Welcome to Cigar Box Nation! A letter from C. B. Gitty...

If this is your first time visiting Cigar Box Nation, you may be a little overwhelmed by the great amount of information in here.  Let me give you the nickel tour...

Building a Cigar Box Guitar

We have a variety of cigar box instrument plans that are free for you to download.  Some are new and others are more than 100 years old.  If you're new to woodworking or are looking to start with something simple, I suggest the following:

How to Build a 3-String Cigar Box Guitar  -  This new 8-page set of plans walks you through building a simple but fully playable 3-string cigar box guitar from scratch. These present well-illustrated, up-to-date how-to info in an easy to understand method that will enable young and old to build their first cigar box guitar with minimal effort.

If you want something more challenging, then dive head-first into our vast selection of instrument plans!

You will probably have some questions along the way.  That's what makes Cigar Box Nation so great!  We have forums, discussions and even a live chat room on the front page just waiting for your questions. 

How to Play a Cigar Box Guitar

We have lessons in Video, TAB and other formats for every level of player.  You can see them all here.

Where do I get the parts needed to make a cigar box guitar?

Cigar Box Nation is run by C. B. Gitty, the cigar box guitar superstore.  We have kits, parts and great building ideas just waiting for you.  Visit us at www.CBGitty.com.

Join the Community!

Now that you have the basics, I encourage you to create your own Cigar Box Nation profile and really dig in to all the conversations and photos. 

Thank you for visiting Cigar Box Nation. 

Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker 

(visit my own Cigar Box Nation profile here!)

P. S.  If you want to know more about this whole Cigar Box Guitar movement, check out the Cigar Box Guitar Manifesto.



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Comment by Keith Fraser on November 20, 2018 at 6:52pm
Hi all. Looking to get some advice on shipping CBGs from Scotland to the US. Yep, ironic or what! I'd appreciate any info on how best to pack them, is a cardboard box enough with bubble wrap and polystyrene? Or is a hard case necessary? Just trying to keep the costs down. If anyone has experience of this I'd welcome your feedback. All the best from Scotland. Thanks K
Comment by Rick Woodward on October 21, 2018 at 8:55pm

Hey guys!  Thanks for the Add!  I have been playing guitar for over 40 years. I will start my first CBG build tomorrow!  Really interested in learning about fretting necks and fret boards. Again, thanks!!

Comment by Lindsey Landers on September 2, 2018 at 5:08pm

Brand new to CBN, site is awesome. Looking to have a 6 string built for my son. He had been researching online and found a picture of #12 Brossey's Custom by Scott Schoepf, which he found on this site, he absolutely fell in love with that guitar. My son loves slide guitar JOHNNY WINTER day and night!!! If anyone has any advice or guidance, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks

Comment by Jerry Holcomb on July 6, 2018 at 3:37pm

new to cigar box nation, built my first one this week, check it outIMG_20180705_191407.jpg

\uap>now just need to learn to play

Comment by Austin K on June 12, 2018 at 11:51pm

I have a question about mounting a piezo pickup.  Everyone seems to use a hot glue gun , but I don't have one. Is there any alternative? Can I use wood or super glue?

Comment by Paul Sayer on April 24, 2018 at 5:26am

New to Cigar Box Nation, and i was wondering if anyone in New Zealand does lessons for the CGB 3 string, and can anyone recommend a good set up for my Fender Champion 20 for the deep dirty blues

Comment by Rowdy Berry on April 18, 2018 at 10:37pm

hello guys. New member. building 2nd CBG.. posted in "introduce yourself" section already.. still trying to navigate and learn this forum.

\uap>Here's tone on 1st CBG build.


\uap>I am HOOKED. found this box for build #2..




Comment by the anonymous pick on April 10, 2018 at 11:17pm

welcome Anthony ;-)

Comment by Anthony williams on April 10, 2018 at 9:32pm

Good morning, just want to hi from Australia. Became interested in CBG after my son got one from the local store. Learning to play Proud Mary,.


Comment by Dave D on February 23, 2018 at 2:27am

Hi All, thanks for approving my app.  I arrived here whilst looking for something fun and interesting to do, I have built valve amps in the past and toyed with making instruments...I think the a CBG will be just the thing - I have most of the bits I need kicking around already in my spares boxes :)

Comment by Pete Mason on February 13, 2018 at 10:53am

Hi everybody. I became interested in a cbg after seeing some for sale at the Rory Gallagher International tribute Festival in Ballyshannon, Ireland last year. I'm planning to buy one first then have a go at building one. If I can get a slide sound even remotely like Rory did, I'll be delighted!

Comment by Methos on February 8, 2018 at 11:40am


New board member here and newbie to all things CBG. I am a musician of 30+ years but in just the last week I went from believing that that Cigar Box Instruments were just toys to realizing they are mean sounding and very capable instruments! I am so inspired! I will be making my first CBG pretty soon. First build will be a 3 string tuned GDG, that should get me started nice. I've watched enough vids, and read enough I think to take on this project. I think it is very likely I will mess it up this first time around but I think I should learn a lot in the process!

 Thanks all!


Comment by Fergus Lester on February 1, 2018 at 2:43pm

Hi. I ended up here mainly while researching amp building. Have not built anything from an actual cigar box yet but I get the whole DIY thing. Next project using a wine case though.

Here are some links to my amp, lap steel and harmonica mics. 

Comment by Jim Wayts on November 28, 2017 at 10:46am

Im a newbee to you folks.Im 73 & a diebetic thats board to death .Looking towards a hobby .Looking for help in deciding  to find a Used 3 string slider to begin with since im living on social securty.my name is Jim Wayts live in Dingmans ferry  P.A..can anybody give me advise that would help me out.   AKA wooziewaz.Thank you  quietman5@gmail.com

Comment by Philip Hall on October 15, 2017 at 3:06am
Hi to everyone. I'm new to CBN. I'm an Aussie and I have just finished building my second CBG using a red biscuit tin box (photo's have been uploaded). My first CBG was a kit which went really well, think I've got the CBG bug now. My tin box build threw up some challenges regarding piezo pickup shorting out due to all of the tin. Managed to solve the problem using electrical tape and plastic bolts to connect the lid and body. Also tried 4 different bridges to remove a sitar buzz; settled on an Aussie hard wood block called Jarrah with angled string slots for better intonation.
Comment by Bob B on September 25, 2017 at 4:16pm
Hello all,
I decided that I can't play a 6 string (to many strings and too short fingers), so when I stumbled upon 3 strings, I said Bingo, I can play those. Boy was I wrong. I have built 4 CBG's but struggle to play. Thank god you guys post all the tutorials that you do, I keep trying.
Does any one build or play in the 08844 area of NJ?
Comment by Ken Johnson on September 12, 2017 at 12:24am

Good evening folks, I'm glad I stumbled on your page, I'm brand new to both the Cigar Box and the more traditional guitar. except for a small engineering problem, I have built my first Cigar Box Guitar. Next will be an amp for it and then another guitar with a black cigar box. Their a lot of fun to build and real frustrating at the same time.

Comment by Lee Boekhout on May 29, 2017 at 10:29pm

I'm not sure where I should go with this, as I am new to the forum. Any direction would be appreciated. I am looking for information on tuning of a hammered dulcimer I have recently purchased online. It has 9 courses of three strings each. It has only one bridge, no base bridge. The strings were all rusted, and I am in the process of restringing the instrument. I is reportedly made my the Amish, and is of excellent quality wood workmanship. The label inside states it is made in 1971 by Sam Rizzetta in Arlington, VA. It does not show a brand. It appears to have a nice hardwood frame (possibly maple) and the sound board appears to be quarter sawn spruce. The existing strings (all rusted) measure .120. It is unknown if the strings are original. If anyone has any information on this instrument, especially what the tuning is, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you one and all. Lee Boekhout

Comment by Lee Boekhout on May 8, 2017 at 4:58pm

Thanks, Jim, for your information. I thought I'd try nylon strings. I just like the mellowness of their sound better, like a classical guitar. As soon as I get my current projects caught up, this will be on my priority to-do list. Thanks again. Lee

Comment by Jim Morris on May 8, 2017 at 1:44pm

Hi Lee, welcome to CB instrument making! I've made and played several cigar and self made box dulcimers. The scale length (nut to bridge) can be the same for any type of strings. It's a matter of making sure the fret placement is correct for the chosen scale length. I use Stewart Macdonald's fret calculator for this and measure as accurately as humanly possible. I've never made a nylon string mountain dulcimer and know am curious as to how one might sound. Here's one I made last year

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