So after watching many different tutorials on how to play a cbg online and realizing that they were mostly 3 stringers tuned GDG, I'm left wondering what to do. Should I keep going ahead with my plan to make a 4 string, or make it a 3 instead. Is there a way of tuning my 4 string so that its still as easy to play bad to the bone. What magical tuning does that extra string need to be for me to just go open, 5, 3, 5, open. I have no musical knowledge other than knowing the most motivating way for me to learn playing is to build it and learn. Like the movie says "If you build it, they will come." By they, I mean me learning to play.

Views: 569

Replies to This Discussion

You can build a four string, and put 3 strings on it until you learn, then add the fourth later (or not).  Or build a 3 stringer, learn on it, and then build a four stringer.  CBGs are like potato chips.  You can't stop at just one.

Some may say GDgd (5431 strings)...others might suggest GDgb (5432 strings). Whatever gets the soul charged, works.

Thanks for the advise. I think you are correct. I'll just have to build one of each. Or a few of each. Or just never stop. Yeah that's more like it haha.

the mystery 4th string i tune in 'B'  (9GDGb 32-24-16-13)- there are many configurations you could try,  use thicker strings for lower tunings (-:


I just finished a 4 stringer and could not figure out the tuning. Started out with a very slack DAD variation but it jangled too much. Then tried standard guitar tuning - thought the damn neck would rip right out of her so now very happy with GDGB. Sounds very nice and not too much stress on the guitar.

In the meantime, if you have a guitar, tune it to open G (DGDGBD) and experiment with each of the string combos and see which of the four 3-string (DGD/GDG/DGB/GBD) or three 4-string (DGDG/GDGB/DGBD) combinations you like best - or find most intuitive. Then build for that. :-)

Note: Marcus's earlier mention that GDGB sounds nice  is spot on. It's also a good tuning for many different and easily playable chords.


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

Neck install

Started by bizzaro guitaro. Last reply by bizzaro guitaro Mar 19, 2017. 5 Replies

Looking to add another string...

Started by Urban Bill. Last reply by Slowpaw Steve T Mar 19, 2017. 1 Reply

New instruction book from Justin Johnson

Started by Slowpaw Steve T. Last reply by Steve Moskal Jun 22, 2015. 2 Replies

Chords on 4 string open E

Started by Rob Bennett. Last reply by Uncle John Oct 15, 2014. 5 Replies

2nd 4 string

Started by Daryl. Last reply by Daryl Jun 28, 2014. 2 Replies

4 strings tuned GDAd

Started by frank tennyson. Last reply by frank tennyson Apr 30, 2014. 2 Replies

Online lesson resources?

Started by brdfrd. Last reply by brdfrd Apr 24, 2014. 4 Replies

Where to place 4-String Single Coil Pickup?

Started by Charles E Tuttle. Last reply by Charles E Tuttle Nov 29, 2013. 7 Replies

Reentrant tuning gCEA

Started by Darren Allard. Last reply by jamie bark Sep 14, 2013. 3 Replies

2nd Four String

Started by Gdawg. Last reply by James O Lunsford Sep 12, 2013. 3 Replies


Started by Brent. Last reply by eK May 8, 2013. 6 Replies

Why four strings...?

Started by Slowpaw Steve T. Last reply by frank tennyson Oct 21, 2012. 8 Replies

Keni Lee Burgess Four string beginners (resonator) video

Started by Slowpaw Steve T. Last reply by Slowpaw Steve T Sep 20, 2012. 2 Replies

New 4-string Cigar Box Guitar "The Wine Box"

Started by Dreessen Rene. Last reply by Dreessen Rene Aug 15, 2012. 2 Replies

Some Observations on String Gauges

Started by Slowpaw Steve T. Last reply by eK Jun 25, 2012. 1 Reply

New to foiur string

Started by Mal Chilvers. Last reply by Slowpaw Steve T Apr 9, 2012. 1 Reply

4 string box

Started by Rooster Reaves. Last reply by Rooster Reaves Feb 23, 2012. 7 Replies

Tunings and chords - post them here (-:

Started by Slowpaw Steve T. Last reply by Ice Bob Feb 21, 2012. 5 Replies

Latest Activity

Beto liked Beto's profile
1 hour ago
Beto updated their profile
1 hour ago
Matthew Borczon commented on AGP #'s photo

AGP #347 - ''Puddy One String''

"I love it!! It is not as hard to play as you might think, just takes some practice"
1 hour ago
Beto left a comment for BrianQ.
"Thank you BrianQ!! Muchas gracias!!"
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas commented on AGP #'s photo

AGP #347 - ''Puddy One String''

"Ya the playing part is a challenge. I just saw away. I got ok at it in my last fiddle craze. I want…"
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas commented on AGP #'s photo

AGP #347 - ''Puddy One String''

"I love your neck carving work AGP. Your peg box is primo! The site is broken this morning.…"
2 hours ago
Dave Lynas commented on Matthew Borczon's video

tom dooley

"I watched again. I hope I can play as well."
2 hours ago
Dave Lynas commented on Matthew Borczon's video

tom dooley

"My diddle fiddle is looking a lot like yours Matthew. Mine might have a longer neck? I’ll do…"
2 hours ago
Dave Lynas commented on Dave Lynas's photo


"Thanks Beetle. Cream of the crop."
2 hours ago
Dave Lynas commented on Dave Lynas's photo

Jersey Cream Diddle Fiddle

"I like the cow AGP. Hope to have it strung by Sunday for the “Holy”."
2 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked SlowHound's video
4 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked BeetleJuice!'s photo
4 hours 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("") 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 -->