I have made a few CBG’s, now what. 

I have no musical experience but I really want to start playing these bad boys. Where is the best place to start for a true beginner? I have found a lot of videos on YouTube, but they are out of my league. Is there a certain approach to take for absolute beginners? Does it matter what I learn first? I would love to have a road map of what to learn before moving on, or any other advice. 

Thank you all for any help with this. I am super excited about them but I fear playing them is beyond me. 

Views: 359

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Tyler, first thing is to identify with a particular style of music, what do you listen to most what do you enjoy most. It will help with suggestions from others on here to know this.

The best way of course is to play with and learn from others in person, but that is not always possible. 

The "how to play" segments on this site could be all you need, at least you can ask questions here, bit harder on utube.

I have been helping a mate of mine to play and the hardest part for him is understanding the structure of the songs. Its one thing to learn 3 easy chords [and they are easy] the hard part for him is forming them into a song. He does not hear the chord changes, or hear the clues that they are about to change.

My son is completely different, show him something and he's got it and can play along with a song in no time. Different strokes for different folks.

Good luck Taff

Thank you both for such a fast response. I prefer the old delta blues stuff. I have a fretted and a fretless but would love to learn the fretless first. I am just more drawn to it than the fretted. A lot of the beginner stuff is on a fretted CBG. Should I follow that path and circle back when I am ready or just force the fretless slide that I am so fond of?
I feel like most of the fretless videos that I find are far too advanced for me right now.


He sure does have fun when he plays.

yup he do. ;-)

the 1-4-5 pattern is

 I open strum -  IV 5th fret strum -  V 7th fret strum.

This is call the quick change as you can see the chord changes on the second measure.

try and play the notes clean and slide up to the 5th and 7th.

See the source image

each /  is a strum your now playing the blues. good luck Tyles


Absolute beginner? Spend the first few weeks just noodling around and making sounds that you find pleasing. : )

Great advice Korrigan, just play... Don’t think too much. If I can learn to play delta blues on my own, by listening to records at age 16, then it’s not really that hard? I was advised by a veteran slider, to just play & I got better by just letting my fingers take over. no pressure, just play what your heart desires? you may want to peruse Shane & Glenn’s beginners videos in the Resources tab & take it slow?  Good luck to you

Thanks BrianQ and Korrigan. I have been fooling around and making noise and I do enjoy it. I was just curious is there was a "road map" so to speak on things I should focus on in a particular order, to get a better understanding of the instrument and music. I will keep plucking away and hopefully make noises that sound closer to music at some point.


I don't know about you but for me, if I'm following a "road map" I'm probably not having fun... and if I'm not having fun doing something, and I'm not getting paid for it, I probably won't be doing it for long.  : )

That said, in no particular order, things to explore (YouTube is great for this)...

  • Chords
  • Scales
  • Hammer-ons
  • Pull-offs
  • Capoing
  • String bending
  • Sliding notes
  • Flat picking
  • Finger picking
  • ̶N̶o̶s̶e̶ ̶p̶i̶c̶k̶i̶n̶g̶
  • Natural harmonics
  • Pinch Harmonics
  • Muting
  • Tapping
  • Sliding (with a slide)
  • Alternate tunings

Whatever you do... have fun!

This is perfect! Thank you Korrigan. Now I know what to look for and have plenty to keep me busy learning the lingo and the techniques.


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Cigar Box Amp Mods

Started by Cigar Box Nation in Feature Articles. Last reply by RTZGUITARS Sep 17. 14 Replies

Blog Posts

Prototyping with a big ol' wine box

Posted by Ben on September 23, 2021 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

Mr. Bells

Posted by Stephen Cohen on September 4, 2021 at 12:30pm 0 Comments

Bookie's Poor Man's Dobro

Posted by Steve Bookout on July 18, 2021 at 2:04pm 4 Comments

Latest Activity

Carl Floyd updated an event

South Carolina Cigar Box Guitar and Arts Festival at Stoneledge Park Event Center

September 25, 2021 from 10am to 6pm
Roots music has the Americana twang sound. That's the sound is found in Blues, Rock n Roll, Country…See More
16 seconds ago
Randy S. Bretz liked Kirk Whitham's photo
43 minutes ago
Buggsy updated their profile
2 hours ago
RON NORTHCUTT commented on Uncle John's photo

Our friend, Dave Lynas, passed away Friday, 9,17,21

"It is with great sadness that I just learned of Dave's passing. I never got to meet him…"
2 hours ago
Cigar Box Blues commented on Kirk Whitham's photo
2 hours ago
Dr George Melvyn Ella liked Randy S. Bretz's photo
4 hours ago
Dr George Melvyn Ella liked Adam Cripps's video
4 hours ago
Gary O'slide posted a video
5 hours ago
Bernie Edwards liked Kirk Whitham's photo
6 hours ago
Michel liked Kirk Whitham's photo
7 hours ago
Uncle John commented on A.D.EKER's video

Rusty Bottom Brown A. D. Eker 2021

"Got the pic, Andries.  Thanks.  Will share it with a couple of biking friends."
9 hours ago
Uncle John commented on Uncle John's video
9 hours ago


© 2021   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->