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Cigar Box Guitars 

The unusually named cigar box guitar is a classic instrument that you don’t see much of nowadays. Originally these instruments were made out of cigar cases from around the middle of the nineteenth century (the 1800s).

In order to make the instrument work, the person making it would need to attach a neck (the modern day version of which would be a fret board) to the cigar box. They could then stretch some strings along the neck and hollow out a hole for the sound to resonate within the box.

The boxes were made of wood, so they acted very much like the hollow body of an acoustic guitar does in modern times. The American Great Depression of the 1930s saw people taking more interest in homemade instruments, so the cigar box guitar started to be made in greater quantities. There is also something of a modern revival for the instrument.

Types of Cigar Box Guitar

Different styles and types of cigar box guitar are available, including:

  • 3 string cigar box guitar – a guitar made with a cigar box body that has 3 strings
  • 4 string cigar box guitar – this is the classic type of cigar box guitar, as played by many legendary blues and rock guitarists such as Bo Diddley
  • Vintage cigar box guitar – the instrument goes back a long time, so there are many different vintage models available
  • Modern cigar box guitar – there has been a modern day revival in the popularity of the cigar box guitar, so you can find many new versions available
  • Fretless cigar box guitar – the original guitars were made without frets, in the style of a violin

Cigar Box Guitar Accessories

  • Guitar strings – many cigar box guitars have fewer strings than a normal 6 string guitar. Even so, they still wear out with use so you will want to have spare strings available as replacements
  • Guitar strap – the classic image of someone playing a cigar box guitar is to have them sitting down. You can, however, attach a strap for playing the instrument standing up
  • Guitar plectrum – for plucking the strings of your cigar box guitar, rather than playing with your fingers
  • Guitar case – not as common as an ordinary guitar case, due to the shape of the instrument. Helps protect your guitar from damage
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