What do you find most interesting about cigar box guitars? (Part One)

What do you find most interesting about cigar box guitars? (Part One) has been the online home of the cigar box guitar and homemade music movement since Shane Speal launched it back in 2008. In the fourteen years since, over 22,000 people from all over the world have joined the community to ask questions and share their photos, videos and advice about these amazing instruments.

Ten or so years ago, after I took over ownership of the site from Shane, we implemented some membership questions to try to weed out spam accounts. The third and final question was meant to help us gauge if the would-be member was indeed a human interested in the site’s subject, and it posed the simple query that is the title of this post.

The answers over the years are a good reminder of just how magical the concept of homemade instruments are to folks who have just discovered them for the first time. Those of us who have been living and breathing them for years can sometimes forget the joy and wonder we felt when we strung up our first cigar box guitar and gave those strings a strum. Quotes like these help us remember.

So here is the first installment of what I hope will be a multi-part series, sharing some of my favorite answers from the Cigar Box Nation question. Some are short and to the point, others are longer and more poetic. Some share life details, others do not.

So: “What do you find most interesting about cigar box guitars?”

“The simple fact that one does not need to have exotic equipment and expensive materials to make musical instruments.” - Rob R., November, 2022. California, United States.

“Primitive simplicity and the friendly CBG community.” - Ted C. (RIP), December, 2008. Florida, United States.

“When I learned that some of my music heroes began on home made instruments (like cigar box guitars) I had to check them out for myself. You can't hardly get more "roots music" than CBG's.” - Bobby O., January, 2014. Washington, United States.

“I find that the endless amount of creativity you can have with them is what's best.” - Troy M., October 2016. Ontario, Canada.

“Music that touches the soul is created with an instrument that brought fourth the most meaningful kind of music, which is the blues.” - John, February 2018. United States.

“What I like most about Cigar Box Guitars is that it only takes a handful of tools to build a unique instrument.” - Emile G., August 2021. Germany.

“The sound.” - Robert H., August, 2021. Illinois, United States.

“Recycling junk into art.” - Josh, August, 2021. Michigan, United States.

“I love how there are no rules and they are easier to play than regular guitars (6-string).” - Andrew G., January 2021. Melbourne, Australia.

“It’s where music and art collide.” - Ten Cent Todd, March, 2017. Texas, United States.

Stay tuned to this blog for more installments of Cigar Box Inspiration.

16th Dec 2022 Ben "Gitty" Baker, et al.

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