60962870 20A1Bb3D7F TNat sent in a link to his brother-in-law’s Flickr photo set of the a great Cigarbox guitar construction. In MAKE 04, we have a fun article on how-to build and play a sweet-sounding 3-string instrument in an afternoon – Link. Bonus link – here’s MAKE Editor-in-Chief Mark Frauenfelder playing a version he made, right in your browser or in iTunes (QuickTime).


  • Angstrom

    Ive not got Make 4 yet because I’m in a far-off land. But, I do make my own junky instruments and I’ve got a suggestion for improvement on this design.
    Mounting the bridge on the resonator rather than on the neck would give you louder and better sound, ideally the string vibration should transfer from string through bridge to the box. On an acoustic guitar the bridge is mounted on the soundboard which is key to the sound, on a banjo it is on the skin, this set up gives the best resonance.
    you should try taking the neck through the cigar box and out the end, it will mean raising the frets a little, but you should get a good improvement in sound.

  • EdV

    It definately will improve the sound to build the CBG that way. This design was focused on building it with groups of kids as young as 6. Keeping it simple overrode sound optimization.

  • EdV

    It definitely will improve the sound to build the CBG that way. This design was focused on building it with groups of kids as young as 6. Keeping it simple overrode sound optimization.