Cigar Box Guitar

Stringing up a Cigar Box Guitar

Now, I could write a huge post about how to string up your cigar box guitar, but to be honest there is a wealth of information on the internet and thousands of videos, so check out the video below by fordummies on how to string an electric guitar. The process is similar to stringing up a cigar box guitar except you will be using 3 strings instead of six.

What strings to use and tuning

I use medium gauge electric strings on my guitars as these seem to stay in tune better and give a richer sound. For most of my builds I use the thee lowest-pitch strings (E, A and D), but you can also use the A, D and G strings or the G, B and e strings. The trick is to experiment and find out the sound that you like best.

Experiment to with the tuning of the guitar, there are many different tuning option out there that provide a variety of different sounds. Common cigar box guitar tunings are:

D, A, d
G, D, g (my preferred tuning)
C, G, c
E, B, e

There are also a number of open chord tunings including:

G, B, D
D, F#, A
C, E, G
E, G#, B

Try different tunings and strings gauges till you find the best one for you.

Bridge placement

The bridge placement is key to getting the guitar to sound in tune all of the way down the fretboard. The first thing to do is measure the fret scale from the nut and place the bridge as near as you can to the measurement. Next tune the guitar to your desired tuning, then locate where the 12th fret would be and hit your string. If the note on the 12th fret is sharp then move the bridge further away from the nut and if it’s flat move the bridge closer to the nut. Only move the bridge small increments and when both the open and 12th notes are the same then your bridge is in the right place.

Now you’re ready to play your cigar box guitar.

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