc is played mostly on the three string cigar box guitar. Some of the tracks have 4 string Bottleneck slide cigar box guitar, but all of the tracks are ONLY recorded with cigar box guitars. 

  My goal with this album was to take the listener back to the 1880's to 1930's and relive those Dust Bowl Ballads and Delta Blues Guitar Spirituals played on cigar box guitars. There is NO SINGING or band and NO regular guitars. 
This music is only recorded with Cigar Box Guitars.
Watch this video to hear some of the music



 

   If you love raw, primitive and authentic Delta Blues, American Folk music or Bottleneck slide, you will listen to this CD 100's of times. I recorded it with only cigar box guitars. Listening to this music is like taking a journey into Americas past. Imagine walking through an old ghost town in the 1880's, the suspense, the mystery, the whispers that you can barley hear, there is many fantastic songs played in the Ry Cooder Paris Texas style on this album.
  NO regular guitars and NO singing, The music on this CD is only homemade cigar box guitars.

Thanks for your interest in my music and this is album is for sale anytime, Thanks again, John


This item checks out for purchase thru Paypal with " Buy It Now." The shipping is a flat rate price and the same cost no mater how many items you buy or where you live. It's 2.15 world wide shipping.


After checkout, Paypal will bring you back to this page.



~Dust Bowl Blues~ CD $14.35 USD
shipping worldwide $2.15 USD
14.35+2.15=16.50
Yes, anywhere in the world same price $2.15

Shipping in the USA (8 to 12 days) First Class Mail
Overseas & Worldwide (14 to 21 days) Stamped "Air-Mail

Questions? email  john@reddogguitars.com





How To Build Cigar Box Guitars DVD






HOWTOBUILD.jpg



Cigar box guitars are very easy to play, it's much easier to learn to play and get a true vintage sound on a cigar box guitar than it is on a regular guitar. But, just as easy as they are to play, they are also easy and fun to build.

Hi my name is John, I have filmed and editing the most complete How to Build a cigar box guitar DVD available. I will show you how and what to do, everything is covered from start to finish. It doesn't matter if this is your first time building, or your 10th.
If you already make cigar box guitars, after you study my work, you can take yours to the next level. This is not a basic or introductory DVD, but complete A to Z Cigar Box Guitar building DVD. I am going to show you how to build great sounding cigar box guitars. 
If you would like to build guitars that get that old-time vintage 1880's to 1930's sound, I will show you how I make a guitar achieve the tone and how I build that part into the guitar.

   In this DVD you will learn exactly how to make your guitar sound like it stepped out of the past with a vintage an authentic sound of early Americana.  This DVD will save you many hours of trying to learn on your own. This video is recorded in my shop and you will be buildings guitars along with me. This DVD is from A to Z, the complete start to finish with advanced building of cigar box guitars. It is full of many secrets that can only be found on a Red Dog Guitar. I share what to do about the body, fret-boarding and homemade fretting like a pro with basic hand tools, I cover headstocks of all types and so much more than you could ever get from a book or watching random youtube videos....and yes, Fretting a guitar neck is really easy, even if it's your first time, I will show you how I do it, and all by hand.

On this DVD I will show you more than one guitar, we will cover both the 3 and 4 string as well as homemade resonator guitars. Here is one of my typical 4 string guitars.

 
 Build BOTH 3 and 4 string guitars 

 Here below is a vintage looking and worn out 3 string guitar with homemade metal parts. It has a "weathered" and antique look. The parts are different than the 1884 style guitar above, but it really is the same guitar as the one above.  I explain how I make (or find parts.) I will explain how to be artistic. It will help you understand what I do, so you can create what inspires you. 
I follow the same recipe no matter what I guitar I make, I only make them look different outside, but I always build them the same inside. If you would like to know what I do this DVD will show you how to build your own just like mine.


I will show you how and why mine are different then other peoples and why mine sound so unique. All of the steps are completely broken down on this DVD, from start to finish, I will show you in depth how I build my cigar box guitars. 


Tools and parts Needed

These cigar box guitars are built with just a few basic hand tools that most people have or can borrow from a friend,

  •  a small hand saw 
  • small hand pliers
  • sandpaper and wood glue
  •  a small hand drill 
  •  pocket knife 
  • small hammer / or rubber mallet 
  • small screwdrivers / phillips type
  • a quality ruler (I prefer Metric) Buy a steel ruler, It's the most important tool you'll own and it will last a lifetime!
  • as you can see from the photo below you do not need much at all 

The great thing about these guitars is since you DON'T need power tools, it's kind of liberating if you think about it. If you were to try and build regular guitars, you would need a whole shop of specialized tools, jigs and planes and endless amounts of specialized gear.

This is my work bench, it's nothing fancy, just a small table and a few small hand tools, I don't like clutter and I don't own many tools, that is one reason I love these guitars, they are simple.... this is fun and easy!




Anyone can build a cigar box guitar by hand with only a few common hand tools. That is what's so fun and interesting about them, they are simple by nature, and best part is they sound fantastic.
 Go to you-tube and search "cigar box guitar" and check out many of the other builders, then do a comparison and search and then listen to videos made by me at Red Dog Guitars.com  Listen to the tone and sound and let your ear decide if you would like me to show you how I make mine and show you why mine have that old time trademark vintage sound.
 However, this is not a contest, I am not in competition with anyone. In fact I want others to do well also. I give advice freely to all that ask, the more success people have in this hobby and do well, the better it is for everyone in involved in this hobby.
 I want everyone to build a great guitar. These guitars are easy and fun to build, even if this is your first time. I have many years of experience and I build mine in a way that is unique to me and mine have a sound all their own.


Parts Needed

We will cover all of the parts needed and the many types of homemade ideas possible, Bridges, pickups of all types, hardware etc, everything is covered and explained.  You can use old guitar parts that you can buy for cheap from ebay and flea markets or get creative and make your own parts with stuff from around your house.
 I cover everything on this DVD. This is not a basic or introductory DVD, this is a complete class of Cigar Box Guitar building. The wood, the boxes, different styles of necks and so much more is covered for building a great playing one of a kind guitar with great tone.


 Resonators are also covered on this DVD

Cigar Box Resonator guitars are by far the funnest guitars you will ever play with or without an amplifier.

I will show you how I make mine, it's very easy, it is still a Neck-thru guitar. YES the neck runs right thru the box!

Instead of me making 2 separate DVDs, I just went ahead and compiled both standard cigar box guitar and homemade resonators on the same disc.
Everyone has asked me how I make my resonators look so unique and sound so crisp and vintage, so yes, I explain how I build them.
Building a cigar box resonator guitar is much easier than you think, it's a stick that runs right through the box and is cleverly anchored at the end, it's just a neck thru homemade box guitar!
There are some things I will need to show you, but it's no harder, just a bit more time is needed to construct it.
You can build this exact guitar below, the parts are made by "Old Lowe" in Rockwall Texas and are for sale at the bottom of the page. 
(They are also for sale worldwide on many online sites and available in Europe and the United Kingdom.) I share all my secrets, all the mysteries of my work is explained. There is so much more than I could type here about. I want you to succeed because your success will speak well for the whole hobby. 




Resonator guitar construction is also covered on this DVD, they are almost the same as a standard cigar box guitar. The only difference is a metallic surface is used under the bridge to give them a trademark vintage "twangy" sound and tone. 
This type of guitar is covered in this DVD. Here is a sound sample of a homemade resonator guitar.



With this DVD you will have all of the secrets to incorporate in your own guitar making. Once again, it doesn't matter if this is your first time, or if you want to start a guitar making business or club, this disc will give you the ability to make really awesome guitars. 
 Everything is explained, the tools, the parts, the woods, fretting, the pickups and so much more. All the mysteries explained and secrets revealed and used on Red Dog Guitars that you can use on your own guitar to make the ultimate cigar box guitar.

No matter if this is your first time or 10th, you will build a great sounding guitar. Make your guitars sound vintage or modern, clean or heavy...ring like a bell or bite like a dog!  It's all possible with the information of this DVD.

This DVD is made for standard Television players and is 96 minutes (1&1/2hours) of cigar box building. It is also made and recorded on a simple camcorder, BUT it is a TRUE DVD. This DVD was many weeks worth of work in recording and editing. You can watch it on TV, No need to huddle near a computer. It plays on any TELEVISION worldwide, it will also play on most computers and also in all Blu-ray players.

Ok, I guess that's enough talking, I hope I don't come off as full of "hot air" or "I am so this or that." I have no desire to boast or be anything other than who I am, and that is just a regular guy and the way God has made me. I belive everyone on earth has a unique gift and as odd as this sounds, mine is building homemade cigar box guitars.
  I have been working on and playing guitars for almost 30 years, so you can watch what I do and save a lot of time from making costly mistakes in your work. I only want to be factual and state what is offered on the DVD, I have many years of experience, if you want to see how I build cigar box guitars, this DVD lets you peer over my shoulder and see exactly what I do. Thanks again for your time and God Bless you, John


$28.50 USD

shipping worldwide $2.15 USD

28.50+2.15=30.65
yes! anywhere in the world same price, 2.15
Questions?  email  john@reddogguitars.com
Shipping in the USA (8 to 12 days) First Class Mail
Overseas & Worldwide (14 to 21 days) Stamped "Air-Mail


Region "0" NSTC & PAL-DVD 

Plays in all Television DVD players in the USA, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, and Asia
It also plays in most computers with a disc drive, but it is a DVD and can be viewed on all TV's worldwide 


 photo small how to build lp_zps0jd4mwtw.jpg





 
Cigar Box Americana Music CD



If you enjoy authentic Delta Blues and cigar box guitar music from the early 1900's to the 1950's, this CD disc is full of long lost sounds from America's past. This is old-time Blues music and Southern Bottleneck cigar box guitar that has been recorded on only 3 and 4 string homemade guitars. If you liked the movie Crossroads or the guitar playing from Ry Cooder, you will enjoy the vintage cigar box guitar playing that has been recorded on this Disc.

   To record this music, I've played 3 string cigar box guitars, Electric Bottleneck 4 string cigar box guitars, and Cigar Box Resonator guitars.  I have also used old and vintage 1960's and 70's guitar amplifers. Some were naturally overdriven some were clear as a bell. I've also used the legendary "Pignose" amp to record several songs to get that old time Southern Bottleneck gritty sound. 

 I have also recorded several songs with some old Retro "Radio Guitar Amps." They were antique radios from the 1940's and 50's that have been converted and turned into guitar amplifiers. They record with a really unique and vintage tone. 
The music and songs are all sounds that are vintage and southern in flavor, perfect for study if your trying to learn early Americana or slide guitar, or just enjoy it as a relaxing way to step back in time. There is also some music from Fuzzy Whitener, one of that last old school Bluesmen, and yes, he's playing cigar box guitar. NO regular guitars were used and NO singing and NO band, this is a full music CD disc with only cigar box guitar songs.  The best way to learn how to play cigar box guitar, is to listen to cigar box guitar guitar!

Here below is an old-time "Cigar Box Jukes" song played on a 4 string cigar box guitar. It's colorful and recorded only using a old fashioned 4 string cigar box guitar and a glass slide,




~Cigar Box Americana CD~




CD $14.35 USD
shipping worldwide $2.15 USD
14.35+2.15=16.50
Yes, anywhere in the world same price $2.15

Shipping in the USA (8 to 12 days) First Class Mail
Overseas & Worldwide (14 to 21 days) Stamped "Air-Mail

Questions? email  john@reddogguitars.com
   



How to play 3 string guitar



3 string guitars are very easy to play. It is much easier to learn to how play a cigar box guitar than it is to learn how to play a regular 6 string guitar.


 Delta Blues and early American Folk music that was played on these homemade guitars was created by people who most often could not read music. Nor did they know any music theory or what chords and keys were. Many of them could not even read the written word!

The truth is you DO NOT need to know any math, chords, or complicated music structure to play great sounding 3 string cigar box guitar. If the people who played old time Blues music did not know music theory or complicated math, than neither do you.

On this DVD I will explain early American music from the 1880's to the 1930's and how to play it on 3 string guitar. These lessons teach you how to create and play old time Blues WITHOUT using complicated math. 
We are going to learn and study lessons that I have broken down in small easy to learn step by step building blocks that we will then put together to achieve that heavenly Old-Time Delta Blues sound.

Watch this video, you will see that vintage Blues is easy to learn and play. Slide guitar is basically one finger guitar. Watch my fingers, there is not much movement, watch the entire video, I will teach you how to play this exact type of music.


If you have always wanted to learn to play old school Blues or tried to learn how to play guitar in the past but you've always failed to get the right sound, it was most likely the poor instruction that hindered you from learning. All of that useless math and science theory usually stops most people from learning guitar. That confusing garble gives everyone headaches. You were not alone.




 I remember when I was younger, I was trying to learn from some pro level "Blues" teacher.  When he talked it sounded like he had a mouthful of marbles. He spoke clearly, but it was all just a bunch of babble to my ears. 



Needless to say I never learned a thing from his lessons.



I was Not the type of person who could grasp, "it's a G chord with this note divided by the root and added with a minor 7th,...or it's an open F# with a suspended 9th"...and so on.


I remember thinking to myself, "How am I ever going to learn?"



I just wanted to play and enjoy guitar, I didn't want to study rocket engineering!



I found it too hard and frustrating to learn by looking at confusing fingerings or colored dots or watching fretboard farts by some fast playing music teacher who was using big words and fancy math.



I needed clear English!



Now flash ahead up to today. I have been building and playing guitar almost 30 years. I picked up the guitar and fell madly in love with it at 16, I am now 43. I have been building and selling cigar box guitars for 12 of those years. (Red Dog Guitars)

All of those years of experience playing and building only cigar box guitars has given me a higher understanding than most people about 3 stringed instruments.

 If you want to learn to play great 3 string guitar, the biggest tip for success I can share is "how to hear and think" in simple terms. Most of those pro Blues music teachers make it way too complicated than it needs to be.



This DVD is not like the other standard "hard to learn" courses that every one else has. 



On this DVD,


NO math is involved

NO scientific music theory



NO folding and unfolding fretboard maps and wall charts 



NO confusing books to balance on your knee as you try to play your guitar



This DVD is different. I will explain how to play guitar in clear everyday English. I offer correct explanation of the techniques, how to TUNE the guitar to get a truly authentic and vintage sound, and on your part, you will only need patience and practice. 

I also show on this DVD how to set up your guitar. I like mine to sound gritty with a ruff-edged vintage type sound. I like it when the guitar is kind of scratchy and sounds like it's struggling to stay in tune. It makes the music sound like an old recording from the past.

Let's take a step back in time and listen to something vintage, then I can explain more below. 


Here is something to think about, 

Along time ago, if some guy played music like that sitting on the porch of his farm house, then you can do it too. 

Try this,
Use your imagination and think of a time long ago in the past.  Imagine an old red barn or farm house during a peaceful time 100 years ago.

Think about an old wooden hay wagon at the edge of a corn field. Imagine an old farmer who works the crops in his field. He was just a hard worker from a long ago simpler time, someone from the past who could not read or write. 

Now, visualize him sitting on the porch of his farm house in a rocking chair after a long days work. He's holding in his lap an old homemade guitar that he's made out of a used cigar box and some scraps of wood.
He's just sitting there relaxing, not thinking to hard about what he's doing. He's just strummin' away a breezy afternoon without a care in the world. He's having fun and entertaining himself playing music he likes and making sounds that he enjoys. Nothing fancy about it.
Now picture this part,

 Do you think if me and you went back in time and walked up to him and asked him,

 "Do you know what a D chord is transposed over the major 9th?" 

 Do you think he would know what on earth we were talking about? 

Would he even know what "music theory" was?

The answer is, No.

OK, so I don't have a DeLorean time machine, I am just making a point here, 

If many of the greatest Bluesmen of the last century didn't know complicated music theory and math, then the truth is you don't need to study or know it either. None of it. You do Not have to learn any at all. I don't use it, and on this DVD we will not study it.   In fact, the more music theory and math you try to learn, the farther away your music gets from "Blues" and the more it sounds like contemporary and European music.
 You do not need to learn math or music theory to play great 3 string guitar. 3 string guitar is fun and simpleWith proper instruction on how to create and play that old time Blues era sound from early America, you will then understand how to make your guitar make the "sounds" you want and desire to play. 

 If you have had a bad experience learning how to play guitar in the past, this will not be the same. 
As we progress step by step through this lessons DVD you will start to "unlock" the cigar box guitar. After you have been taught the correct building blocks, then you will start to understand the 3 string guitar. That is in fact the name of this DVD.  This DVD is called "Understanding 3 string guitar."




After checkout, Paypal will bring you back to this page.



Understanding 3 string guitar How To Play DVD
$26.50 USD
shipping worldwide $2.15 USD
26.50+2.15=28.65
yes! anywhere in the world same price, 2.15!
Shipping in the USA (8 to 12 days) First Class Mail
Overseas & Worldwide (14 to 21 days) Stamped "Air-Mail
Questions??? email john@reddogguitars.com

 Thanks again for your time in reading this, John




Old Lowe Resonator Cover and Cone set

These cones and covers are for sale email me at john@reddogguitars.com

The set is $78.50 plus shipping $8.95 USA ($87.45)

World wide shipping is $15.85  The total is ($ 94.35)


email me at john@reddogguitars.com


These guitar are so much fun to play.
Build one for yourself, you will have a blast!






Homemade Guitar 3 and 4 string Pickups



I am going to be making these pickups on special order.
 If you would be interested in putting one on your cigar box guitar,  they are for sale for $68 dollars.

I know that seems like a lot, but they have to be hand made, and they do take quite a bit of effort.

if you want one email at john@reddogguitars.com
please give me 2 to 3 days to complete.
Thank you and shipping is 7.85 USA or 16.50 Worldwide.


As for the size, they are 35 mm wide by 85 mm's long...give or take, each one is hand made.
 These are homemade pickups, they are not high dollar Fender products, these are just simple and fun. 

I would love to see what you make and the music you record with one, they are super neat. They have a rustic look with Old West and 1880's Tobacco art.
They will defiantly bring your cigar box guitar to life and you can add one to your guitar, drops right in easy as pie.

Would you like one? I have lots of art ideas. 
email me at john@reddogguitars.com


 These are just ruff drafts, the possibilities are endless. Email me, Don't be shy! 
I might have the perfect pickup for your guitar.

email me anytime,  john@reddogguitars.com






CD and DVD SHIPPING

SHIPPING WORLDWIDE is the same low price of $2.15 Anywhere in the world. Yes, Anywhere on planet Earth, the same 2.15!

Shipping in the USA takes usually 8 to 12 days. They are mailed First Class Mail. Overseas and Worldwide (12 to 20 days) They are Stamped "Air-Mail."

In case you are wondering?

Why No Downloads???

Well, I am so confident that you will love the music so much, that the anticipation of ordering and waiting for your gritty and neat homemade package to show up, that when it does show up, the fulfilment of receiving an actual item, you will both enjoy it that much more but also have a greater appreciation for all the time and effort I put into it.

I have recorded and put together CDs and DVD packages that I myself would love to receive. I take allot of pride in the simple fact of making sometime handmade with honor and pride. It will brighten your day so much more than simply hitting a "download" button and having it as a folder on your computer desktop.

*** About the "Buy it Now" Button and Shipping ***

To make the shipping cost fair for everyone, and not create a giant email hassle trying to figure out everyone's exact shipping cost. I have set a BELOW cost price of 2.15 per disc that 'checks out' one at a time with a pre set Flat rate, no matter if you order one disc, or 5, they all cost 2.15 per disc to mail.

I have set up this simple check out system this way, otherwise I would have to try to nickel and dime everyone and answer a gazillion emails all to save buyers 10 to 20 cents as shipping is about the same everywhere. It's about 1.95 more or less throughout the United States and about 2.98 in Europe, and 2.38 in Canada, and 2.65 in Australia, on and on.

So, I have averaged shipping out to an even 2.15 anywhere worldwide, from down the street to deep in the Arctic, if you have an address, two-dollars and fifteen cents will get it there. If it cost more, I will pay. If you order more than one disc. The size and the weight goes up and so does the cost. The price at the post office nearly doubles, or triples, etc. So I then add the extra postage to the package to cover the cost and get it there, if possible, faster with an upgraded service from standard First Class to Priority mail if there is enough to cover the cost jump.

Either way I will make sure you get your disc, ANYWHERE on planet Earth, If you have a mail box...I will get these disc to you. Thanks again for your time, John. If you have any questions, email me anytime at john@reddogguitars.com or visit reddogguitars.com



  
 What is a cigar box guitar?
In the South it's common to hear stories that Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins and all those other old-time Blues guys started playing guitar on a cigar box guitar. Not many people who follow Blues and Country music know this, but many famous Blues and Country singers started their career on a simple homemade cigar box guitar. One reason most Blues and Country music has such a distinctive sound is because it was derived off of music made on these simple instruments. 
 The precursor to the cigar box guitar as an instrument was the diddly-bow. It was a one stringed instrument where the player would take a glass bottle neck and run it up and down a string while plucking the opposite end of the string to achieve the tone they where after.
These basic "guitars" did not have frets and this crude form of guitar playing is what evolved into the form of slide guitar were familiar with today. That is what is thought to be the creation of Delta Blues and slide guitar in the "Southern Delta."
Son House, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters to Elmore James, they were all influenced in some way by these early homemade instruments.  Many of them following along in their career as slide guitar players.  That's where the blues and slide guitar truly started at. On those plantations and cotton fields, homemade guitars and 'field hollerin' went hand in hand. Blues players didn't play Gibsons or Martins, they couldn't afford them. If you grew up in poverty and wanted to play guitar, you had to build a guitar yourself.

It's well known Lightnin' Hopkins got his start on the cigar box guitar. If you would like to hear Lightnin' himself talk about his homemade guitar, watch this short video. Better than me typing it out, listen to the man himself telling you some of the history about this wonderful type of guitar. 

 
 This excerpt is taken from documentary about the life and times Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins (1912-1982) Copyright / Fast Cut Films, in association with Sunset Productions. I have presented it here for educational and commentary purposes only in relation to the brief discussion about of the history of the cigar box guitar. (Copyright Law 107-Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use section; 40) All Copyrights for this material are the property of their respective owners.
 This story about what would make a poor person use a cigar box for a guitar in the first place began in the mid 1800's. The Cigar boxes that we are familiar with today didn't exist prior to the 1840's. Prior to then, cigars were shipped in larger crates containing 100 or more per case. 
 But after 1842, due to exploration of the West, cigar manufacturers started using smaller, more portable boxes with only 20-50 cigars per box. In the Old West and through out the late 1800's cigars were extremely popular. Card games, Saloons and of coarse those great Mississippi Paddle boats helped spread tobacco throughout early America and because of the widespread popularity of smoking in those days, many empty boxes would be just laying around. 
 Unlike times are today, the 1800's were a simpler time for Americans, when necessity was truly the mother of invention. Being that most American music was based off of stringed instruments, using a cigar box to create a guitar, fiddle, or a banjo was an obvious choice for a few crafty souls. The earliest proof of a instrument made from a cigar box that has been found is an etching of a Civil War solider at the "Siege of Charleston." c.1865
 Even during the War, there was a passion for music in America as it was of great relief from the stress of war. After The Civil War, America was in ruins. Little money was had to buy instruments. One thing for sure about American resilience is that ingenuity was abound. After the War both Union and Confederate Soldiers along with now freed Slaves carried this creative homemade guitar back with them to almost every corner of America. People used left over wood, cigar boxes, biscuit tin cans, string, broom handles, baling and screen wire and whatever else was lying around the house, shed or barn to create these crude homemade instruments. Making a "home-made" guitar was the only choice for the impoverished.
  Those humble beginnings of the cigar box guitar are what eventually gave this little known guitar a home in music history. This tradition of making and playing a homemade guitar continued from the 1880's for many decades up until the 1950's.....but it never stopped there, many small magazine articles from the 60's, 70's and 80's keep this art form alive. 
 Even though this form of guitar has faded into obscurity, some Blues and Rock musicians still enjoy playing them today.

Here is a wonderful example of one being played today, it really does take you back in time, Watch this video of Billy Gibbons of ZZ-Top playing a homemade cigar box guitar. You will enjoy this song, have a listen,




This sound recording of Ry Cooder's song "Billy The Kid" is performed by Billy Gibbons of ZZ-Top and is an excerpt from a Mark Maron interview. I have presented it here for educational and commentary purposes only in relation to the brief discussion about of the history of the cigar box guitar as a long forgotten instrument in American history. (Copyright Law 107-Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use section; 40) All Copyrights for this material are the property of their respective owners.
 Today's modern and Chinese made guitars can't even come close to the true primitive sound these homemade guitars make. Cigar Box Guitars can be channeled into a creativity that many musicians desire for in playing with more authentic sound. Blues guitarist in particular, really enjoy playing cigar box guitars in the search of hearing "Delta Blues" in its purest form. Today you can still find guitar players who are looking for that raw and authentic sound and they chose to play cigar box guitars.
 
 If you have time, come check my guitars out, they are my passion to build and play. I enjoy seeing other people play them and seeing the joy they create in peoples lives.  Goggle "Red Dog Guitars" to see more of my work. or click here
reddogguitars.com