SOAPBOX - Rants & Raves

A sounding board for the CBG Revolutionary

Location: No Rules.
Members: 94
Latest Activity: May 19, 2018

caution: contents may boil over.

Cigar Box Fire & Brimstone.
A place to spout off with your tirades, your manifestos, your calls-to-arms. (all the stuff that made the "old forum" great).
What are you passionate about?
What makes your blood boil?
Don't pull any punches.
. . no touchy-feely support group bullshit here.

Discussion Forum


Started by Susan Hunt. Last reply by Mama Mojo Dec 11, 2009. 8 Replies

I just have to say, this site is so damn much fun. There's always something interesting going on, in addition to the river of information inside. It's impossible to look at CBN for just a few…Continue

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Comment by Thomas "Duck" Petry on May 16, 2018 at 1:21am

@ smilingdog1 The bottom line is if you build you should learn a few simple licks just to make yourself smile.  I have managed to do that and keep trying to learn more, though it will be quite a while before I'll ever post a video. Fortunately I have a few friends who are excellent musicians who play my builds now and then so I do know how good they can sound in skilled hands.

As a retired A&P mechanic (IA and pilot of old steel tube, wood and fabric aircraft) I can relate to building without flying even if I never flew a jet.

Aviation regulations are part of what drove me to retirement. Thank God we don't have regulations on building CBGs.

Comment by smilingdog1 on May 16, 2018 at 1:06am

@ Kevin Sprague 3 hours ago


This not only an old argument but you need to move the word lame down to the end of it. The question is ageless about most things man has built and I use Jet aircraft as my example since I have built them. Does a aircraft mechanic have to fly a jet in order to build a perfect jet? The answer is of course not. Does a piano builder need to be Bach? No, that's absurd, he probably needs to know several things about what a player needs in key weights and tone but that can all be collaborated through development and skills. On the other foot, some excellent player couldn't build a modest guitar to save their lives. I rest my rant and thank you sir! 

Comment by Kevin Sprague (Knotlenny) on May 15, 2018 at 9:45pm


I REALLY REALLY hate to be the old-timer Yahoo Group curmudgeon romancing about the good old days of the Cigar Box Guitar Revolution, but Good God this place has just gotten lame AF!  Granted, I don't have a lot of time to jump on here - and maybe its just the format, but geez Louise . . .

Just to stir things up, let's argue about something!  How about the age-old division of "Builder vs. Player"?   First of all, I submit to you that if you don't consider yourself a player - it is a forgone conclusion that you CAN NOT, and WILL NOT construct a decent, playable neck.  Sorry, but it just wont happen.  The string spacing, the angle of string attack on the nut and bridge, the "feel" of the neck - these are things that you just don't get.

But even more to the point:  If you consider yourself a "Builder-but -not-a-Player" - good grief, get off that and play the damn thing!  Engage your right brain!  It's a frickin' cigar box guitar, you can't do it wrong!

Comment by Thomas "Duck" Petry on April 7, 2018 at 9:55am

Well said Knotlenny. It's the journey, not the destination.

Comment by Kevin Sprague (Knotlenny) on April 7, 2018 at 8:05am

There's music in us all . . . itching, digging, scraping to get out.  When this world beats us down there is something there that has to escape.  To proclaim that we are something more.  Something more than the back breaking labor or the mind numbing tasks we burn our lives away with.

Maybe you got nothing. If you don't have an instrument, you cobble something together out of wire and wood and maybe you rush through that because it's got to come out now.  And it sure as hell ain't perfect, but the angels of something greater and beautiful have kissed your soul.  And that soul has to sing.  And in that moment:  Time stops.  And the glorious joy        and agony       and mystery of just living      just drawing breath another day shines through.

THAT"S WHAT IT"S ABOUT!  It's not so much about the damn "guitar"  

Comment by Wichita Sam on March 4, 2018 at 12:42pm

David L.  and Jim_in_Tucson.  Thanks for the comments.  Of course in a "No Rules" world that we've built, all perspectives are valid.  I am thinking that people would grow faster in the craft if they were willing to risk more of a struggle, by doing more on their own.  But, then the world's gotten tough enough,,, who needs more struggle?  Unless it is also an escape.

Thanks. I am 98% over effects of burns, except for weakness and loss of mobility in my hands.  I have developed a major case of performance anxiety as a result which I never really had before.  Got a microCube amp and hope to force myself to do some street busking this summer.

the best,

Wichita Sam

Comment by Jim_N on February 18, 2018 at 8:21pm

Lotsa' sides to the coin.

Maybe a paint-by-numbers kit rocks someone's world. Or maybe they'd just soon as buy one pre-made on eBAY. (There are several nice-looking, ready-to-play Cigar Box Ukuleles on eBAY right now, all priced at $59 with free shipping.) Heck, I'd bet there are some who'd like to build a piece completely from scratch outta' a tree they planted with their own hands.

Thing is... in a few years, who'll care? ; )

Nothing lasts. -JiT

Comment by David L. on February 18, 2018 at 7:49pm

I can understand where you are coming from Wichita Sam.  The more you can do for yourself the more personal the CBG becomes. However, for the more cautious novice with few tools it is a gentle introduction that yields a playable instrument at the end.  After that first build the addiction sets in and with each build the experience grows and often the interest in pushing personal boundaries in what to make for yourself expands.

The fact you can buy ready made 3 or 4 pole pickups for a cigar box guitar shows that the popularity has increased.

I still love piezo discs and it always gives me a smile when I think back to when bass players started trying them out (pre CBG expansion) and others gave warnings that due to the huge impedance mismatch something really bad would happen.  Part of the being human is ignoring advice and it is nice when occasionally something good comes out if it.

For myself CBGs have helped me through some serious health issues and given me something to do during the second part of my life.   Pre made, handmade or reuse of an existing material/items is all part of the big mix.

The new people may not realise how much effort people like yourself have put in, but many more will remember looking over your builds for ideas and reading your posts for any new tips over the years.

I am glad you are posting and hope this means you are healing after the awful fire injuries.

Kind regards,

David L.

Comment by Wichita Sam on February 12, 2018 at 9:01pm

Is it just me, or is anyone else nostalgic for the good old days when you actually built everything that you didn't salvage from a junk/scrap guitar? All the way back to the days of the yahoo group, you could ask for help, would get some hints and figgered it out on your own.  You actually learned by doing, screwing up and trying again.

The simple assembly of pre-made parts doesn't feel like the Cigar Box Guitar Revolution that I learned in.  Heck, it was 2 years and 100 CBGs before I bot wood for necks (then sourced from a cabinet mill scrap) and used pups other than round piezos or salvaged electronics from $20 Craiglist guitars.

Can't stand in the way of "progress".  Just wish more appreciated Blood Sweat &Tears as a part of the CBG world.  You can't buy mojo.

Comment by smilingdog1 on November 16, 2015 at 1:56pm

I second the appreciation for all you guys do for us daily here on the Nations website. Takes a lot to keep it updated.


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