Hi all,

Thanks for the welcome to the gang.  Mine I suspect is a common story - saw a CBG at a local festival, my young fella played it and he's hooked.  Hence, Christmas present time!  And yes, I'm a complete novice.

I'm planning my first CBG to be acoustic.  I will install a piezo pickup but the plan initially is not to get an amplifier (but we might get one later).  I'm also planning a short scale - it's for my 9 year old son.  The box is solid cedar and is 11"x5"x2".


1. Is the box big enough to play without amplification and generate a reasonable sound? (noting we are not playing gigs here, it's for my young lad)?

2. What holes on the box are recommended (size, location) for pure acoustic (no amp) and would these holes be any different if the use of the amp is assumed?  Ideally I just make the holes and the instrument works just fine either way.

3. Noting the short scale plan, should I still get .042/.032/.024 acoustic strings (bronze wound)?  I can worry about the tuning later but I just want to grab the strings to include in the Christmas kit bag so need to get the right ones.

Really appreciate all assistance.


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This will tell you all you need to know: https://www.cigarboxguitar.com/knowledge-base/how-to-make-a-simple-...      Those holes you talk of, I’m guessing are sound holes? They can be as big as 3” if you want them to be? I like 1 1/2” holes in the upper & lower front corners of the box , but I suggest looking in the Pics section to get an idea of what people are doing. You’ll see some thing you like? Don’t worry about acoustic volume so much, it’s gonna be loud enough, I use small boxes all the time?

Hi Andrew, the size of a soundhole in a guitar does play a part in the overall sound of the instrument, and to CBG's as well. Advising what size works best is difficult especially if using real cigar boxes, as the size of the box has to be considered. It comes with a bit of experience and experimentation. In your size box maybe a 50mm soundhole to start.

If you check photos of my CBG's I have holes of different shapes and the areas, but worked out to give best tone and volume, to the extent one can do in a small box.

Small soundhole equals more bass tone large holes favour more treble.

I have noticed that removing the decorative grills from my soundholes even improves the volume.

Just build and learn from the first one, it's going to work anyway.


FWIW when it comes to airflow, common window screen in a vent will reduce it by ~50%.


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