It's June 22nd 2024 -  the newest guitars and pickups are for sale and listed at the bottom of this page. This is the current updated page.

 I will be posting new guitars and a small batch of 3 and 4 string electric guitar pickups for this spring. I have a few new artwork ideas I have been working on.


This page constantly changes - updates for the guitars for sale>>> Skip to the bottom of this page. 



 My name is John McNair. I've been building and selling guitars for about 20 years, but I actually spend most of my time recording music. I just love old time Blues music. It's so captivating!  On this webpage you'll find hundreds of songs and videos that I rotate in an out. I try to always keep new stuff posted, I'm a night owl and I'm always working on some new song or idea, or maybe better yet said, some old sounding 1890's soundtrack made late last night a 100 years ago...Does that make any sense? 

 

 I am always experimenting with used and vintage recording gear. I especially love cheap and used vintage microphones... and old electronics with worn out speakers. I always seem to fall into the most creative landscapes of tone when I record with the cheap and out dated gear. 


>>> The guitars are for sale at the bottom of the page


and - sometimes there's other guitar parts for sale, such as resonator parts and guitar bridges/hardtails. It always changes, you just have to check back every few weeks. It depends on what I'm making in the shop. 


If you need help or have any issues with any check out buttons.  Just email me      at  john@reddogguitars.com



There are also Lessons and music DVDs on this site -  Worldwide Shipping


 - and - if you prefer, these disc are available in instant Download form on this page.


 The video lessons are in both forms - standard mail DVD / CD  or onpage download 


***** LOOK for the separate checkout buttons 


If you have questions or need help, email me anytime at  john@reddogguitars.com


 Listening to these old forgotten sounds of the past 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 are only made with cigar box guitars - No regular guitars were used in these recordings.

 I have three different blues music albums, some typical old school...but alot of New School stuff too. Have a listen to some of the songs below. - If you have any questions or comments - email me at   john@reddogguitars.com

                                                    

Something old and something new....something vintage.... and something Blues!

I think that's how the saying goes? 


Probably not, but i just wanted to have some fun with some of these recordings, vintage slide guitar, yet with a few modern twist.


This is my latest album release for summer 2023. I just decided to make everything New....so here you have it, New School Blues : )   

but hey, it's still the same old stuff, all recorded with only 3 and 4 string cigar box guitars. 

This album is $14 instant download. These mp3 songs play on any computer, phone, or digital device.

  A lot can be done with a 3 string guitar, you can record old time blues with little effort, but you can also record modern styles too.

 

  These guitars have a naturally vintage sound that doesn't require much effort to play and sound well. You can let the guitar work for you because the tone is so unique.

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


  Early Blues and slide guitar that was played on these homemade instruments was created by people who most often didn't know any form of music theory or what musical chords and keys were. Many of them could not even read the written word.


 If the musicians who played Blues music in the 1880's didn't know music theory or complicated math, then neither do you. You do not need to learn chords or complicated music structure to play great sounding blues music on a 3 string guitar.


 On this DVD I will explain the method of how to play guitar by feeling and ear. These lessons will teach you in a simple and easy manner how to play guitar that sounds like it's from the past. It doesn't matter what your age is or how well you can or can't use your hands or fingers. If you can use a computer keyboard, you too can play a 3 string guitar. 


 Watch this short video below, you will see that these guitars don't require much effort to play. Slide guitar is basically just one finger guitar with a few plucks here and there. You can let the guitar work for you because the tone of the instrument is so unique.

When I was in my teens, I was totally fascinated with learning how to play the guitar. I tried to learn from many teachers. I had a very skilled guitar teacher, but when he spoke it was so confusing to me. He spoke clearly, but it was all just too perplexing for 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 F#"...and so on.


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


 I also found it too hard and frustrating to learn by trying to memorize fretboard maps or layouts with charts and dots from math that I didn't understand in the first place. I just wanted to be able to enjoy learning how to play the guitar. 


 As for me, I love hearing that old time deep southern blues. It makes me feel like I've been transported back into the past to a simpler time long ago. So in the end, I have spent 30 years studying and learning many different guitar techniques and styles. In the process, I've learned how to play guitar by feeling and ear. I can now teach you how to play the same way. 

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


On this DVD,


NO math is involved


NO scientific music theory


These lessons are different. I will explain how to play guitar using easy to understand terms and concepts so you can play and create your own music that will sound compelling and moving to hear. 


 These lessons have been broken down into small easy to learn step-by-step building blocks that we will then put together to achieve an authentic old time vintage sound. With just a little patience and practice, you'll be able to create dramatic and captivating music without using difficult math or any music theory.

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 in his hands a homemade guitar that was made out of an old used cigar box and some scraps of wood.

 He's just sitting there relaxing and not thinking too hard about how to create music. He didn't have a computer or cell phone to compare himself to others. He's just sitting there playing guitar on a breezy afternoon without a care in the world. He's having fun and entertaining himself playing songs that his heart and ears can enjoy. - If he can do it, so can you. 

These guitars are rewarding to play. Anyone can learn to play one with just a little time and patience.

If you have read this far, Thanks for your time and consideration in allowing me to share with you how to play and if you have any questions email me - john@reddogguitars.com

This video is $18 instant download and Checks out thru PayPal. 

This video is $18 instant download and Checks out thru PayPal.  

It is an mp4 video that will play on any computer, phone, or digital device.

If you would like a Physical DVD in the mail click here    I can ship one anywhere in the world.

This is Delta Blues music that was recorded using 3 sting guitars.

 

  My goal with this album was to take the listener back in time the early 1900's as if you were actually there... to relive those old dust bowl recordings and ghost towns from long ago.

 I set out to record these songs to sound and feel as authentic as possible. The music on this disc was played on several different types of three string guitars. I've also recoreded with resonator box guitars and a few different cigar box guitars that had uncommon tunings to paint a more primitive audio pitcure.

 There is no singing or band - no regular guitars were used on this album.  

This album is $14 instant download. These mp3 songs play on any computer, phone, or digital device.

If you would like a Physical CD in the mail click here


Have questions ? email me at john@reddogguitars.com

 In these recordings I set out to recreate the 1920's and 30's era. There is no singing or using words, it's of olny guitar recordings. These songs tell a story all of their own, Juke Joints, old ghost towns, and lots of glass bottleneck slide guitar. There's a few modern Electric Chicago style twist too. It will keep you on your toes like those old school two tone leather shoes.


  This music was recorded with homemade guitars and vintage recording gear. There is no regular guitars and no band or singing.


This album is $14 instant download. These mp3 songs play on any computer, phone, or digital device.

If you would like a Physical CD in the mail click here


Shipping for CDs in the mail is about 10 days

 I can mail you one anywhere world wide. 

 I can't say it enough, cigar box guitars are fun and easy to play. These guitars have a naturally vintage tone that sounds like they're strait from the past - But, just as enjoyable as they are to play, they are also fun and easy to build. 

This video covers several types of guitars, both 3 and 4 string as well as resonator guitars.


 It will show you how and what I do when I build guitars in my shop. Everything is explained from start to finish. It doesn't matter if this is your first time building or your 10th. After you study and watch this dvd you will build a better and more resonate sounding guitar.


  I share what to do about the body of the guitar, the wood for necks, how to fret the neck and homemade fretting like a pro - and yes, fretting a guitar neck is easy, even if it's your first time. All done with only basic hand tools. I also cover headstocks of all types and so much more than you could ever get from a book or watching endless random youtube videos....You will save many hours of trying to learn on your own.


   After watching this dvd you'll be able to build a guitar that sounds vintage or modern, clean or gritty, ring like a bell or bite like a dog!  


When I record, I like the 'tone' of my guitar to land somewhere in between the 1930's and a pair of rusty Hot Rod exhaust pipes :-)

Cigar box guitars are built with just a few basic hand tools that most people already have or can borrow from a friend. The great thing about building these guitars is that you don't need power tools. It's kind of liberating if you think about it, to build regular guitars you would need a whole shop of specialized tools, power saws and carpentry planes.


Here is a short sample list of the basic tools you will need,

 As you can see, these guitars don't require many tools. You've already got a head start in this type of construction, the body has been pre-made for you, it's just an old used box. One aspect that I really enjoy about building these guitars, is that they are easy to complete.


- We will also cover all of the parts needed, ideas for homemade bridges, electric pickup types, body hardware, etc. You can use new or used guitar parts or you can get creative and make your own parts with stuff from around your house. It's also exciting to look around your garage or the local hardware store for random items that could be used in a creative way on a guitar. 


 Here below is a rustic looking and road worn 3 string guitar. It has homemade metal body parts. Even the hardtail bridge is made at home from a piece of bent metal. I explain how I make or find parts and how to think ahead when searching for them so that you can create ideas and themes that inspire you. 

Cigar box guitars are built with just a few basic hand tools that most people already have or can borrow from a friend. The great thing about building these guitars is that you don't need power tools. It's kind of liberating if you think about it, to build regular guitars you'll need a whole shop of specialized tools, power saws and carpentry planes.


Here is a short sample list of the basic tools you will need,

 As you can see, these guitars don't require many tools. You've already got a head start in this type of construction, the body has been pre made for you, it's just an old used box. That's one aspect that I really enjoy about building these guitars, is that they are easy to complete.


- We also cover all of the parts needed, ideas for homemade bridges, electric pickup types, body hardware, etc.  

You can use new or used guitar parts or you can get creative and make your own parts with stuff from around your house. It's also exciting to look around your garage or the local hardware store for random items that could be used as guitar parts. 

 Resonator guitar construction is also covered on this DVD


 Homemade resonators are fantastic to play and record with. If you're trying to recreate that hair-raising deep slide gritty down home blues from the 1920's and 30's than this is the type of guitar for you. 


 These instruments are a thrill to play, they have a crisp metallic bell like tone with a sound that is full of sustain and volume. The sound they produce is so vivid and incredible. 

...and if you plug one into an overdriven tube amplifier it will turn into a rude little screamer!


 These guitars are super captivating. There are many guitarist who play only this type of guitar and nothing else. The projection of tone that comes out of the front of the guitar is so phenomenal they can become the only guitar you'll ever want to hold in your hands. 

Here's a recording of a homemade resonator this was captured acoustically open air with a microphone set up right in front of me,


Building a resonator is much easier than you may think, the neck is a stick that runs right through the box and the body is cleverly anchored at the end. There are some things that are different from a standard cigar box guitar, but it's not difficult nor any harder to build. It just requires a bit more time to construct. The strings sit on a bridge that pushes down on a cone held upright inside the body of the guitar. When you strum, it vibrates the center of the cone and it provides amplification without electricity.

- The parts to build cigar box resonators are for sale online in many places. The cones are specialty parts designed and made for these guitars, but if you want to build in the Lo-Fi style, I also explain how to use paint can lids and other items that work well as resonator parts. If you live in Europe or the United Kingdom there are makers of these custom parts available for sale in your part of the world. They are also available for sale in Australia.

If you have read this far, thank you for your time. I know this information was a lot to read but I only wanted to be factual and state what this video was about. These easy to follow lessons will save you a lot of time from making mistakes and it will help you build a better sounding guitar.

 Email me anytime with any questions you may have and thanks again, John

This video is $18 instant download and Checks out thru PayPal.  

This video is mp4 video that will play on any computer, phone, or digital device.

If you would like a Physical DVD in the mail click here    I can ship one anywhere in the world.


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

This is an album called Cigar Box Americana. 


 The music and songs are all sounds that are southern in flavor. To record this music, I've used both 3 and 4 string guitars along with Low wattage and vintage  amplifier. I chose to record with Lo-Fidelity gear and electronics from the 1960's and 70's to help capture that gritty analog tube saturation that you often hear in recordings of that era to achieve a real primitive Southern gritty sound. 

If you would like a Physical DVD in the mail click here    I can ship one anywhere in the world.

Below are fully built guitars that I have for sale.

These are the current guitars for sale for shipment world wide, they are not custom order. 

These are finished and ready for shipment.


If you have any questions, my email is  john@reddogguitars.com  I ship world wide anywhere and insured.


*** The shipping is Flat Rate $88.00 anywhere - same price - $88 anywhere in the world.


--------


One note about these guitars. 


I don't have much of a sales pitch to convince you to buy a guitar. What I can say is this, I am selling these guitars in total belief that any guitar I send to you will be your most prized instrument and that you will cherrish and play it for the remainder of your life. 


If that seems like we would be a good fit, contact me. john@reddogguitars.com

The Old Timer - Hand made guitar from an old used cigar box. This 3 string guitar is painted with a vintage Royal Blue that was used on old Ford pickup trucks from the 1960's and 70's. It's made to look worn and weathered but it's satin smooth to the touch and it's a joy to play. It's also a really easy guitar to play, anyone can pick it up and with little effort you'll sound just like you've stepped right out of the 1930's.

This guitar can cover any style of music, from old time slide to piedmont blues...and paired with the right amplifier it will record super gritty Chicago style electric bottleneck guitar.......whatever............ however! - there's a whole world of sounds to explore. 

  Los Gatos Callejeros - The Stray Cats

 I just wanted to have a little fun with the art for this guitar. I was actually inspired to create this guitar because I saw 2 alley cats in a photo of Rome Italy ...as soon as I saw them I went back to memories in my mind when i use to walk the gritty streets of Puerto Rico and I thought to myself "los gatos!"

 I know it's Spainsh, not Italian, hey hey, I'm just having fun in life.... the translation means "the stray cats"

 ....now if I could just get a chance to see those street cats of Rome in real life...what a city, what a history! I'd love to go!

Los Gatos- 3 string guitar

For Sale email me 


World Wide Shipping

  john@reddogguitars.com



Shipping anywhere in the world $88


Cigar Box Guitar Pickups 


I have a small batch of pickups done for May-June, email me at john@reddogguitars.com

Five and Dime ....also Old Timer Pickups.....super thin and easy to install on just about any cigar box guitar, fits 3 and 4 string

email me anytime!


Here is a short recording of the tone these pickups can record with.  They are designed for 3 and 4 string. They have thin bodies and are easy to install, no need to notch the neck very deep. - email me before there gone!    john@reddogguitars.com

Well, time for me to go, I've got much more I could share, but space on this page is limited and we are at the bottom. If you want to see more art and photos, visit the main page. If you want to see even more than that, I have a book on the subject called "Box Guitar Blues." 

You'll always find me posting new stuff on Spotify and Youtube.

This photo is from the book, it's of one of my all time favorite guitars I've ever seen. This old cigar box guitar turned up for sale on ebay a few years back. Just imagine the effort someone put into building this instrument. I only wish I could meet the person who built it and to hear them play it. What a story I it could tell! - How about that craftsmanship, check out the details...now that's dedication 

Hey, did you know books are fun to read? 

They can even transport you back in time....instantly!

 You just never know what your gonna see or read on the next page : )

This book is for sale on Amazon for 18.50 - shipping is available Worldwide- Click here to order a copy



If you would like to see more guitars and art online - visit to the full Red Dog Guitars website at this link below


https://www.reddogguitars.com/