What do you like in an instrument?   Do you like them pretty?   Fancy?   Different?   Well worn?   Do you like pretty woods and a pretry back of the guitar?  Big or small-  does size matter?


I like a smaller instrument and cbs fit the bill.  Comfy.  :).   If I am chording or picking, I want low action, good  tone and volume, no buzz.....   And I like bass over treble.  


If I am using a slide, I like higher action, but still want to be able to finger fret.


I admire the pretty and fancy builds on the nation.  But I am not real pretty and I don't like to play a pretty guitar...   I do not give a tiny crap if the back is real nice or non!   It's okay if you do!  


In CBGs, I want the above likes, + I want it electric in a way that kind of doesn't look electric...   I like the "I'm 15 years old, I scrounged this stuff and I'm gonna build me a geetar today look."   To me, that is our heritage. 


What do like, Spike?

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All right, I'll bite!

I appreciate the art and craftsmanship of a beautiful build, and aspire to do some that way for others and myself.

But me, I also appreciate one that looks like heck, but shocks everyone with its sound and playability. No one expects much and everyone just goes silent in awe when it is played. Thats pretty cool!


It sounds like we have some of the same tastes.

I like my plain and rustic. Eye bolt tuners, toothpick frets (when I use frets). Nut & bridge either a section of 1/4" threaded rod or 3/16" roll pins. No soundhole embellishments (except on the ukulele, and that was a one-off), no finish, and up to this point, no knobs. Basic piezo inside. Nothing fancy. I like the well-worn look, but I like honest wear, so none of my instruments have that look. Some of this is sheer laziness, some is artistic license, and some is a combination of both.

As far as playability, I like a medium-height action, high enough for slide, low enough for fretting. I also only like that in theory, since I can't play.

Huh...  I ought to try the eyebolt tuners like Ryan Rose has done.  I want guitars like Mark Bliss describes!

I like the older look ,,,but want it to b finished in a way that pleases the eye ,, and when i play it  i want it to sooth my soul,.

I want it amped ,, I like the piezo ,, but also really impressed with some i have seen with the pups  trying that.

I like a thinner ,, more tapered neck ,, slick fretboard with a low action,, don t want strings try to cut ends of my fingers,,but high enough for a slide to work easily


I think each box u make   ,,has it's own charatisics and it will let u know how to address it to make it look the best ,, some i just drill hole ,, others get grommetts or something


I build all mine  strictly by hand tools ,, I wanna b able to say ,, I BUILT THIS

hey john, i like my guitars the way i like my motorcycles... lowdown n dirty, matt black if possible:0)

i love the way that cbgs can vary in tone and playability so much. i have a chickenbone john 3 string which is solid as a rock and has great tone, a four string by wichita sam which screams at me to pick some old school mountain riffs on it.

as for my builds... i'm concentrating on playability first, the rest of the process is fairly fluid, i've only built one that i wasn't happy with but thats redeemable.

i do like attention to detail, i'm a bit of a perfectionist deep down but i believe you can go to far.

big frets, big pups and up to 11:0)))

I have to agree with some of the posts above. I want people to laugh at it when it is brought out, but then say, "DAMN!" when it's played. My first intro to CBG was when I saw Richard Johnston pull out his double-neck Lowebow midway thru his set at a blues show I went to. Everyone around me, including myself, was laughing and pointing and wondering what in the hell that thing was. It didn't take long before we were all standing at the front marveling at the sound and how he played it.


I was hooked. Went out and bought a 2-string Lowebow from John and here I am. Hopefully, I can create some builds that have similar effects on people.

As a long time guitar collector, I like there to be the fewest compromises possible in my instruments.  I tend to lean towards the traditional detail but in the end, it all rests on hand feel.  Is it comfortable to play?  How is the balance?  What does it sound like? 

For me most of this is in the neck.  I start by true-ing  the neck on the jointer plane and milling my fret board stock myself.  I picked up a fret press, not because I wanted to save time but because it does a better job of getting the frets even.  I bind the fret boards because that is the feel I am used to.  I tweak over the fretwork till the hand just glides over the neck effortlessly.

Learning any instrument is a journey, after 9 years struggling with 6 strings and messing around with drums and bass i have finally...yes, finally i hope... settled on 3 and 4 string CBG's - but what a ride! In four short months i have built six or seven guitars, written a few of my own songs and my first live gig is on the horizon...such is the power of the internet - such is the power of CBG!!! (-;


It is a bonus if a nice looking guitar sounds great, i think it is important to have something you spent many hours to build is pleasing to look at every day, and as you get to know its unique possibilities its personal value increases, far more than most  factory made  guitars could achieve..!!

Steve ,, that's profound ,,,, I agree with the personality of the guitar 1

I like em all

theres so many different approaches here..


I'm real happy with the direction mine are going, I do like the old world craftsmanship of real luthiery done on the cheap, like a guy whos got the chops but doing it from pallets and cookie tins rather than pay someone to chop a tree.


but I really admire the guys like surfy who can smash one out in a couple hours and get a hundred bucks for it on ebay, finishing one in a couple hours is HARD !!


I also LOVE the recycling element, love the ingenuity I see around these parts, especially when the result is super near professional.  I'll give you one of my pics, this fork repurposed into a bridge, but Im not trying to blow my own trumpet, I been inspired by a gazillion guys round here who were doing stuff like that first,  Whether is the guys making pups from wallwarts and sewing machine bobbins or the guys still dreaming up new tuning mechanisms from the cheap hardware parts..    And the guys who bust their guts to fret with nails etc when fretwire is so cheap anyway...   Love that shit..

and Oh yeah, altho i play pretty good myself, theres nothing like hearing one of urs played by someone really awesome from across the room..


And I love that theres a few of mine that I'd prefer to part with my Les Paul than huh..


And I really like the themed builds.. and the couple dozen of you who've actually made me laugh out loud with a photo in the last couple years, love that too


Oh and I love the double take seasoned players do when they get their hands on it and theyre surprised by the quality playability and sound, thats really gratifying

Playability and sound are most important to me. I prefer magnetic pickups and medium action for slide and fingerstyle. I also like a rounded neck instead of a flat piece of wood simply because it adds to the playability factor. Looks are not as big a factor but I do appreciate cigar box artwork as well as some of the awesome sunburst finishes I've seen here. You builders rock!
I try to improve with each one I build. I have done 27 now and the last 15 or so I have been very happy with. First I try to focus on playability, then sound. Once I have that I try to make them look good to me. It has been hard to let some of them go when they are done. I would like to keep them all. But I figure I have done alright if I want it when I am finished. And so far I have had no complaints from any customers.


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