Handmade Music Clubhouse

Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

i see people dumping good money into these folkart builds , fact of the matter is if yer spending 3-4-5 hundred dollars into a box guitar , ya have more money than common sense  .ive been bouncing around between the nation and handemade clubhouse since 2009 , there are some awesome builds coming out of both places , fact of the matter is , some seem to be forgetting the fact that a box guitar is exactly what it is , and to think that your buying a Martin or Taylor ,Gibson quality , your sadly mistaken50.00 or 500.00 its a BOX GUITAR , ive seen in the past 3 years some very greedy builders , they throw out a half a dozen BOX Guitars , and think that theyre going to make millions on them , how foolish is this too even think that way , this is a hobby , there are no profrssional builders here , or they would be working for Martin or Taylor ect.

     What ive been seeing here in the past few years is that greed is taking over the hobby and ruining the fun and friendships that were originally the good intensions of the building process and these great websites , i see alot of poor sportsmanship , gingerbread these builds up all you want to , but facts are facts , it is a BOX GUITAR,what are people not understanding here ? i find this to be a sad situation to ruin friendships over a box and a stick.

   If you expect a certain type or style in one of these FOLKART pieces , then build it yourself , thats what started this whole deal , and not buying and expecting a personalized build from someone else .sure a few have made some awesome quality builds ,great going guys ! , and awesome creativity from  those that have.

    the other thing is , if you dont know the builder PERSONALY, you shouldnt be sending money in advance , thats just down right stupid , no matter what the reasons told may be , if you do , you stand a good chance of loosing out , for instance , if you front up moneys for a build from a certain person , and tragedy occures such as death or injury , and the builder cant get the build finished , are you going to go try to sue the family of the deceased ? thats just dedundant and unheartful, and again greedy as hell , when a build is posted and  its already complete , thats when you buy it and not until then

      just my opinion , but i feel this all makes sense , thanx for reading , lets get back to the fun of it , and not making this HOBBY into a grudge match of backyard builders

                                                              steve smith

                                                           dewy-dewtron  

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I love you little big guy.
Ps you owe me quarter mIllion for that neck xx

What a mess.

" dedundant and unheartful "

:-(  You are making my head hurt  )-:

OK, yes, yes, yes,.... but,

 

I've been building for about 4 years, long before 90% of the builders in it today had even heard of a CBG.  For me, although I had played "regular guitar" for about 20 years, nothing is so much fun.  CBGing de-mystified the guitar.  Now, if there is something amiss with one of my "regular" axes, I just dive it.  Before, not so much....  Building opened doors of creativity that I could not have imagined... building, playing, writing, performing.  There's so much that I've gotten to do that I wouldn't have done.

 

$$$$'s???  Well, I've sold a lot, given away more (especially to the troops), met a lot of interesting people, formed friendships.  The hobby (yes! it's a hobby for all but a mere handful of builders) has paid for itself.  I own a few CBGs from other builders.  The ones I can afford are wall are, essentially unplayable, the ones that I would find playable I can't afford.  I've passed on CBGs from "master builders" to CBG museums that were worthless as players.

 

I've built over 350 CBGs by now.  I would tell anyone that if you buy a CBG from someone who has been building for less than 2 years and 100 builds, expect to be disapppointed.   If you do decide to buy from anyone where you can't try it first, insist on a "satisfaction guarentee"...

 

Most of all remember, this is supposed to be fun.   Laugh at yourself, learn, do what makes you smile, give as much as you take...

 

the best,

 

Wichita Sam   

On the one hand there's playable folk art for hanging on a wall and twanging some tunes in your bedroom for the dog

And on the other hand there's precision musical instruments for serious players/performers/recording artists

Both are cigar box guitars...

Which one do you think took 4 hours to build and which one took 60?

Both owners are equally happy

Cigar Box Guitars have evolved to include all types of players and builders.  History is good to honor, but musical instruments are different things to different players, and CBGs are finding their way onto the Billboard charts.  Some artists require a quality made tool to achieve what they want, and a well made instrument to express themselves year after year .  

Am I greedy for wanting a deposit and for charging more than a Strat?  Is the buyer a fool for spending more than $50 and  wanting a folk art vibe in a serious custom instrument?

You have some good points, but face it, CBGs are filling more roles in music these days.  I make folk art wall hangers, but I also make well constructed professional instruments.  They are both cigar box guitars, but they aren't really similar because of quality parts, precision craftsmanship and the role they fill in the players career.  There is a big difference between a stick in a box with a bolt bridge/nut, and a well constructed, dependable  instrument made from serious hand crafted components with the buyers needs in mind.

There is surely room here for both, and for everything in between!  Love the handmade folk art pieces, but don't hate the creation that a talented luthier crafts for a serious, demanding player...

Since someone hasn't made at least 100 you would tell them to expect to be disappointed buying from them? Really? Do you really need to make at least 100 to figure out what works? I better get busy then as I have only made 39.


 
Wichita Sam said:

OK, yes, yes, yes,.... but,

 

I've been building for about 4 years, long before 90% of the builders in it today had even heard of a CBG.  For me, although I had played "regular guitar" for about 20 years, nothing is so much fun.  CBGing de-mystified the guitar.  Now, if there is something amiss with one of my "regular" axes, I just dive it.  Before, not so much....  Building opened doors of creativity that I could not have imagined... building, playing, writing, performing.  There's so much that I've gotten to do that I wouldn't have done.

 

$$$$'s???  Well, I've sold a lot, given away more (especially to the troops), met a lot of interesting people, formed friendships.  The hobby (yes! it's a hobby for all but a mere handful of builders) has paid for itself.  I own a few CBGs from other builders.  The ones I can afford are wall are, essentially unplayable, the ones that I would find playable I can't afford.  I've passed on CBGs from "master builders" to CBG museums that were worthless as players.

 

I've built over 350 CBGs by now.  I would tell anyone that if you buy a CBG from someone who has been building for less than 2 years and 100 builds, expect to be disapppointed.   If you do decide to buy from anyone where you can't try it first, insist on a "satisfaction guarentee"...

 

Most of all remember, this is supposed to be fun.   Laugh at yourself, learn, do what makes you smile, give as much as you take...

 

the best,

 

Wichita Sam   

My two cents is to encourage anyone who shows interest in wanting to buy the CBGs I've built to build one themselves.  I think there is a greater satisfaction in playing something you build yourself even if it isn't the greatest quality and craftsmanship.  The points brought up are interesting.

+1, FTW !

Low Budget Luthiers said:

its a fuckin cigar box with a stick shoved up its ass, get over it.

i say its worth whatever some sucker is prepared to pay for it

i got no problem whatsoever with guys like juju lenny ted josh charging the big bucks.  every marketplace has a top and bottom end.  for me personally, I feel I 'grew out of' cigar boxes and tins etc quite a while ago, but each to their own at least ur not getting fat watching television.  charge whatever you got the balls to charge for em thats my motto

and Sam i agree but only to a point.  Of course I also see 100 new guys a month building one that plays halfway in tune, deciding theyre a new luthiery visionary and calling emselves xxx xtra mojo cigar box guitars setting up websites and thinkin they gonna make a zillion bucks.  And i do think it takes a couple years to get your shit together.   But not necessarily 100 builds.   Some guys are achieving awesome stuff after a dozen or so..  Others settle into a routine or system early on and progress little if any with each one.  I know personally I never did the same one twice and always push myself.  Although I am somewhat past 100 myself now I see guys like Glenn Reither and Mark Lillo and Aj etc on thirty odd and I gotta say those guys are kicking arse with it

also, some guys can make one in a weekend, others spend weeks and weeks on em, agonizing over every detail.  Its just too wide a marketplace with too many exciting avenues and corners in it to make generalizations about value etc.  Does a $3000 les paul custom play nicer than a $1200 studio ??? ppl stil buy the customs, some want the 7 ply binding and fancy shit eh...

Cigar box guitars are a special part of American history. They were first imported in small quantities in the early 1860s, and became very popular with soldiers from both north and south. Many cigar box guitar remains have been found at modern Civil War reenactment camp sites.

The modern cigar box guitar was invented in 1821 by a German clockmaker named Shane Speal who put 3 rusty guitar strings on a poplar plank stuck through a Dutch Masters cigar box to create an odd little instrument. At first cigar box guitars were produced by unemployed drunks as a sideline, but in 1857 Ted Crocker decided to manufacture them on a large scale and went into production in Trossingen, Germany.

The cigar box guitar spread all over Nazi Germany, and with the mass emigration of goose stepping Germans in the latter half of the nineteenth century, all over the world. By the time of the American Civil War, the cigar box guitar was well established in the United States and many soldiers on both sides (the good guys in blue and the bad guys in gray) played them. At first the repertory in this country for harmonica consisted of German folksongs, fiddle tunes, marches, hymns and drinking songs, but somewhere along the way it was taken up by the black man, and its potential as a blues instrument came to light.

During the Lincoln-Douglas debates, when worried friends told President Abraham Lincoln* that his opponent was bringing a brass band, Mr. Lincoln reached into his gunny sack, grinned and said “the humble cigar box guitar will do it for me!” During the war between what was to become America and Redneckistan, both Union and Confederate soldiers carried cigar box guitars into Civil War battles. Many claimed 150 years that carrying cigar box guitars and not guns into battles deflected bullets and saved their lives!

* Fact: Lincoln was of Jewish ancestry and was shot in the Temple!

"Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a fattie of super skunk, and playing my Ted Crocker cigar box guitar." - Abraham Lincoln (from a letter written by Lincoln during his presidency to the head of the Ted Crocker Guitar Company in Germany, now on the wall of the Cigar Box Guitar Museum in Hicksville N.Y.)

(If you have read similar stories about Honher harmonicas online dismiss them as lies and utter bullshit)

LOL Billy, great story-

Mark,

 

It's not that someone who has only 30 or 20 or 10 builds can't make a decent sounding CBG, but they just can't do it consistantly.  When you get into fretted and wired CBGs there are enough things to go afoul, that it takes plenty of trial and error to learn what not to do.....

 

If you buy from soneone in the learning phase expect to be disappointed, don't pay too much and get a "satisfaction guarrentee"....

 

This isn't personal.    It it that way with any craft.  When I started, I would build a "good enough" CBG and not know why.  Now I can start a build with confidence that it will be a very good player.   And, if I screw it up,  I can diagnose the problem and fix it.  Every time you build a better instrument than you have before, you know how important experience is... an a lot of it...

 

JMHO,

Wichita Sam

 
Mark Lillo said:

Since someone hasn't made at least 100 you would tell them to expect to be disappointed buying from them? Really? Do you really need to make at least 100 to figure out what works? I better get busy then as I have only made 39.


 
Wichita Sam said:

OK, yes, yes, yes,.... but,

 

I've been building for about 4 years, long before 90% of the builders in it today had even heard of a CBG.  For me, although I had played "regular guitar" for about 20 years, nothing is so much fun.  CBGing de-mystified the guitar.  Now, if there is something amiss with one of my "regular" axes, I just dive it.  Before, not so much....  Building opened doors of creativity that I could not have imagined... building, playing, writing, performing.  There's so much that I've gotten to do that I wouldn't have done.

 

$$$$'s???  Well, I've sold a lot, given away more (especially to the troops), met a lot of interesting people, formed friendships.  The hobby (yes! it's a hobby for all but a mere handful of builders) has paid for itself.  I own a few CBGs from other builders.  The ones I can afford are wall are, essentially unplayable, the ones that I would find playable I can't afford.  I've passed on CBGs from "master builders" to CBG museums that were worthless as players.

 

I've built over 350 CBGs by now.  I would tell anyone that if you buy a CBG from someone who has been building for less than 2 years and 100 builds, expect to be disapppointed.   If you do decide to buy from anyone where you can't try it first, insist on a "satisfaction guarentee"...

 

Most of all remember, this is supposed to be fun.   Laugh at yourself, learn, do what makes you smile, give as much as you take...

 

the best,

 

Wichita Sam   

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