Previously I built a viola da gamba using 1/8 inch paneling as a facade covering the straight sides made from toe kick.

It's neck was made from an ax handle using neck-through construction and worked fine.  

I used that 3" radius blue plastic tubing from the hardware store to be the arched fingerboard cut at an angle so that the nut area was narrower than the bridge side. Worked perfect.

Strung it with classical guitar strings and used rubber bands for the frets. Sounded great except the 1st string didn't always speak well when bowed.

Anyway, I've got an idea now after seeing Afghani rabab and banjitars to make another bowed gamba with sympathetic strings like a dilruba or sarangi and a 6 string banjitar with sympathetic strings. I'll call them a dilgamba and a rababitar. 

a) Looking for a quick and dirty solution to the sympathetic strings, which do not need a buzzing jiwari bridge since it's not a sitar. Normally the rabab has sympathetic strings which come through holes in the main bridge instead of using two bridges. They only come out of the half of the bridge having the lower pitched strings, then angle off to the side of the neck like a banjo. 

I'm wondering if anyone has experience making sympathetic strings. I'm not looking to do a slick, pro job on them. Just something a beginner can easily pull off. Would you use 2 bridges or stick to 1 with holes for the sympathtic strings like on rababs?

b) Also, what kind of tuning pegs would you use for the sympathetics on the side of the neck? There should be 12 packed close together. My idea is to use violin pegs. They can be kind of pricey though.

I'm not so good with tools and don't want to take the time to fashion my own pegs. I've got a pro audio business which takes up most of my time and just want a playable instrument which sounds right and is easily tunable. It can be a little funky like tuners made of dowels or something. What do you guys recommend? 

Views: 80

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


Zither pins

I made my own in this instructible (step7)

You can also get a couple of hundred by demolishing an old piano.

Thanks for the reply.
I suppose the cheap zither pins are a good solution.
They arrived.


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


Rocky Patel mocked up

Started by James Pobog in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by James Pobog 24 minutes ago. 2 Replies


Started by Mitchell Cutsinger in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by BrianQ. 37 minutes ago. 1 Reply

First build

Started by Lark Leazar in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans 17 hours ago. 35 Replies

Headless Guitar Project - a $100 eBay kit & Gitty pickups

Started by Cigar Box Nation in Feature Articles. Last reply by Poorness Studios on Thursday. 5 Replies

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 7 Comments

Get your groove on for free

Posted by François on July 13, 2021 at 3:05pm 1 Comment

Latest Activity

Jerry Jordan commented on CLG's photo

Little Guitars

"Nice pair, they look like fun.!"
19 minutes ago
James Pobog replied to James Pobog's discussion Rocky Patel mocked up
"The back of the box is just plain, but here's the back of the neck..."
24 minutes ago
Doug Thorsvik posted a video

Pontoon: 3-String (G1G2D3) Cigar Box Guitar

Cigar Box Guitar Slingers - Spokane, 75th Zoom Mtg Sep 27, 2021. More info and free songbooks:
30 minutes ago
BrianQ. commented on smilingdog1's video

John Seabuagh and Heather Carter, here at the Hwy61roadhouse 2021 cigar box guitar festival.

"Thanx for this, it’s been such awhile since we’ve had festival videos here!!"
32 minutes ago
BrianQ. liked Poorness Studios's video
34 minutes ago
BrianQ. replied to Mitchell Cutsinger's discussion Chords
"Nothing, keep practicing!"
37 minutes ago
BrianQ. replied to Steve Bookout's discussion Double Necked E-lectric Whachamacallit
"Kool, in the 50’s, Mosrite made a double-neck for Joe Maphis that had a Mando on top &…"
38 minutes ago
BrianQ. replied to Luke Jalbert's discussion Building a Cigar Box guitar with no musical parts
42 minutes ago
Luke Jalbert replied to Luke Jalbert's discussion Building a Cigar Box guitar with no musical parts
1 hour ago
Doug Thorsvik commented on Poorness Studios's photo

Jewelry Box to Guitar Amp

"Probably next year Kale! The Slingers will be performing live for the first time at the Spokane…"
1 hour ago
Carl Floyd liked Taffy Evans's discussion The hidden Volume pot, revealed
4 hours ago
Carl Floyd liked Steve Bookout's discussion Double Necked E-lectric Whachamacallit
4 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("") 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 -->