Hello! new member here and i have not posted yet so i think it's time! Sadly not for a good reason.

I have just finished my first Cigar box guitar and strung it up. When tuned to GDG i get a buzz on the thickest string when not fretted and it goes away when i fret. I have squeezed the box in a few spots to see if that would help but no luck. I have pushed down on the nut and the bridge but no luck there either but it sound like it's coming from the nut or bridge.

I have a video of how it sounds attached.

It really bugs me that i can't get a clean note as i have to learn how to play too! 

I hope someone of you kind people can help me with this because i'm eager to start to play! 

Views: 226


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Good video you attached, but it is hard to hear the buzz with internet connections and cheap speakers.

Since you said the buzz goes away when you fret a note, try this little test to confirm if the nut is the source of the problem.

Dig around a find a smooth nail that is thick enough to slide under the strings at the nut and hit all three strings. This effectively forms a zero fret.

Pluck your bass string. If the buzz is gone, then the nut (not the bridge) is the source of the problem.

I couldn't see the nut in your video, but I assume it is a plastic/bone nut with string guides filed into it.Inspect the groove for the bass string closely to make sure the string fits against the bottom of the groove. You may need to smooth the groove and taper it slightly toward the tuner side.You could also slip a small piece of paper between the string and the nut to see if the nut groove is too wide.

Somewhere in these checks you should be able to isolate the buzz and exorcise it from your guitar.

Keep us posted

Thank you very much for the reply! 

Okey! i kinda understand what you mean but not fully, So i should find a nail that fits Under the strings in the groves in the nut or should i put a thick nail under the strings right before the nut? Im sorry that don't understand i all. 

Yes it is a 3D printed nut from PLA plastic with groves already made, i know that PLA isn't optimal but i gave it a shot! Okey i think i will try to put a little piece of paper under the bass string too.

I really hope that one of these tests help me to get rid of the buzz! 

And again, thank you so much for the help and i will absolutely kepp you posted! I have to do it tomorrow though because i don't want to wake up the whole house.. ;) 

Just find a 6D or 8D common nail and slide it under the three strings, then push it back against the nut. That will take the nut out of the system. If your buzz goes away, the the buzz is coming from the nut.

Oh so i just slide the nail under the strings on the fretboard and then push it up against the nut so the strings are laying on the nail instead of the nut? If that is how it's done i think i got it! I'll update you tomorrow! 

You got it.............

Hi Emil, an easy way to check is to lift the string out of its slot and lay it on top of the nut. If the buzzing stop the issue is either the nut slot or the slot is too deep and the string is buzzing on first fret. 


Hello again! 

I have now losen the strings and put a tiny piece of paper under each string and the sound is gone! 

Do you think the paper will hold or do i have to make a new nut? 

Anyways, i am super happy that it finally sounds right! 

Thank you for the help Tom! And you too Taffy for suggesting kinda the same thing as Tom! I really appriciate it! 

Congratulations! You now have control of the unwanted sound, but the cause is still not positive.

Since the paper could do one of two things (or both) you should try to narrow this down.

First, the paper might have raised the string just the tiny amount needed to keep the string from buzzing against the first fret. Not likely, but possible. Take a look and see how much clearance between the string and the first fret. If there is around a dimes thickness of clearance, then the problem was not string buzzing against the fret.

The other possibility is that the slot in the nut is either too wide and the string is bouncing around in the slot. The paper is taking up a little  of that space so the string cant buzz. Or, the bottom of the slot is not smooth.

Bottom line is that the paper will work for an indeterminate amount time. Maybe a day, maybe a year. You could just forget the problem for a while and enjoy you new guitar (that's what I would do) or you can continue to chase down the root cause of the problem.

Thank you! 

I think it has to do with the slots in the nut, either are they too wide or not smooth as you said.

So if i deside to make a permanent fix i will make a new nut with narrower slots and much smoother again as you suggested!

Yes i think i'll forget the problem for a while and just enjoy it! Yeah i think that that's what most people would do ;) 

Thank you again for the help! You helped to find and fix my problem and i really appriciate that!  

Enjoy the music

Hi, glad you got it sorted and its great,I think, when a member asks a question and responds with their solution or cause of the problem. Others can learn not only from a builders mistake ( we all make them ) but also which of the many solutions offered worked in that instance.

Tip, if I may. I know they are referred to string slots, but I find it best to make them grooves, about 3/4 the diameter of the string deap. Strings can buzz on the walls of deap slots.


What Taffy said about string slot dept............


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Box thickness effect on sound

Started by Infirmity Citrus President in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans Jul 31. 3 Replies

Ghost pickup

Started by Michael shrader in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Taffy Evans Jul 29. 5 Replies

Files download

Started by David Herrera in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Timothy Hunter Jul 14. 9 Replies

The Cigar Box SITAR Experiment - by Shane Speal

Started by Cigar Box Nation in Feature Articles. Last reply by t-belly johnson Jun 16. 2 Replies

Latest Activity

t-belly johnson commented on bemuzic's video
9 hours ago
t-belly johnson liked bemuzic's video
9 hours ago
t-belly johnson liked Poorness Studios's video
9 hours ago
t-belly johnson commented on Poorness Studios's video

Got My Mind Set on You (cover on acoustic guitar)

"Crackin` tune, crackin` cover! One of the first records I ever bought was George Harrisons.....I…"
9 hours ago
Rich commented on Rich's video

Justin Johnson for RTL guitars

"Thanks, Doug. and Uncle John. and Poorness. and A.D. This man has magically gifted fingers."
10 hours ago
MadGomer replied to Paul Craig's discussion What's on your workbench?
"Unfortunately just the box!"
10 hours ago
Uncle John commented on Jim Winslow's photo


"Oh yeah!  Very nice looking sixer."
12 hours ago
Uncle John commented on Jim Winslow's photo


"Nice shape and color.   Cool room too."
12 hours ago
Uncle John commented on Jim Winslow's photo


"Mighty good makings.  Nice box!"
12 hours ago
Uncle John commented on A.D.EKER's video

Give me all your Loving A .D. Eker 2022

"Good, good and getting side ways - at least in your pic.   I think one of my sons and his…"
12 hours ago
A.D.EKER commented on A.D.EKER's video

Give me all your Loving A .D. Eker 2022

"   i am the DutchGuy  Born and Raised !     Gets the Blood Pumping !!"
12 hours ago
A.D.EKER posted a video

Give me all your Loving A .D. Eker 2022

a Ode to the Old Rockers ZZTop, Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Tod Rundgrun, ACDC, who where not afraid to shout out, what the state off affair was at the time...
12 hours ago


© 2022   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->