Cigar Box Guitars









This is a website about homemade cigar box guitars.

 There are guitars and pickups for sale at the bottom of the page.

There is also How to Play and Build Cigar Box Guitar Downloads and cigar box blues music recorded with only these homemade guitars that you can download.

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 I am still here and shipping from home. It's September 2021 and I have no plans to slow down - The daily postman comes mid afternoon.

Anyways, enjoy the videos and music on this site and once again the guitars are for sale are at the very bottom of the page. 

If you like old time blues music there is also three different cigar box guitar music albums that can be downloaded right to your computer.




This music is old school blues music played on cigar box guitar. 
Have a listen, It's only slide guitar playing - no singing, no band. Just guitar.

If you click the right corner of the photo where it says "buy" you can download it.

Here's a quick tip. If you want to play old school blues and cigar box guitar music, the key to growing fast, is to listen to listen to Cigar Box Blues music. The fastest way get great at slide guitar, is the hear great slide guitar music!

If you want and actual CD in mail, I can mail you one anywhere world wide. email me at    John@reddogguitars.com








 



You will enjoy this music, Download it today!



Listening to these old forgotten sounds of the part is like taking a journey back into a time. Imagine walking through an old ghost town in the 1880's, the suspense, the mystery, the whispers that you can barley hear.






All of the music and videos on this site were recorded with only cigar box guitars, both 3 and 4 string guitars. No regular guitars were use in recording or filming these videos.




A lot can be done with a 3 string guitar, you can record authentic old time Blues, but you can also record studio quality slide guitar. 
Have a listen to Fuzzy Whitener's - Double Trouble





Three string guitars are fun and easy to play. It is much easier to learn to how play a cigar box guitar than it is to learn how to play a regular 6 string guitar.


 Delta Blues and early American Folk music that was played on these homemade guitars was created by people who most often did not know music theory or what chords and keys were. Many of them could not even read the written word!

 If the people who played old time Blues music in the 1880's did not know music theory or complicated math, than neither do you.  You do not need to learn, chords, or complicated music structure to play the Blues.

On this DVD I will explain how to to play old school blues by ear. You will learn how to play the sounds of old time music from the past and you will know how to play it on 3 string guitar. These lessons will teach you how to create and play old time Blues without using complicated math. 
 I have broken these lessons down into small easy to learn step by step building blocks that we will then put together to achieve that realistic and vintage Old-Time Delta Blues sound.

Watch this video, you will see that vintage Blues and slide guitar is easy to learn and play. It's basically just one finger guitar with a few plucks or frets here and there. 

Watch my fingers in the video, there is not much happening, no matter what your age or how well you can or can't use your hands or fingers, I want to tell you, you too can play this exact type of music. 
If you can use a computer keyboard you can play cool music on 3 string guitar.
Watch this video, you will see that vintage Blues is easy to learn and play. Slide guitar is basically one finger guitar. Watch my fingers, there is not much movement, watch the entire video, 


When I was in my teens, I was totally fascinated with playing the guitar. I tried to learn from many teachers.  I remember that I had this one "pro level" Blues teacher.  When he spoke it sounded like he had a mouthful of marbles. He spoke clearly, but it was all just a bunch of babble to my ears. 

I was not the type of person who could grasp, "it's a G chord with this note as the root....or it's with a minor 7th,...or it's an open F#...and so on.

I remember thinking to myself, "How am I ever going to learn?"

 I found it too hard and frustrating to learn by looking at confusing maps or dots or watching fret board layouts using math that I didn't understand.

I just wanted to play guitar. So, I ended up spending my entire 20's and 30's studying and learning simpler forms of guitar playing such as slide and blues guitar. I learned how to play by ear. I can now teach you how to play old school blues in a simple and easy manner and you will be able to pickup your own guitar and play riffs and music that sounds like its from the past.







I just love that old time delta blues sound! I instantly get transported into the 1880's when I hear slide guitar. I have been playing guitar for more than 25 years. I have spent many years studying vintage slide and blues guitar. I also build and sell cigar box guitars under the name "Red Dog Guitars." 

This DVD is not like the other standard "hard to learn" guitar courses out there. 

On this DVD,

NO math is involved

NO scientific music theory

NO folding and unfolding fretboard maps and wall charts 

NO confusing books to balance on your knee as you try to play your guitar

This DVD is different. I will explain how to play guitar to get a truly authentic and vintage sound, and on your part, you will only need patience and practice. 

I will also show you on this DVD how to set up your guitar. This is just as important for your success.
 In order to properly learn, you don't want to fight the guitar while also at the same time you are trying learning to play the guitar. 

Watch this video and let's take a step back in time and listen to something vintage, then I can explain more below. 




Here is something to think about. 
   Imagine a time long ago and a farmer sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch after a long days work in the fields. He's holding his old homemade guitar that he's made out of a used cigar box and some scraps of wood.
He's just sitting there relaxing, not thinking too hard about what he's doing. He's just playing guitar on a breezy afternoon without a care in the world. He's having fun and entertaining himself playing sounds that his ears can enjoy. If he can do it you can too. It's just that simple.

3 string guitars are fun to play. When you learn how to play a 3 string guitar you can create music that sounds so vintage you will think it's from the 1890's.

 
 Thanks for your time and if you have read this far, email me with any questions.






This Video is instant download. These mp4 video will play on any computer, phone, or digital device.



 
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If you have any questions email me at john@reddogguitars.com









Check out this photo of an antique 3 string guitar below.

If you look closely you can see that the third tuner comes strait up from the back of the headstock. 
How cool is that!






This guitar must have also been used for slide or early Blues music because the neck is marked with guitar fret spacing so the player would know where to stop the slide. I would love to have heard this instrument being played. In fact I would love to put strings on it myself and try to play it! I bet it sounded great.


     


This is a Delta Blues cigar box guitar music CD disc that was recorded in honor of the 3 sting guitar.
 
In these recordings, I wanted to record authentic Delta Blues and Bottleneck slide cigar box guitar as realistic as possible to what it would have sounded like in the early 1900's. The music on this Disc is played mostly on three string cigar box guitars. Some of the tracks have 4 string cigar box guitar, but all of the tracks were only recorded with homemade cigar box guitars. 



  My goal with this album was to take the listener back in time to the 1880's and up to 1930's and to relive those old Dust Bowl Ballads and Delta Blues Spirituals played on cigar box guitars. 
There is NO SINGING or band and NO regular guitars. 

This music is only recorded with cigar box guitars.








This album is instant download. These mp3 songs play on any computer, phone, or digital device.




 
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If you have any questions email me at john@reddogguitars.com


I have a large collection of antique and vintage cigar box guitar photos. I like to change the photos on this site from time to time. 





This is a cigar box guitar music CD called - Cigar Box Americana.
 It has music recorded to sound like it was from the early 1900's and those long lost sounds from America's past. This music is old-time Blues and Southern Bottleneck cigar box guitar that has been recorded on only 3 and 4 string homemade guitars.
 If you liked the movie Crossroads or the guitar playing from Ry Cooder, you will enjoy the vintage style music on this Disc.

   To record this music, I've played 3 string cigar box guitars, Electric Bottleneck 4 string cigar box guitars, and Cigar Box Resonator guitars.  I have also used old and vintage 1960's and 70's guitar amplifiers. Some were naturally overdriven and some were setup clear as a bell. I've also used a old Pignose amp to record several songs. They record with a real primitive Southern gritty sound. 

 I have also recorded several songs with some old Retro "Radio Guitar Amps." They were once antique radios from the 1940's and 50's that have been converted and turned into guitar amplifiers. They record with a really unique and vintage tone. 
The music and songs are all sounds that are vintage and southern in flavor, perfect for study if your trying to learn early Americana or slide guitar, or just enjoy it as a relaxing way to step back in time.

 There is also a song from Fuzzy Whitener, one of that last old school Bluesmen, and yes, he's playing cigar box guitar. 
NO regular guitars were used and NO singing and NO band, this is a full music CD disc with only cigar box guitar songs.  The best way to learn how to play cigar box guitar, is to listen to cigar box guitar guitar!



Here below is another track of old-time "Cigar Box Jukes." It is a song played on a 4 string cigar box guitar. It's  was recorded only using a old fashioned 4 string cigar box guitar and a glass slide.
The best way to learn how to play cigar box guitar is by listening to cigar box guitar music.












This album is instant download. These mp3 songs play on any computer, phone, or digital device.



 
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If you have any questions email me at john@reddogguitars.com










Here in this video along with the vintage art is a song that recorded to sound like an authentic Blues song of the early Delta style. It was recorded with a 3 string guitar.

They say "a photo is worth a 1000 words," so just imagine how many words and sounds this photo could tell us about life long ago! 
This is where the "Blues" all started. An old used cigar box and homemade music.

 This painting is a person named "L. Rupert" dated 1868.  It's from the G.D. Flynn Brewery New River Falls, MA





Cigar box guitars and other homemade instruments of all types became popular for poor people from the 1880's up to the 1930's. 
During the Great Depression of the early 1900's, buying an instrument was not really an option for must people, but poverty did not stop people from enjoying music, they just made their own homemade cigar box guitars.


Look close at the craftsmanship on this 1930's Old Virginia cigar box guitar.  This little guitar must have had quite a story to tell.


 
The person who built this neat instrument went all out. It even has homemade frets. 
I could say, I wonder what it sounded like?
- Good news is, if you build yourself a cigar box guitar today, it will sound and record just about the same, it's got the same construction, a cigar box and a stick!




How To Build Cigar Box Guitars 



Cigar box guitars are very easy to play. But just as easy as they are to play, they are also easy and fun to build.

 I have filmed and editing a download instruction video that will show you how and what to do, everything is covered from start to finish.
 It doesn't matter if this is your first time building, or your 10th.
If you already make cigar box guitars, after you study my work, you can take yours to the next level. This is not a basic or introductory video, this is not basic youtube info.   This is 2 hours of complete A to Z Cigar Box Guitar building lessons. It will show you how to build great sounding cigar box guitars. 
If you would like to build guitars that get that old-time vintage 1880's to 1930's sound, this video will show you how I make a guitar achieve the unique tone that a Red Dog Guitar has.

  This video will save you many hours of trying to learn on your own. This video is recorded in my shop and you will be buildings guitars along with me. It is full of many secrets that can only be found through years of experience.
 I share what to do about the body, fretting and homemade fretting like a pro with basic hand tools. I cover headstocks and so much more than you could ever get from watching random youtube videos

....and yes, fretting a guitar neck is really easy, even if it's your first time, I will show you how I do it, and all by hand.

In this I will show you more than one guitar, we will cover both the 3 and 4 string as well as homemade resonator guitars. Here is one of my typical 4 string guitars.


Build BOTH 3 and 4 string guitars
 
 Here below is a vintage looking and worn out 3 string guitar with homemade metal parts. It has a "weathered" and antique look. The parts are different than the 1884 style guitar above, but it really is the same guitar as the one above.  I explain how I make (or find parts.) I will explain how to be artistic. It will help you understand what I do, so you can create what inspires you. 
I follow the same recipe no matter what I guitar I make, I only make them look different outside, but I always build them the same inside. 



Parts Needed


We will cover all of the parts needed and the many types of homemade ideas possible, Bridges, pickups of all types, hardware etc, everything is covered and explained.  You can use old guitar parts that you can buy for cheap from ebay and flea markets or get creative and make your own parts with stuff from around your house.


 I cover everything in this video. This is a complete class of Cigar Box Guitar building. The wood, the boxes, different styles of necks and so much more is covered for building a great playing one of a kind guitar with great tone.

Tools and parts Needed

These cigar box guitars are built with just a few basic hand tools that most people have or can borrow from a friend,

  •  a small hand saw 
  • small hand pliers
  • sandpaper and wood glue
  •  a small hand drill 
  •  pocket knife 
  • small hammer / or rubber mallet 
  • small screwdrivers / phillips type
  • a quality ruler (I prefer Metric) Buy a steel ruler, It's the most important tool you'll own and it will last a lifetime!
  • as you can see from the photo below you do not need much at all 

The great thing about these guitars is since you DON'T need power tools, it's kind of liberating if you think about it. If you were to try and build regular guitars, you would need a whole shop of specialized tools, jigs and planes and endless amounts of specialized gear.

This is my work bench, it's nothing fancy, just a small table and a few small hand tools, I don't like clutter and I don't own many tools, that is one reason I love these guitars, they are simple.... this is fun and easy!



Anyone can build a cigar box guitar by hand with only a few common hand tools. That is what's so fun and interesting about them, they are simple by nature, and best part is they sound fantastic.
 Go to you-tube and search "cigar box guitar" and check out many of the other builders, then do a comparison and search and then listen to videos made by me at Red Dog Guitars.com 
 Listen to the tone and sound and let your ear decide if you would like to see this video on how I make mine and how to build with that old time trademark vintage sound.
 However, this is not a contest, I am not in competition with anyone. In fact I want others to do well also. I give advice freely to all that ask, the more success people have in this hobby and do well, the better it is for everyone in involved in this hobby.
 I want everyone to build a great guitar. These guitars are easy and fun to build, even if this is your first time. I have many years of experience and I build mine in a way that is unique to me and mine have a sound all their own.


 

 Resonators are also covered on this Video

Cigar Box Resonator guitars are by far the funnest guitars you will ever play with or without an amplifier.

I will show you how I make mine, it's very easy, it is still a Neck-thru guitar. YES the neck runs right thru the box!
Everyone has asked me how I make my resonators look so unique and sound so crisp and vintage, so I have taken time to explain how I build them.
Building a cigar box resonator guitar is much easier than you think, it's a stick that runs right through the box and is cleverly anchored at the end, it's just a neck thru homemade box guitar!
There are some things I will need to show you, but it's no harder, just a bit more time is needed to construct it. The only difference is a metallic surface is used under the bridge to give them a trademark vintage "twangy" sound and tone.
 Here is a sound sample of a homemade resonator guitar.

You can build this exact guitar below, these parts in the photo are made by "Old Lowe" in Rockwall Texas. They have other people who also make them and are for sale in many places online. They are also available in Europe and the United Kingdom.There are many makers of resonator parts that sound great. I also share how to use paint can lids or pot lids etc. to get that old school reso-tone.

There is so much more than I could type about here. I want you to succeed because your success will speak well for the whole hobby. 



With this video you will have many great ideas to incorporate in your own guitar making. Once again, it doesn't matter if this is your first time, or your 10th. This video will help give you the ability to make really awesome guitars. 
This resonator guitar is made with no power tools. It's just a stick running right thru a cigar box.  


Make your guitar sound vintage or modern, clean or heavy.
It's all possible with the instructions I am going to share with you.
  I have been working on and playing guitars for almost 30 years, so you can watch what I do and save a lot of time from making costly mistakes in your work. This video lets you peer over my shoulder and see exactly what I do.




This Video is instant download. This mp4 video will play on any computer, phone, or digital device.


 
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If you have any questions email me at john@reddogguitars.com










Below are fully built cigar box guitars I have for sale.
This website is always updated, these guitars for sale are the exact ones in the photo.

My email is john@reddogguitars.com 

If you have any questions about these guitars, email me ...don't be shy!
 I ship world wide Anywhere in the world safe and secure, Anywhere in the world.
The few guitars that I have here for sale all check out with Paypal. There should be a button below the photos that says "Add to Cart"
This is a separate cart than the Downloads above, this is only for the guitars or Pickups.
This page is updated every week.
The shipping is Flat Rate $88.00. I ship world wide and it's explained below at the bottom of this page. Basically if you buy a guitar, I cover the extra cost. I will make sure you get the guitar safe and insured, NO matter where you are in the world. 



Hot off the workbench, The Bounty Hunter  3 string guitar. I have painted this guitar in a satin vintage royal blue that was used on Ford Pickup trucks in the 50's and 60's. This is a super fun to play guitar and a super delight to hold in your hands.

This guitar is  for sale at $965

 Shipping world wide is $88. - Shipped and insured anywhere in the world - same price $88






This guitar checks out through PayPal.
email me if you have questions about this guitar
at john@reddogguitars.com









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Simple and clean, this Aviator guitar has a homemade and handmade with a top load hardtail and pickup. This guitar will record vintage Blues and slide like it's strait from the early 1900's.

I've taken the photo above with a 1950's Calrad microphone and Vox amp. It's the total package for at home recording. 
-There's a whole world of vintage mics and amps that you can pair with a cigar box guitar to get the great sound right in your living room.





This guitar is  for sale at $965

 Shipping world wide is $88. - Shipped and insured anywhere in the world - same price $88




This guitar checks out through PayPal.

email me if you have questions about this guitar
at john@reddogguitars.com




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 Beans for breakfast?




Nothing beats the simplicity of a homemade acoustic cigar box guitar, just pick it up and play - Not meant to be your only guitar, just your favorite!

This is the guitar you keep near your La-z-boy chair, on the sofa in the living room or near the bed while watching TV. 

This guitar was made for the person who loves the history of cigar box guitars. There is no electric pickup or fancy parts. It's a hand made and homemade guitar the way they made them a hundred years ago. It looks old but it's satin smooth grey and feels great in your hands and on your lap. You will not want to put this guitar down!
I could type till I'm blue in the face, but I will let the music speak for itself.

Have a listen to this video,




I have made these guitars in several different styles, but they all sound the same. Here is another recording of an acoustic 3 string guitar. I have several videos of this style of cigar box guitar on youtube.
Check this one out below, they are super easy to record, just find a quite room and stick a microphone in front of your guitar....play a few licks and presto....you'll sound like you have just stepped right out of the past!


email me if you have questions at john@reddogguitars.com



Have a listen to JJ Twang and the Easy Sliders









Just the pickups - For Sale 



Many people that visit this site want to build a guitar themselves. 

This is perfect pickup for your own project guitar.  I make and sale these homemade pickups with a few different arts branded on the cover, but they are all made the same and sound the same. 

I offer them here for sale for people who want to build their own guitar with a vintage look. I enjoy drawing and bringing back to life old antique cigar box labels and art then branding them onto the wooden covers like this Old Timer Cigars label.

 


These pickups are thin and shallow and you don't have to make a big hole. They will fit either a 3 or 4 string guitar and will add that vintage look to any neck thru cigar box guitar. 






These pickups record flawless and your tone can record from crystal clear highs on clean amp settings or you can overdrive your amp and turn up the gain to give them an Electric Blues sound that will sound as authentic as those old records from long ago. Capture that lost haunting sound from the 1920's and 30's on your own guitar.


You can play and record any type of music with NO Feedback or electrical problems.

Here is a short video of them 






Old Timer - Rustic Wooden Top Cigar Box Pickups - 

I stain these pickups a medium vintage style rustic color that will match any theme. 
These pickups have flat bar ceramic magnets that stretch across the pickup and do not need to be aligned with each string like a standard guitar pickup with upright pole pieces. This makes it much easier to add to any string width or configuration and it can be added to any cigar box guitar.
These pickups fit both 3 or 4 string guitars.





Easy to install, 



Old Timer - Cigar Box Guitar Pickup



This guitar pickup checks out through PayPal.

 

Shipping is $8.50 anywhere in the USA
World wide shipping is $22.50 - Anywhere in the world



email me if you have any questions at john@reddogguitars.com













This guitar pickup checks out through PayPal.



Shipping is $8.50 anywhere in the USA
World wide shipping is $22.50 - Anywhere in the world










Looking for something???







Bare Knuckles Cigars 1909


Build that next guitar with Knock out Blues tone...Hit me up, just $115


email me if you have any questions at john@reddogguitars.com




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Be like Eddie and Fly High!

 You could be the next Ace in the Sky : )





Beautiful wooden top pickups!

Aviator Cigars - Just $115

 

World Wide shipping
email me if you have any questions at john@reddogguitars.com













Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my music and videos with you. I am just super passionate about the hobby of cigar box guitars. To me there is many many lifetimes of exploration a person can do in this hobby. You can learn and explore both the craft of building them....but also, playing them and there there is the art of recording of them and making recordings for albums or video, that is a world in itself!
  Much of this music has taken many years to put together. I hope that you have an appreciation for all the time and effort I put into it recording and editing all of this music. 


Still here??? I'm running out of room on this site....

Watch this,


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On of my all time fav-o-rite antique cigar box guitar photos.

How about that craftsmanship







You can return to the full cigar box guitar website at this link