This is a website about homemade cigar box guitars.

 There are guitars for sale at the bottom of the page.

There is also How to Play and Build Cigar Box Guitar Downloads and cigar box blues music recorded with only these homemade guitars that you can download.


Due to the Corona virus I will be shipping from home - The daily postman still comes mid afternoon.
These packages come strait from my home shop to your house.

I just love the hobby of cigar box guitars! I don't want to quit playing and supporting the hobby of these homemade guitars. 
I will still be in my shop even if I have to wear a gas mask on my face before I quit! Ha!
... but seriously, I really am passionate about cigar box guitars. This hobby is what gives me a great sense of purpose and happiness. I don't want to stop building. My shop is attached to my house so I am safe and I am just NOT stoping my work. 

I will continue to make music and build cigar box guitars!

Anyways, enjoy the videos and music on this site and once again the guitars are for sale are at the bottom of the page. 
There is also three different cigar box guitar music albums, all that can be downloaded right on your computer.

 They say "a photo is worth a 1000 words," so just imagine how many words and sounds this photo  could bring back to life from long ago! 
This is where the "Blues" all started. An old used cigar box and homemade music.
What does this photo say to you?
 This painting is of someone named "L. Rupert" 1868. 
It's from the G.D. Flynn Brewery New River Falls, MA

Cigar box guitars and homemade instruments of all types became popular for poor people from the 1880's up to the 1930's. 
During the Great Depression of the early 1900'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 homemade cigar box guitars.

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.


 This is an all Delta Blues cigar box guitar music download album. It was 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. 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 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 enjoy authentic Delta Blues, American Folk music or Bottleneck slide, you will listen to this CD 100's of times. 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 album only homemade cigar box guitars.

Have a listen to a few songs, you can listen to the entire album and if you like it you can download it at the link button below.

This album is instant download. These mp3 songs play on any computer, phone, or digital device.


If you have any questions email me at

Look at this wonderful cigar box guitar dated Feb 4th 1930. Check out the homemade fret job.  

Cigar Box Americana

If you enjoy authentic Delta Blues and cigar box guitar music from the early 1900's to the 1950's, this download album 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 amplifiers. 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 album with only cigar box guitar music.  

Have a listen to some samples,

Here below is another track of 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.
The best way to learn how to play cigar box guitar is by listening to cigar box guitar music.

This album is instant download. These mp3 songs play on any computer, phone, or digital device.


If you have any questions email me at

Check out this photo of an antique 3 string guitar.

If you look closely you can see that the third tuner comes strait up from the back of the headstock. 
How cool is that!

This guitar must have also been used for slide or Blues guitar because the neck is marked with guitar fret spacing so the player would know where to stop the slide.I would love to have heard this instrument being played. I bet it sounded great.


A lot can be done with a 3 string guitar, you can record real primitive old time blues, but you can also record studio quality slide guitar. 
Have a listen to Fuzzy Whitener - Double Trouble!

Three string guitars are very easy to play. It's 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.

I have recored this video to explain how to play 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. 
 I have broken down in small easy building blocks to learn step by step to 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, 

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 have been playing guitar for almost 30 years. I have spent many years studying slide guitar, early Blues and traditional Rock. I also build and sell cigar box guitars under the name "Red Dog Guitars." My  knowledge on the structure of how the cigar box guitar is built, and the history of these unique guitars has given me a higher understanding than most people about the 3 string guitar. 

 If you want to learn to play great old-time guitar with an authentic sound, 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.

In this How to Play video, there is 
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 video 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 you 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, 

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 in this video we will not study it.  You don't need to learn rocket science to play cigar box guitar.
 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 video will help you "unlock" the building blocks of the 3 string cigar box guitar. 

This Video is instant download. These mp4 video will play on any computer, phone, or digital device.


If you have any questions email me at

 Look at this treasure right here. This is an actual 1930's cigar box guitar with a homemade tin can lid tailpiece. How awesome is this!

Look close and study that craftsmanship, this little guitar must have had quite a story to tell...and the music must have been great!

How To Build Cigar Box Guitars 

Cigar box guitars are very easy to play. But just as easy as they are to play, they are also easy and fun to build.

 I have filmed and editing a download instruction video that 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 video, this is not basic youtube info.   This is 2 hours of complete A to Z Cigar Box Guitar building lessons. It will 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, this video will show you how I make a guitar achieve the unique tone that a Red Dog Guitar has.

  This video 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. It is full of many secrets that can only be found through years of experience.
 I share what to do about the body, freting and homemade fretting like a pro with basic hand tools. I cover headstocks and so much more than you could ever get from 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.

In this 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. 

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 in this video. 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.

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 
 Listen to the tone and sound and let your ear decide if you would like to see this video on how I make mine and how to build with 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.


 Resonators are also covered on this Video

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!
Everyone has asked me how I make my resonators look so unique and sound so crisp and vintage, so I have taken time to 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. The only difference is a metallic surface is used under the bridge to give them a trademark vintage "twangy" sound and tone.
 Here is a sound sample of a homemade resonator guitar.

You can build this exact guitar below, these parts in the photo are made by "Old Lowe" in Rockwall Texas. They have other people who also make them and are for sale in many places online. They are also available in Europe and the United Kingdom.There are many makers of resonator parts that sound great. I also share how to use paint can lids or pot lids etc. to get that old school reso-tone.

There is so much more than I could type about here. I want you to succeed because your success will speak well for the whole hobby. 

With this video 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 your 10th. This video will help give you the ability to make really awesome guitars. 
This resonator guitar is made with no power tools. It's just a stick running right thru a cigar box.  

Make your guitar sound vintage or modern, clean or heavy, ring like a bell or bite like a dog!
It's all possible with the instructions I am going to share with you.
  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. This video lets you peer over my shoulder and see exactly what I do.

This Video is instant download. This mp4 video will play on any computer, phone, or digital device.


If you have any questions email me at

New Music Download  ZZ-Twang

New Music Download  ZZ-Twang 

 It's a super deal!

This is an album of vintage style 3 and 4 string guitar. From old time blues to amped up slide guitar and a mix of both at the same time!
Instead of me using endless words and talking about "music" have a listen to the whole album and you can decide if you want to download it. 

This album is instant download. These mp3 songs play on any computer, phone, or digital device.


If you have any questions email me at

Below are fully built cigar box guitars I have for sale.
This website is always updated, these guitars for sale are the exact ones in the photo.

My email is 

If you have any questions about these guitars, pick up the phone and call me.
My phone number is 1-775-440-1127
If I don't answer, just leave a message. It's also my home phone. (Nevada time zone). If my wife or daughter answers, just ask for John.
 I ship world wide Anywhere in the world safe and secure, Anywhere in the world.

Handmade and homemade. This is a 3 string with a rustic Indian theme. The guitar as well as the parts are homemade and it has a deep crimson red. The photos don't do it justice. It's worn and weathered yet satin to the touch. It looks a 100 years old like it came right off a dusty trail from the old west. 

Shipping anywhere in the world 

If you are interested in this guitar contact me,

email me if you have questions at 

On this pickup, I etched this vintage style art into metal to create a one of a kind pickup that looks as good as it sounds.

Here is a sound sample, it has many types of overtones, some are clear and bell like, some have overdrive, and some are filtered with reverb or delay...these guitars are great for recording vintage style movie and music sound tracks.

If you would like to see and hear other cigar box guitar videos with styles that range from gritty electric slide, to rustic 1920's and 30's style slide and blues. I have about 60 or 70 videos on youtube that you would enjoy. All recorded with cigar box guitars - NO regular guitars!

Look at how cool this old Indian Cigar Box Guitar is, even the pegs are homemade!


The Old Timer - 3 String guitar 

This is the Old Timer 3 string guitar. These are super fun to play guitars and have a great authentic vintage sound. That's what this whole hobby is about.... and playing this guitar is blast! 

 This is one of my favorite guitars to build right now. I have hand drawn this vintage Old Timer brand cigar label art and used this art to engrave and etch it into a rustic wooden cover art for the pickup. 
This guitar is retro, simple and clean. It's painted an old Blue satin, it looks old but it smooth to the touch and painted with an old 1950's lacquer style paint. This guitar really has a great feel in your hands, but just as important it will play Blues unlike any other guitar. 

Have a listen to this video below, it's a homemade recording of 3 string cigar box guitar. 
It's alot of fun to use studio effects when recording these guitars. I like reverb, delay, overdrive, and adding chorus along with certain reverbs really brings the sound recording to life with fullness.

This guitar is made to plug in and play, from Old Time vintage Southern Bottleneck Blues to amped up gritty 1950's Electric Chicago-land slide guitar and everything in between.

If you get lost while watching the video.....
Just remember smoke signals save lives!

Shipping anywhere in the world 

If you are interested in this guitar contact me,

email me if you have questions at 

Simple and clean, this Aviator guitar has a homemade and handmade with a top load hardtail and pickup. This guitar will record vintage Blues and slide like it's strait from the early 1900's.

I've taken the photo above with a 1950's Calrad microphone and Vox amp. It's the total package for at home recording. 
-There's a whole world of vintage mics and amps that you can pair with a cigar box guitar to get the great sound right in your living room.

Shipping anywhere in the world 

If you would be interested in this guitar contact me,

email me if you have questions at 


Not meant to be your only guitar, just your favorite!

This is the guitar you keep near your La-z-boy chair, on the sofa in the living room or near the bed while watching TV. 

This guitar was made for the person who loves the history of cigar box guitars. There is no electric pickup or fancy parts. It's a hand made and homemade guitar the way they made them a hundred years ago. It looks old but it's satin smooth grey and feels great in your hands and on your lap. You will not want to put this guitar down!
I could type till I'm blue in the face, but I will let the music speak for itself.

Have a listen to this video,

I have made these guitars in several different styles, but they all sound the same. Here is another recording of an acoustic 3 string guitar. I have several videos of this style of cigar box guitar on youtube.
Check this one out below, they are super easy to record, just find a quite room and stick a microphone in front of your a few licks and'll sound like you have just stepped right out of the past!

If you are interested in this guitar contact me,

email me if you have questions at


 Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my music and videos with you. Much of this music has taken many years to put together. I hope that you have an appreciation for all the time and effort I put into it recoding and editing all of this music. I just love cigar box guitars!

You can return to the full cigar box guitar website at this link