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How is your first build coming?
I’m finishing up a righty version of my Pizza Box guitar for our youth group leader. I have made a few tweaks to the 3D frets, zero fret, and strap terminations. Hope to put in the piezo pickup and string it up tomorrow.
It is great to hear from you.
As you can tell from Cigar Box Nation, there are as many ways to build a 3-string cigar box guitar as their are builders. The pizza box guitar I posted the other day is an example of a very simple build. It will be my go to guitar for now, so I can see how well the PLA plastic frets hold up. The Home Depot ruler is cut to length, as is the Hemlock 1x2 neck. I used a router to round the neck, but on my first ones I used a rasp and files. This one uses a disc piezo with the foam double stick tape on both sides, no volume or tone controls since you can do it at the amp. I like using classical guitar strings; less tension and easier for beginners to play. I went with a 21” scale length so I could use the 6,5,4 strings on a classical set. I use a 23.5” scale length for the 5,4,3 strings. Both tuned GDG. The shorter scale lengths will let you use baritone and tenor ukulele gig bags. I like using my 3D printer to make CBG parts: tailpieces, nail bridges, string guides, and clothesline strap adapters. This latest one has 3D printed frets and a paper clip zero fret. I’m trying to create an inexpensive kit that can be easily built in a short session and then played as part of a class. Traditional fretting is time consuming if you do it well. Plus it’s always fun to try something new. Google: corrulute to see where I got the idea. I was experimenting with a 2-piece 3D printed fretboard at the time I discovered it.
If you are interested I could send you the 3D parts for a pizza box guitar; they are small and light! It would be easy to substitute a cigar box. I could modify my instructions for the kit guitars (modeled after the kit guitar I bought from Gary Herget at the St. Louis CBG Festival last year) I have built to sell to students.
As far as playing, I recommend Glenn Watt’s 1-finger videos on YouTube. I am taking this approach because it’s easy and fun. Once you have a few rhythm patterns under your belt, you can play a wide variety of songs. If you go to my very plain website CBGslinger.com there is a link to our Cigar Box Guitar Slingers - Spokane website which has our songbooks on the resources page. That will give you an idea of what is possible. I was already a rhythm guitar player when I got into cigar Box Guitars, so that has given me a leg up. I have discovered 1-finger chording is not that limiting after all and opens up playing to a wider variety of people.
You are always welcome to visit. I will let you know next time I am in Kalispell. There is a quilt shop my wife likes to visit when we stay at Seeley Lake. Since we already went this year, maybe next.
I’m in the Spokane area and my solution was to start my own group. I thought the biggest motivation to connect with builders was to create players first. I did some informal 2 hour sessions with friends to prepare to teach a local class for the college seniors program: Intro to Cigar Box Guitars. I’ve done the course 3 times now. Started a group last fall that meets at the local library monthly where we play. The group is small, but we are making progress. When Marilyn (83) and Margaret (90), from my January class, showed up at our February meeting, I realized I needed to adjust my approach! Serve those who are interested!!! I haven’t found much interest in people building guitars, but we are having a blast playing. Starting to get some traction. I have put a tablet friendly songbook together that is up to 75 songs now, so everyone has songs to experiment with. We use it at the meetings and it beats the hassle of paper. Most songs are adapted ukulele charts which are readily available and are great for singing and playing. Since The group is composed of beginners, each meeting starts with building skills before we play songs from the songbook.
If you have any questions, just ask. I have left out a lot of the details, but am always willing to share.