Cigar Box Guitars and Diddley Bows

Cigar box guitars have a great history (you can read more below), and these instruments deliver that authentic primitive blues sound…not to mention they’re a lot of fun to play, too!

In the thumbnails below you can browse some of the products (or ‘categories’ of products) I build and sell. Each link takes you to a specific product page:

Karel I - Regalia antique cigar box guitar
‘Karel I Regalia’
297 Euros
Old Dutch Mill
‘Old Dutch Mill’
243 Euros

'Santa Muerte' cigar box guitar
‘Santa Muerte’
300 Euros
Recycled 'Cellocan' Cookie Tin Guitar
153 Euros

Gnome's Dulcimer
‘Gnome’s Dulcimer’
150 Euros
Flower Power octagonal cookie tin guitar
Flower Power
313 Euros

Cigar Box Diddley Bow
‘Coffee Box’
44 Euros
Techno Diddley Bow
‘Techno Diddley Bow’
44 Euros

33 Euros

See the tins and boxes I collected and order a custom build

On my blog you can find a set of boxes I have already collected – if you like one, I can turn it into a guitar for you! Contact me for info.

A bit of History on Cigar box guitars

Wikipedia introduces Cigar Box guitars as follows:

The cigar box guitar is a primitive chordophone that uses an empty cigar box for a resonator. “Guitar” refers to the traditional instrument and to a string bass. The earliest predecessors had one or two strings; the modern model typically uses three or more. Generally speaking, strings are connected between the end of a broomstick or 1″ x 3″ wood slat and to the resonator, the cigar box.

This makes Cigar box guitars perfectly suited for being 100% built off recycled materials (generally excluding the electronics and some ‘precision’ item such as the tuning machines). Even on this side of the world (Europe) where we have less actual ‘Cigar’ boxes, there are plenty of biscuit tins and wooden boxes out there for reuse as resonators!

There is of course political aspect to this – we live in a society that more and more and more just produces and ‘throws away’ stuff; it’s good if we can make our items live longer, or give things (that would normally be thrown away) new life. This is why – even for ‘regular’ guitars and custom builds/designs – I try to use recycled materials as much as possible.

You don’t always need the latest shiny thing to be happy! A plank with a string nailed on it can be enough to have fun and make your own song!

As you can see, this kind of simper or proto-guitars are also easier to build and very ‘democratic’ i.e. simple Diddley bows and Cigar box/cookie tin guitars I make can be priced as low as 50 euros; but I also can teach you how to build your own instead – and there are also communities of enthusiasts out there having written a manifesto , builders forums and documentaries about the phenomenon (external sites).

But this type of simple instruments isn’t just for playing Blues! I am experimenting with blending these instruments into more modern /technological styles of music – learn more at the Techno Diddley Bow product page.

and by the way, I also do repairs – if you guitar broke, it most likely can be fixed (whether or not you also want a new one…)! 🙂