#1 resource for Cigar Box Guitars, Free Plans, How-To, Parts & More!
Cigar Box Nation is sponsored by C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply, your one-stop-shop for Cigar Box Guitar parts and accessories!
Since I can't play yet the question is only academic. My second CBG goes to my friend who gave me the boxes. Kind of what it to sound better than project 1. Was wondering if mattered.... don't want to go down the road I did with my first CBG, nut to bridge length 29" and frets calculated and marked accordingly but can't get the thing in tune. Probably attributed to light acoustic guitar strings verses what should be bass guitar strings... I don't know. Either way the next box will have a 25.5" nut to bridge length.
Tuning is getting the open strings in tune - which every player has to do each time he plays.
Intonation is getting the notes on the frets in tune - which is done by the builder. If it needs fixing, most players (of regular guitars) take it to a guitar repair shop to get it done.
Basically, to do it you need to get the 12th fret in tune. If your fret spacing is right, the others will be in tune as soon as the 12th is.
1. Tune the string to the desired pitch.
2. Play the 12th fret harmonic (get a guitar playing friend to show you how). This is always exactly an octave above the string.
3. Fret at the 12th fret and play the note. The target is to get this exactly an octave above the open string.
4. Compare the two pitches.
5. If the fretted note is higher, move the bridge (in very small increments) away from the nut.
6. if the fretted note is lower, move the bridge closer to the nut.
7. Repeat until the pitches match (don't skip step one each time).
Do this for the first string. Then do it again for the last string - moving only that end of the bridge. And you'll have the intonation as right as it can be for those strings and frets.
If you didn't do this for your first build, that may be why you couldn't get it in tune.