I do not have any previous music playing or building experience, but have fallen in love with the CBG.  I’m ready to try to make my own little 3 string, but I’m stumped by a very stupid issue.  I’ve watched many different CBG videos on the internet. Some people seem to have a slide guitar and some don’t, but I can’t find building plans that reflect a difference.  What am I overlooking? I want to make the slide.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :)

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Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance. Enjoy, Keni Lee 


Clock's link to Crow's plans is a good one.  I've built a couple of Crow-style guitars, and they work well.  My favorite set of newby plans are here.  These are the "original" plans that kinda got the whole thing going.  The slide issue isn't really a big deal--just don't put on raised frets (draw them on with a marker or wood-burner) and keep your action fairly high (which, if you follow the directions on either set of the above plans, will happen anyway).  Enjoy.  There's actually very little that you can screw up that will ruin your first build.

theres no reason not to put 'raised' frets at all..

just so you understand, you can play slide guitar just fine on a fretted guitar, so its not really a choice of 'one or the other'.. once you do start fretting your necks (and im not saying you need to be doing it right away at all) you do not preclude the instrument from playing it with a slide, this is absolute rubbish.  Ry cooder and muddy waters got by fine with frets on their necks, no??


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 I have just made my first guitar, which i gave to my brother as i do not know how to play .He reckons its good.I used Mike Orr's book. I made a 4 string slide guitar using scraps and a sweet tin only took about an hour to build easy if you have basic diy skills.

If you have or want to buy the fretwire and tools to fret the neck, and have the time and desire to do it, then that will give you more options since you can play fretted or with a slide.


But, if you just want to play slide, there is no reason to bother with frets. You'll finish your guitar faster and be playing some bottleneck in no time. Watch Shane Speal's videos to see what can be done with pure 3-string slide, a little learning, some experimentation and practice. If you get into it and decide you really want frets, there's no reason you can't just build another one!

Welcome CW!

Unless you are a real craftsman, then you might become frustrated and impatient trying to get your first build off the bench and playing.  I'd recommend banging out a simple 3-string fretless with a poplar neck and start learning simple chord riffs and one string licks.  2 or 3 chords and the truth.  The Crow style guitars are a great and easy start but it isn't too much harder to put the neck inside the box either.  Bottom line is to get that guitar playing.  :)

You'll get the bug and want to build more for sure and fretted necks are not hard to build, but they do require some attention to detail and technique.  Failing some good patience you might not be happy with the playability of your first build being fretted.  I said "might."

Happy building!


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