That is the first question I usually get from a person that has never seen a cigar box guitar. “Why a cigar box?” It is a very simple answer – necessity. I would imagine ever since man started beating on a hollow log, he or she has attempted to sing. I’m sure singing alone turned into singing with others. And a fireside sing-along can only have so many logs. Fast forward to modern day, and the guitar was introduced – at a price. As we know, musicians do not always come from families that can afford a guitar. As resourceful as anyone, a musician learns to “use what you have to make what you need.”
From a simple one string stretched across a poll, or in some photo documented cases a tree. Often played with a whiskey bottle for a slide. In the tradition of call and response and a simple blues scale was not far behind. Using a cigar box gave the instrument more volume and tone, which is sought after today by many builders. If you are a builder you know the excitement of stringing up your latest project to hear its individual sound. The cigar box guitar has become a work of folk art. Often decorated with the faces of the blues legends long gone. Anything and everything goes with your cigar box guitar. From using dice for volume and tone knobs, to chrome corners and shower drain sound hole covers.