Cigar Box Guitar Background

F A Q

Soup Hunter Cigar Box guitar
1. Does it work?
Yes.
2. Does it sound like a guitar?
The sound of a guitar varies a lot, you can change how an instrument sounds with an infinite number of variables. But short answer: Yes, it sounds very much like a typical acoustic guitar.
3. How do you play it?
These are fretless instruments that are meant to be played with a slide. Fretting notes will not be the same as a regular guitar but playing with a slide is way cooler anyway. Everybody knows this. You can play it with a standard pick but I prefer finger picks or bare fingers to really get it going.
4. Can I plug it into an amp?
Yes, all instruments have a piezo pickup built into them. It's not a "super-deluxe-ultra-gain-face-melting-humbucker", it's an acoustic guitar pickup, it will create negative feedback with high gain/distortion. As with all instruments you can usually overcome feedback by positioning yourself correctly in realation to your amplifiers' speaker.
5. Why does it only have three strings?
That's how most traditional cigar box guitars were built. It's also all you need to make a major or minor chord.
6. How is it tuned?
I tuned it to a I-IV-i tuning. Somewhere in the neighborhood of D-A-d some are E-B-e, this is the same as a "power chord" or a 5 chord that the kids are playing these days, a very simple major chord. But you can tune it anyway you'd like, experiment, it's the only way you get better at something.
Open Major: D-A-F#
Open Minor: D-G#-F#
Major 7th: D-A-C
Major 6th: D-A-B
Tune it anyway you like, seriously.
7. How do the Ukuleles sound?
They sound and play the same as any old ukulele, they also have a built in pickup.
8. How much do they cost?
Guitars = $70 - $100
Ukuleles = $100 - $130
Prices vary depending on type of woods used and the condition, availability, and quality of the cigar box
9. Where can I buy an instrument from you?
I do a small number of art/craft shows each year where you can come and try one out. Otherwise I'm located in South Minneapolis and can set up an appointment for a showing. Or you can go to the "Contact" page and email me.
10. Do you ship?
Yes, I can safely ship these for around $15. I've shipped to the middle of nowhere Alaska and have yet to encounter a problem. Shipping fees are determined after I send the guitar, I won't charge a penny more than the acual shipping cost.
11. Do you make custom instruments?
Ask me, I might, I might not have the time right now. But ask me.
12. What kind of strings are on them?
Standard bronze guitar strings. Usually in the neighborhood of .052 | .042 | .032. You can put on other sized strings just make sure that you leave enough slack for the wrap to push the string tightly on to the nut.
13. Where are the frets?
There aren't any, not supposed to be. If you need a visual marker for frets you can put tape on the neck where certain frets would be. Like This. You can find these locations with harmonics.
14. How do you use a slide?
Imagine the slide is the fret, but you're moving it instead of moving towards it. Press it against the string just firmly enough so it doesn't rattle. It doesn't take too much to press too hard. It's just something that you have to get the feel for.