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This Bug Anyone Else?

This Bug anyone else?  

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I was trying to find a place that sells cigar boxes when I found this wiki. I read it was shocked at the modern revival section. Heres the link. Wiki

and heres the lines that bugged me.

Also, there is a growing number of primitive luthiers adding cigar box guitars to their items for sale on their websites and eBay.

Modern revival is sometimes due to interest in jugband and the DIY culture, as cigar box is relatively inexpensive when considering other factors, such as strings and construction time. Many modern cigar box guitar can thus be seen as a type of practice in lutherie , and implement numerous own touches, such as additional of pick up and resonator cones into it.

Idk about you but I'm not a primitive luthier, amature yes but its not like im trying to nail a stick to chunk of log and attach some home made strings made from deer guts. I have seen quite a few cigar box guitars that required a lot of skill to manufacture.

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A guy at work builds oilcan guitars. He goes on ebay, buys antique oilcans and does them up nice w/ a maple neck, TOM bridge and single pup. The last one he built sold for 500 bucks. I can assume the originator of the Wiki article would say the same about what Bill does. So lets just chalk his comments up to ignorance and let him continue swimming in it, K? :D

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Doesn't bother me.

It is an easy way to get into being able to play *Something* when

you don't have money.

There are quite a few folks out there building top notch Cigar Box guitars.

A Wiki article like that doesn't hurt their business.

There is a long world tradition of people who love playing music

building something to play. Often these instruments are pretty

crude. They do work... So I feel like there is nothing wrong with it at all....

Those folks know it certainly isn't a perfect substitute for a "Real Guitar" --

but it is something that plays, its fun, and it works well enough.

In fact, maybe we should encourage this sort of experimentation more.....

you really can knock a rough CBG together in a day... and then go play.

Have a good one


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Well...I don't have a problem with it...not the best written piece nor a whole lot of information there...but a reasonable start to work from.

Perhaps, being generous...when it uses the word "primitive" it is doing so in the context of a "primitive art" movement...and to that extent I think it is right. Both in the instrument and the music it is tended to be used for and the heritage from which it comes.

One reaction was...well, it is pretty primitive compared to the science and evolution of the guitar...what could be more primitive than a simple box...well...a solid body guitar, that's what! hahaha

Similarly...perhaps the word "practice" was meant as in the practice of law...as a legitimate part of the practice of lutherie. But again, perhaps generous, it is hard to tell what the article was implying. It is a decent approach to practice on a primitive instrument.

In fact, I'd highly recommend it...there have from time to time been a number of "movements" exploring what many would consider primitive with some very interesting and engaging threads and discussions come of it that inform the whole process of making a guitar...as well as some notable builders working in "primitive" modes like CBG or Orgmorgs lovely found object relic guitars...both featuring prominently in GOTM against more traditional approaches.

The current plywood thread is a more recent example of this kind of thing here at PG...the old 2x4 thread another great little competition a while back.

For the heck of it...I set myself a CGB type of thing...using all scrap bits and pieces and seeing if I could build a working instrument with innovation and creativity alone...but no guitar parts other than some used strings...came up ok...


And...I learned a lot in a day of building the thing. I learned that using coat hander wire for frets is not the best idea, and a lot harder to do that real frets...hehehe...but that shoe polish makes for a decent hide all finish...

But for all the creativity and such...it really is a "primitive" instrument...still enjoyed and learned a lot from going about the task.

Some may say some of the more modern examples with slick necks and pickups...are kind of faux and image driven...there are those that would suggest that the whole point of the CBG is to do as much with as little as you can afford to make whatever music you can out of it. Different kind of skills to do it well perhaps, but a skill all the same...I found the problem of effective tuners the trickier problem if going the complete DIY route.

But it is kind of like the blues being seen as a "primitive" form of music...much of it is...but then it is so influential giving birth to both jazz and rock in equal measure...it is not necessarily a derogative term because the ability to play "primitive" music convincingly is often underestimated...and it can be no less enjoyable if done well.

No...it doesn't bug me...but maybe we should all build ourselves a simple instrument without guitar parts but strings one day...maybe only with one day...and see how people approach it!


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