Diddley Bows and Other Primitives


Diddley Bows and Other Primitives

A place to discuss one-string diddley bows, washtub basses, washboards and any other primitive instrument that may fall outside the Cigar Box realm.

Members: 324
Latest Activity: Feb 5

Discussion Forum

Diddley Bow Tabs #4

Started by BrianQ. Jan 25. 0 Replies

Diddley Bow Tabs #3

Started by BrianQ. Nov 28, 2018. 0 Replies

1 String Tab

Started by BrianQ.. Last reply by BrianQ. Nov 15, 2018. 1 Reply

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Diddley Bows and Other Primitives to add comments!

Comment by Simon Cartlidge on April 29, 2016 at 1:23pm
Hey guys, just found this on YouTube, thought you might like it. https://youtu.be/UvnhSsT5QT8
Comment by Frank Carr on March 18, 2016 at 11:56am

Another diddley bow build, this time with a handmade box.

\uap>It has a 45 degree headstock angle.

\uap>The sound hole decorations are antique bobbins from Hobby Lobby, cut in half. The tailpiece is a Chinese coin pendant, also from Hobby Lobby. The finish is olive oil mixed with a brown dye. Electronics is a piezo pickup. Scale length is 24 3/4. Dot and side markers are celluloid guitar pick punch-outs. Frets are standard narrow acoustic guitar frets.

\uap>On building the box, I made it out of scrap oak I had around plus birch plywood for the top and bottom. I didn't get it quite as square as I would have liked but it was good practice since I hadn't built a small box like that in a very long time.

\uap>Some people have asked about why I have the long tail. I've found it makes the instrument more comfortable to play since the extended tail acts as sort of an elbow rest.

Comment by Frank Carr on March 8, 2016 at 2:57pm

Here's a short "Rollin' & Tumblin'" clip with my paint can diddley bow seen below. It's plugged into my Monoprice 5w tube amp with a touch of delay. I also added a bit of compression in Audacity after recording.

Rollin & Tumblin Diddley Bow Demo

Comment by Frank Carr on March 6, 2016 at 11:07pm

It's about 3 1/4 inches wide. I probably planed about 1/2 off of it with a spokeshave to get the rounded top. That side of the plank was beveled to start with so it was good practice with the shave.

The board was about 4 1/2 feet long to start with. The finished length is 32 inches with a scale length of 23 inches.

Comment by Gordon Cooper on March 6, 2016 at 9:23pm

Thank you Frank! Quite inspiring. Nicely done! How wide is the pallet wood? 

Comment by Frank Carr on March 6, 2016 at 9:10pm

I just finished up this paint can diddley bow, sort of in the style on Eddie "One String" Jones. The board is from a discarded pallet. The paint can is the standard Home Depot quart can. The pickup is a disc piezo. The bridge and nut are 1/4 threaded rods. Frets are simply cut into the wood and the dot markers are punched out picks. I used some dollar store "bullet hole" stickers to decorate the can and the holes in it.

\uap>It is decently loud acoustically. Plugged in and played with the stick and slide method it's "scare the dogs" loud. It also seems to get a pleasant harmonic tone from the can. I'll see if I can capture it on my not-so-great recording equipment.



Comment by Gordon Cooper on February 2, 2016 at 5:28am

Frank, could you post some sound files? Have you thought about a series run pair of piezo pickups to boost volume?

Comment by micky rooney on February 2, 2016 at 5:00am

Very nice...

Comment by Frank Carr on February 2, 2016 at 12:14am

Here are a couple of diddley bows I just completed. They have a 1" square dowel neck and a Halloween decoration coffin box for a body. I did a scarf joint headstock. The scale length is 24 3/4 and has acoustic guitar frets and abalone dot markers. The nut and bridge are cut off threaded rod. I install a piezo disc pickup in them. The key hole tailpieces are leftover scrapbooking supplies.

\uap>They don't have a lot of volume unplugged because the coffin boxes are rather small. The jack is on the back since it wouldn't fit anywhere else with the neck thru taking up most of the box space.



Comment by Gordon Cooper on January 30, 2016 at 8:45am

If fellow diddley players want to hear some new definitely far South of the Delta sounds for inspiration, have a listen to South American diddley bows, played for martial arts classes-



Members (324)


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

Featured Instrument Video

Discussion Forum

Diddley Bow Tabs #4

Started by BrianQ. Jan 25. 0 Replies

Diddley Bow Tabs #3

Started by BrianQ. Nov 28, 2018. 0 Replies

1 String Tab

Started by BrianQ.. Last reply by BrianQ. Nov 15, 2018. 1 Reply

Diddley Bow Tabs #2

Started by BrianQ. Nov 8, 2018. 0 Replies

Diddley Bow Tabs

Started by BrianQ. Nov 5, 2018. 0 Replies

Dead Flowers Diatonic Tab for Rolling Stones fans

Started by Jeff Powers. Last reply by Jeff Powers Oct 5, 2017. 2 Replies

Cookie Tin Diddley Bow

Started by Jeffrey Greene May 12, 2017. 0 Replies

First stringed instrument build!

Started by Bob. Last reply by Bob Apr 30, 2017. 3 Replies

My first Diddley-Bow!

Started by Boris Timofeenko. Last reply by Dano Schultz Apr 23, 2017. 2 Replies

String For My First Diddley Bow

Started by Jeffrey Greene Apr 11, 2017. 0 Replies

Showing off my first Diddley Bow.

Started by Andrew Cooper. Last reply by Andrew Cooper Mar 11, 2017. 2 Replies

Harmonica tab to Diddley bow/Canjo

Started by James Conder. Last reply by Gordon Cooper Dec 6, 2016. 1 Reply

My double stringer

Started by Craig Simpson Nov 14, 2016. 0 Replies

One Thumb

Started by Gordon Cooper Jan 30, 2016. 0 Replies

Where to mark the Neck?

Started by Keith Stanford. Last reply by Bob Taylor Jan 27, 2016. 5 Replies

Diddley Bows from art students

Started by Wade. Last reply by Wade Jun 4, 2015. 2 Replies

First built

Started by Scruggy. Last reply by Scruggy Mar 26, 2015. 4 Replies

Build questions

Started by Mike. Last reply by Phil Thomas Mar 11, 2015. 6 Replies

First build

Started by Scruggy Oct 9, 2014. 0 Replies

Need a little canjo help

Started by T. Wyatt. Last reply by JL Aug 12, 2014. 2 Replies

Latest Activity

RTZGUITARS commented on Jason Mills's video

The Driftwood Dogs

"So sorry Folk's, Dog In Hat has been here longer then me. That grey face says he lived a…"
10 minutes ago
Christopher G Daniels replied to Shane Speal shanespeal.com's discussion Build The BATFINK Cigar Box Cello - Our most insane DIY instrument plans ever!
"I was a 70s child, not old enough for Batfink, but... I remember those Saturday morning cartoons,…"
19 minutes ago
RTZGUITARS commented on Downtown Vinnie's video

Moose's Journey

"Nice Vinnie."
20 minutes ago
Uncle Fred posted an event

Carolinas Box Guitar Club meeting #37 at Big Al's Pub and Grubberia

March 2, 2019 from 11am to 2pm
The next Carolinas Box Guitar Club meeting, #38, will be Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 11:00 am to…See More
50 minutes ago
AGP # liked Bob "Ambrose" Negus's photo
1 hour ago
AGP # liked SlowHound's video
1 hour ago
George Ross liked Daniel Walter's photo
1 hour ago
Jeff 'Bones' Reilly liked Dave Lynas's photo
1 hour ago
shane wagstaff commented on shane wagstaff's video

Wall light banjo

"Thanks everyone for the comments they have been truly enlightening. They inspire me and will bring…"
1 hour ago
George Ross liked Bob "Ambrose" Negus's photo
1 hour ago
George Ross liked Andries D. EKER's photo
1 hour ago
George Ross commented on Andries D. EKER's photo

Workshop febr 2019

"Andries, I like the foot of your workspace, but I couldn't get the LIKE BUTTON to work. Just…"
1 hour ago




© 2019   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 -->