This is a website about 3 string guitars and homemade cigar box guitars.

- On this page there are guitars for sale ( at the very bottom )


I am still here and shipping from home. It's May 2022 and I have no plans to slow down.


There is Lesson and music DVDs - I ship and mail everywhere Worldwide


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


There's also the book too - it's called "Box Guitar Blues - The Book"


I have the music and lessons in both forms,


***** LOOK for the checkout buttons


This page constantly changes, I update the guitars at the bottom.



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

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.

If you like old time blues music I have three different blues music albums that can be downloaded right to your computer or mailed to you. Questions or comments - email me at john@reddogguitars.com

All of the music and videos on this site are only made with cigar box guitars - No regular guitars were used or recorded.


- Guitars for sale at bottom of the web page -

This is an old school blues album played on homemade guitars. In these recordings I set out to recreate the 1920's and 30's era. I wanted to capture that sound and tone from long ago.

Without singing or using words, these songs tell a story all of their own, Juke Joints, old ghost towns, glass bottleneck slide guitar...and 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 vintage microphones and recording gear. I like to find and use aged and older analog gear that I can bring back to life. This music is only recordings of cigar box guitars. 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.

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

These guitars have such 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 a regular 6 string guitar.


Early Blues music 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 a Delta Blues cigar box guitar music CD disc 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 used resonator box guitars and a few different cigar box guitars that had different tunings. There is no singing or band and no regular guitars were used on this album.


I wanted to create music that sounded like you were walking through an old abandoned town or farmhouse from the 1880's, with suspense, and mystery, whispers that you could barley hear.

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

Cigar box guitars are fun and easy to play. These guitars have a naturally vintage tone that sounds like they're from the past. It's also easier to learn how to play a cigar box guitar than it is to learn on a regular guitar - But, just as enjoyable as they are to play, they are also fun and easy to build.


If you would like to build your own guitar that can capture that old-time classic Delta Blues sound, this DVD video will show you how to build a great sounding guitar that can produce that soul moving tone that sounds like it's strait from the 1930's.

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 'sound and tone' of my guitar to land somewhere in between the 1890'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,

  • a small hand saw

  • small hand pliers

  • sandpaper and wood glue

  • a small hand drill

  • pocket knife

  • small hammer / or rubber mallet

  • a few small screwdrivers / Phillips type

  • a quality ruler (I prefer Metric) Buy a steel ruler, It's the most important tool you'll own

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,

  • a small hand saw

  • small hand pliers

  • sandpaper and wood glue

  • a small hand drill

  • pocket knife

  • small hammer / or rubber mallet

  • a few small screwdrivers / Phillips type

  • a quality ruler (I prefer Metric) Buy a steel ruler, It's the most important tool you'll own

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 hanging 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.

This is a southern cigar box guitar music CD called Cigar Box Americana.


The music and songs are all sounds that are vintage and southern in flavor. To record this music, I've used both 3 and 4 string guitars. To add grit and tube tone I recorded with old and vintage 1960's and 70's guitar amplifiers. Some were naturally overdriven to achieve a real primitive Southern gritty sound.

Here is a video of an old-time "Cigar Box Jukes" played on a 4 string guitar with a glass slide,

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

Shipping available Worldwide

Take a journey into the past as we explore cigar box guitars and other homemade stringed instruments that helped to create the music we now call Blues and Rock n' Roll. If you like cigar box guitars you'll love this book!

In this book you'll find lots of old and antique photos, old blues history with homemade guitars, vintage stories and plans of "how to builds" and much more from the past. Many of these images have never been seen or published for over a 100 years.

There's also lots of cool photos of modern 3 string guitars, 4 string guitars, Resonator guitars and hot rod amplifiers. This is a fun book for anyone who enjoys learning about the history of cigar box guitars, you'll read it many times. The photos alone are a treasure to view. Books are great, you can just sit and look at the pages over and over.

This book is only avaiable on Amazon - shipping is available Worldwide- Click here to order a copy

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.


This section of the website is updated weekly, these guitars for sale are the exact ones in the photos.


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


There is a separate web cart that is separate than the video and music Downloads above, this section is only for the guitars for sale.


*** The shipping is Flat Rate $88.00 anywhere in the world. I ship guitars world wide and basically if you buy a guitar, as long as you have a home or buiness address, I will make sure you get the guitar safe and insured, same price - $88 anywhere in the world.


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One note about the price of these guitars.


It takes me about 4 to 6 weeks from start to finish to complete a guitar. I work on them in cycles, part by part. I build these guitars from scratch with custom themes. I also make most of my own parts and also etch custom art into the pickup covers.

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 instument 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, I would love to send the right person a guitar.

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 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 a joy to play.

This guitar can cover any style of music, from old time slide to primitive rustic Blues...and amped up it will record super gritty Chicago style electric bottleneck guitar.......whatever............ however! - there's a whole world of sounds to explore!

are you kidding me??? not another rusty car video???

Ok, Look ......just be sure your car is gassed up....they say the next gas station is 200 miles away ...and if unsure ... be sure to put extra water in the trunk!

Old Timer - 3 string guitar - For Sale

Email me

World Wide Shipping

john@reddogguitars.com



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 from Flickr...as soon I saw them I thought "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 streets of Rome for myself!

Los Gatos- 3 string guitar

For Sale email me


World Wide Shipping

john@reddogguitars.com



Shipping anywhere in the world $88


Meet Diamond Dave - When he plays his 3 string guitar he likes to sound like an out-of-tune saxophone solo.

I'm not sure what that means? I told him Elmore James or John Lee Hooker would be more fitting...but he does his own thing.

Go for it Diamond, Show us that downtown Chicago electric blues!

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my music and videos with you. I am a just a regular guy who is super passionate about the hobby of homemade guitars. To me there is so many lifetimes of exploration a person can do in this hobby. You can learn and explore both the craft of building them but also the avenue of exploration in playing them.

There's also the art of recording with them.... and making recordings for videos such as soundtracks, that's a whole world in itself!

Much of this music on this site has taken many years to put together. I hope that you have enjoyed it, I've put alot of time and effort into it. You can always see my newest songs on youtube, search out " Red Dog Guitars."

Well, I'm running out of room on this page, but here below are a few more random videos and photos,

June 13th 2022

I'm at it again! I planned on taking a break from recording and spending the summer in the shop building guitars....But one day a few weeks ago I was just doing some random testing of some of the overdrives on a Fender Mustang amplifier and I came up with 2 great songs at the same time....so then I was like, hey this is kinda fun. I dialed in a tone that just had the room full of color and it just sounded so full for being such a small budget amp. Those Mustang amps really pack in a lot of different effects, it's a never ending exploration every time I turn it on. Such a great amp!

Due to the inspiration I thought it would be cool to focus on a more amplified Electric Blues album. I did add on the albums a few songs with some traditional style cigar box blues but for the most part this album is electrified and a more modern style of slide guitar playing.

Here's the other song I created at the same time when I recorded the track for Navajo Electric Slide. If these songs sound cool to you, it's available for download. Thanks for your interest and support in my music! John

Just 9 bucks - This album is only available in download.

I haven't had time yet to create physical compact disc copies like my other albums....in a few weeks I should have some printed early summer.

Here is the download button below. Also, many of the tracks have been turned into youtube videos. Here's a fun one...I know, another rusty car...what's up with that???

Anyways, it's time for me to go now, how about one more fun photo?

This is an antique cigar box guitar from the book "Box Guitar Blues" on Amazon. It's one of my all time favorite home made guitar photos. Jus imagine the effort put into building this instrument. I only wish I could meet the person and hear them play it. What a story they could tell! - How about that craftsmanship : )

I have several websites and pages of these guitars, art and blues music,

to see more - visit to the full Red Dog Guitars website at this link


https://www.reddogguitars.com/