The Astonishing Power of Building Cigar Box Guitars - Bringing People Together

The Astonishing Power of Building Cigar Box Guitars - Bringing People Together

We live in a crazy, fast-paced world and are bombarded with daily messages of divided people.

Politics, sports, beliefs, and values… you name it, and it’s a hot-button topic used to clobber us in newsfeeds everywhere.

Some days, it all feels like a little too much.

Thank goodness there are cigar box guitars to bring us together.

Cigar Box Guitars Join Us Together

Cigar box guitars have a magical way of joining folk to one another – to build, to encourage, to commiserate over mistakes, and to congratulate successes.

For instance, spend some time on, and you’ll see the worlds largest CBG community, filled with members who enjoy learning from and supporting each other.

Even outside of the Nation, you’ll find people leaving controversial topics behind to connect over a CBG build.

At C. B. Gitty we’re blessed to have friends and supporters share stories of such connections with us.

Here’s a small sampling of what those friends and cigar box guitar community members are doing to forget about divisions and instead create connections through CBGs.

Building Relationships While Building CBGs

Here’s Roy B. who helped a young man build a CBG for his senior class project.

Roy B. and student holding cigar box guitars

"The young man in these photos asked if I would help him build a cigar box guitar for his senior class project," wrote Rob about the photo above.

"I have known him for several years. I bought enough materials to build two guitars. I would build my part first, and he would watch, then he would do the same."

"After we were done, we both ended up with our own guitars. He was such a good student that I think his neck came out even better than mine. I may have him carve necks for me from now on."

With both of those CBGs looking as good as they do, Roy clearly did a great job working with his student.

In doing so, Roy helped instill the DIY spirit and a sense of artistic accomplishment for the young man.

And mentoring another as such is a terrific way to bridge nearly any gap.

Great work, Roy!

C. B. Gitty parts used include:

Next, we have Scott M. who created lasting memories by building a cigar box guitar with his father, the first CBG for them both.

Scott M. and his dad holding the first cigar box guitar they've built together

Scott wrote about his first time building a CBG, "I have always wanted to make a guitar project with my father, who is a carpenter. We had such a blast. I will cherish this guitar that we made together."

So often, many of us discover too late that we didn't do the things with a loved one that we always wanted to do. 

In this case, after sharing his first build with his father, Scott created not only an awesome CBG but also lasting memories with his dad.

Thank goodness building cigar box guitars doesn't require a political stance or any hardline opinions. 

It only requires a willingness to learn, to make mistakes, and to grow – lessons a father would teach a son.

Scott, we're happy that you have a CBG and a first-time builder's story with which to remember your dad.

C. B. Gitty parts used include:

Here's a one-year celebration of a father and son building cigar box guitars together shared with us by our friend Casy M.

Casey M. of Flying Pig Guitars holding a resonator CBG

"Every Thursday night I load up all of my gits, amps, and canjos that I'm in the process of building to go and work with my dad in his shop," wrote Casey.

"I can do everything from my house, but my C. B. Gitty projects have been a way for me and Dad to hang out and work together every week. We've built over a 100 cigar box guitars since March and ain't slowing down."

Casey continues, "(Our company) Flying Pig Guitars just finished its first year. When I found this 'Feral Flying Pig' box, I wanted to do something special. So I thought I'd try my first resonator guitar."

Well, that reso he's built is a terrific show of respect to what Casey and his dad have accomplished together.

And that they've been building together for over a year is a testament to the beauty of sharing cigar box guitars with someone you love.

Keep up the excellent work, Casey!

C. B. Gitty parts used include:

Adding to the good nature of cigar box guitars we have here our friend Steebos who has one of the most positive and healthiest perspectives on sharing his joy for building.

Steebos giving cigar box guitars to two children

"These are builds #12 & #13. They were birthday presents for my niece, Layla, & my wife's best friend's son, James" wrote Steebos. "They've both really wanted one since I gave my daughters each one for their birthdays in August."

What's so heartening about Steebos' message isn't just his love for building, it's his love for sharing that builds connections with people. 

In turn, those people are connected to the joy of handmade musical instruments.

He continues, "I love building & playing cigar box guitars, but the feeling I get when I give one away is second to none. There's something beautiful about putting your heart & soul into something, building it with your bare hands & giving it away to bring joy into someone else's life. When they see them the look on their faces is priceless." 

"Everyone tells me I should sell them & I most likely will, but for the last year I've been building, playing & giving them away, but you can't put a price on the joy of giving the gift of music."

And isn't that the truth?

You can't put a price on the joy of giving the gift of music.

Now, that's good stuff.

Keep doing what you do, Steebos. The world is a better place for it.

C. B. Gitty parts used include:

Here is the last example of a CBG builder who side-stepped negativity and brought light into the world with his passion for building. 

Our good friend MagicDaddy has gone above and beyond with this handmade bulldozer-bucket loader CBG.

MagicDaddy's bulldozer-bucketloader guitar and amp

Wrote MagicDaddy of his one-of-a-kind creation, "This was a commission build for a bulldozer designer/operator at CAT HQ. The challenge here was building a bulldozer from a cigar box and then converting that into an instrument. The customer that commissioned this build contacted me in June, and we discussed what he wanted, and I started building."

MagicDaddy's bucket loader, CBG headstock

"We had been in contact several times throughout the build process and had gotten to know each other on a more personal level, during which I learned that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and this build was giving him something to look forward too."

MagicDaddy's handmade tractor treads

"Unfortunately, he passed away before it was finished. It was a hard blow to me because I was thinking I was building a guitar that would never be played. After speaking with a few Cigar Box Nation members, that I consider my friends, I decided I was being selfish; it's not about being played, it's about providing a memory for a loved one of that person."

Well, that's about as beautiful a message as Magic Daddy could share, not to mention that his work on this guitar is tremendous.

Check out the pictures below.

In them, you'll see that he carved all those custom parts by hand – a true labor of love.

Hand-carved tractor treads by MagicDaddy

Hand-carved parts for MagicDaddy's bulldozer CBG

This build demonstrates that Magic Daddy, himself no stranger to hardship, is a true inspiration.

Combining his love for building with his passion for helping people, he's shown us all that cigar box guitars can genuinely bring people together for something good.

Who Will You Connect With Over CBGs?

Thanks to the nightly news and social media, we all have enough to worry about. 

For one afternoon, perhaps it would be worth spending time with someone and building a cigar box guitar.

The ripple effects from such a thing could be far-reaching and ultimately life-changing.

And who knows, maybe you'll bridge a gap with someone who could use some positivity in his or her life.

Give it a shot.

When you do, share pictures with us of what you all do so we can feature your work on our website

4th Feb 2019 Glenn Watt

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