#1 resource for Cigar Box Guitars, Free Plans, How-To, Parts & More!
Presented by C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply, your one-stop-shop for Cigar Box Guitar parts and accessories!
I am currently working on my 1st CBG after discovering this website, and having a blast thanks to you all!
I am building an acoustic (for now at least) 1 string, broomstick type fretless unit to be played with a slide...I am not a musician, just looking to have fun on this 1st build and be able to play around with it.
On the forums I read about the std. 24.5 - 25.5" scale length, but would like to make mine a bit longer....say 27-29". The 1st of several reasons is that I cut my round neck hole just below the box lid bottom in order to have more resonance from the box...of course, after hours of pouring thru the forums I see I should have squared off the "internal" section of the neck going thru the box in order to raise the neck level w/the box for easier playing/string height. Noobie mistake # 1.
2nd, based on my "fretboard" height in relation to the box, I am worried that if I use a 25.5" scale length I will have a very limited area on the neck to play before the strings hit the top edge of the box where it meets the neck.
3rd, I would like the bridge to rest in an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable location on the box if possible. This pic shows approx. where I'd like to place the bridge.
I've read that a tall string height is not a problem using a slide, so I was hoping to use a longer scale with a tall enough bridge & nut setup to allow clearance for my neck issue.
Please let me know if you would suggest I make the 25.5" work, or what issues I might run into if I go with a longer length....or any other problems you see in my photos.
Thanks in advance, Joe.
If you are not concerned with tuning the string to any specific pitch (note), the scale length does not matter at all. A guitar has a standard scale length of about 25". Standard guitar strings are gauged so they come to the correct pitch utilizing this scale length. The longer the scale, the lower the note. This means the string will be heavier too. At about 27" you are going into the baritone guitar range. I hope this information helps. Enjoy your build, Keni Lee
Thanks for the reply Keni Lee. When you say going into the baritone range, couldn't I just pick a different (higher pitch) string from a set in order to compensate & get back to a similar tone as a 25" scale would have produced or will the difference be too great to accomplish this way? Sorry for my lack of musical knowledge...I appreciate your help very much! Joe
Experiment. String tension and tone is important. If the string tension is too loose, the vibrational energy will be weak and not vibrate the box. If the string tension is too tight, it locks up the instrument and the box does not vibrate either. Thin strings create less engergy than heavier strings. This is what happens when you go away from a standard. Uncharted space. Trying different strings and tunings is the best way to actual hear the sound. You are building a prototype, not a final model. It is trial by error around here. Enjoy.
Thanks again for your help Keni!
Thanks for all your input. Strings are long enough so I think I'm going to build it 1st without glueing & go from there.