In The BeginningBefore I'd even finished my guitar kit (and if you have ever felt bad about your practical capabilities, you really should read all about it HERE) I'd got interested in the world of Cigar Box Guitars, and had decided that I would like to have a go at making one of my own.
If you haven't come across them before, Cigar Box Guitars (CBGs from now on) go back to the roots of Blues and are quite literally made from a cigar, or any other suitable tin or box that will make a decent soundbox when you nail a plank to it and add a couple of strings. They are by their nature pretty primitive and require very little technical expertise to make something workable (I'm guessing you can see the appeal for me at about this point) but can sound quite beautiful when played by somebody who knows what they are doing. (Somebody else, then, that will be.)
Recently, there has been a renaissance and a lot of interest in the whole DIY music scene, and CBG's in particular, and there are a number of prominent players and builders of CBGs, mainly in the US of A, but with a healthy number popping up in the UK.
I can see Lonnie Donegan back on TOTP before the decade is out and if Joe Brown hasn’t got himself one yet, I guarantee he will in the near future.
In October 2009 there was the first (to my knowledge) UK CBG Festival in Birmingham, and I had planned to go along with my own CBG. As it happened, I couldn't, but I'm sure that it will prove to be the first of many and I'm definitely going to get to the next one.
This article aims to take you through the stages as I try to build myself a CBG. For the British CBG builder, this is also to show that it isn’t ‘The New CB Radio’, and doesn’t involve loads of blokes from Coventry calling each other Rubber Duck and pretending that they live as man and wife with their sister in a trailer in Alabama. Although, the CBG builders I’ve met from Norwich tend to be a bit reticent on the subject, but each to their own.