Cigar box sitar

Cigar box sitar


My friend Justin Sabe made this nifty cigar box sitar and did an Instructable and a short YouTube vid for it.

I decided yesterday to stop thinking about how to do it and finally make a cigar box sitar. The main difference is the buzzing bridge. In many ways, it’s easier to make than a cigar box guitar/ukulele because it’s fretless and doesn’t have any critical measurements to make it in tune. It took me as long to construct as my girlfriend to take a medium-length bath and about three times longer than that to fine tune it for a good rich buzzing sound. As you can see, my cat likes it just fine.

Cigar box sitar (tamboura)

4 thoughts on “Cigar box sitar

  1. MAcsSNAcs says:

    The sound that was being made was more like that of a Tampura (or Tambura), as in

    This is a sitar:

    Just wanted to clarify :)

  2. Justin says:

    MAcsSNAcs, true. I went with the misnomer that people would recognize and the alliteration in the title. I’m thinking of the final version having both the drone strings and the big frets. And an arduino to count out different tala.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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