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Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

Hi guys, (and gals)


I love all the information I've found on this site, but I've had a hard time finding real basic "if you don't know anything about music this'll get you started" kind of stuff.  I was looking all over here and at CigarBoxNation for like a list of songs that use just I, IV and V chords, something that would just get me started, and I haven't seen anything like that anywhere.


So, I'm trying to put together a list of songs for CBG that are all I, IV, and V chords over at http://101cigarboxguitarsongs.weebly.com.  (No, this is not shameless self-promotion; I really do need help finding good songs that work well on CBGs.)  If you have a favorite *public domain* song you'd be willing to share - or an original work you'd like to see posted - please message me.  I will give full credit for your contribution, plus I'll link back to your site or youtube channel.




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Alright, now I've got 20+ songs up on my site, now I can show what I was talking about, and what I was asking for re: songs in I, IV, V format.  See how I've got 'em laid out at



I do plan to put up 101 songs; it just might take awhile.  But what I'm hoping to do is to put together something for the absolute beginner, or for the buyer who's never played guitar before, that we can say, "Oh, if you just want to get started playing some songs, check out this site.  Everything's arranged specifically for cigar box guitars and it's super easy to understand."


That's what I'm aiming for; whether or not that's what I have right now, I don't know.  It's still a little confusing and haphazard looking to me, so I probably need to work on it some more.


Any feedback, comments, criticism is welcome (as long as it's not "Hey, you, go to Hell."  That kind of stuff just hurts my feelings...)



The way I see it is that Michael Glenn was on a train heading to the next station.  Y'all are already at that station.  I am still back a the past station...."not even on the train yet"!

I have never read ANY music, so y'all have completely lost me.

I think Michael's original question was meant for folks like myself....and that was to keep us interested by being able to play some simple likeable and usable songs before we get frustrated by all of this  "having to learn music talk". 

Yes, it is important to learn that stuff to grow to the next level (i.e. the next train station), but can't it be fun while on that journey (on the train) to that next level?


Michael Glenn...your link is dead!! What happened? I really want to see this list.

Please don't tell me you gave up.



There's a version from April 2012 in the Internet Archive: http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.101cigarboxguitarsongs....

I'm replying to a really old thread here, but many standard church hymns fill the 3 chord bill. Amazing Grace. This Is My Father's World. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. What a Friend We Have In Jesus. The Old Rugged Cross. Many more, all in the public domain.

That is all 1969 and 1970 Rock n Roll.  Three note RnR.  Louie/Louie, and on and on.

Play On!


I'm like a lot of guys w/no musical experience & pretty much tone deaf. But I built a CBG & love it! I've been reading all these messages & have found another link that may help. Thanks Micheal for putting in the hard work.

Micheal, guess I spoke to soon still can't link/find your songs??

Pete "Papa Bo" Turner said:

I'm like a lot of guys w/no musical experience & pretty much tone deaf. But I built a CBG & love it! I've been reading all these messages & have found another link that may help. Thanks Micheal for putting in the hard work.

It's tough to get old! Here's the link I was talking about http://www.the-joy-of-guitar.com/listof3chordsongs.html not all are three chords, but pretty easy to convert to say a GDg tuning. The notes of a Major G scale & Frets are G (Open) A (2nd fret) B (4th fret) C (5th fret) D (7th fret) E (9th fret) F# (11th fret) & G (Octave higher @ 12th fret) .

Then I just took the notes and converted to frets. Like I said I'm a Newbie, but it seemed to work. Hope this helps.

Papa Bo,

Thanks for the link.  Most rock n roll from '68 to '70was only 3 notes.  Have you ever heard Johnny Dee and the Rocket 88's?

Hi Michael....

I am with you....I have spent a good amount of time trying to find a songbook with the I V and IV chords written over the lyrics, but have had zero luck. It certainly seems simple enough to do IF you know WHAT to do, but I don't. I don't read music but just want to plunk around with some old folk tunes. Please let me know if you have any luck.


Mike Delp


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