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Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

i see people dumping good money into these folkart builds , fact of the matter is if yer spending 3-4-5 hundred dollars into a box guitar , ya have more money than common sense  .ive been bouncing around between the nation and handemade clubhouse since 2009 , there are some awesome builds coming out of both places , fact of the matter is , some seem to be forgetting the fact that a box guitar is exactly what it is , and to think that your buying a Martin or Taylor ,Gibson quality , your sadly mistaken50.00 or 500.00 its a BOX GUITAR , ive seen in the past 3 years some very greedy builders , they throw out a half a dozen BOX Guitars , and think that theyre going to make millions on them , how foolish is this too even think that way , this is a hobby , there are no profrssional builders here , or they would be working for Martin or Taylor ect.

     What ive been seeing here in the past few years is that greed is taking over the hobby and ruining the fun and friendships that were originally the good intensions of the building process and these great websites , i see alot of poor sportsmanship , gingerbread these builds up all you want to , but facts are facts , it is a BOX GUITAR,what are people not understanding here ? i find this to be a sad situation to ruin friendships over a box and a stick.

   If you expect a certain type or style in one of these FOLKART pieces , then build it yourself , thats what started this whole deal , and not buying and expecting a personalized build from someone else .sure a few have made some awesome quality builds ,great going guys ! , and awesome creativity from  those that have.

    the other thing is , if you dont know the builder PERSONALY, you shouldnt be sending money in advance , thats just down right stupid , no matter what the reasons told may be , if you do , you stand a good chance of loosing out , for instance , if you front up moneys for a build from a certain person , and tragedy occures such as death or injury , and the builder cant get the build finished , are you going to go try to sue the family of the deceased ? thats just dedundant and unheartful, and again greedy as hell , when a build is posted and  its already complete , thats when you buy it and not until then

      just my opinion , but i feel this all makes sense , thanx for reading , lets get back to the fun of it , and not making this HOBBY into a grudge match of backyard builders

                                                              steve smith

                                                           dewy-dewtron  

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Kid, 

 

of course there are some builders that can build an amazing CBG.  If you were around the scende when JuJu build his third CBG,,, it was an unbelievable...museum quality piece, a piece that I could never, ever build... but he was already a master cabinet builder... with a full shot and decades with wood working experience.  My comment was not to say that there is something magical about 100 builds... some can build good enough CBGs at 30 and some can't.  I've know a few that build  for the flea market trade, selling for $ 39 and up that make no pretense that their CBGs are true players.

 

The heart of the guitar is the neck/fretboard.  Anyone who builds a great playing fast fretted neck  in fewer than 20 builds is some kind of CBG savant.... enough that or I'm an exceptionally slow learner....  My standard is can a good player pick up my CBG and make great music.  

 

the best,

 

Wichita (still learning, but no longer niave) Sam 
 
The Phrygian Kid said:

.  Although I am somewhat past 100 myself now I see guys like Glenn Reither and Mark Lillo and Aj etc on thirty odd and I gotta say those guys are kicking arse with it............

 

 


 

Once again Sam, I don't think you know what you are talking about.

Mark,

 

Thats OK,,,, some days I don't think I know what I'm talking about... but, I do have over 4oo builds under my belt and (for me), I learned a lot in my second fifty builds.   Maybe my learning curve was slow because I built all kinds of instruments.  I could imagine that someone who specializes might be quicker perfecting the basic skills.

 

Or... alternatively, maybe you're a genius and I'm a clutz....

 

the best,

 

Wichita (wondering why you're so defensive) Sam

I am no genius Sam, but I find it hard to believe it would take anybody 100 or 50 builds to figure out how to make a good playing guitar.  The arrogance of your first post really set me off. I am normally not confrontational, but you saying a buyer should expect to be dissaponted buying from someone with less than 100 builds is just plain arrogant.

Mark,

 

Sorry that you find such easy offense in someone's opinion.  A wise man once said that "opinions are like noses... everybody's got one."

 

My opinion is based on my experience.  I'm a slow learner, but have also heard stories from people who paid good money for CBGs proffed as "real players full of MoJo" and who were disappointed to find the CBGs they had bought were only good for decorating walls.   In almost every case the builder was "new" with little building or playing experience and had sometimes numbered their builds in the scores of CBGs.

 

I've taken time to look about your page.  You are obviously a very gifted builder.  Be proud of your skills.  Don't waste time condemning people because their opinion, informed by their experience doesn't match up with yours.

 

Or.... go ahead and call me names.... I'm sure I deserve it.   ....

 

the best,

 

Wichita Sam

 


 
Mark Lillo said:

I am no genius Sam, but I find it hard to believe it would take anybody 100 or 50 builds to figure out how to make a good playing guitar.  The arrogance of your first post really set me off. I am normally not confrontational, but you saying a buyer should expect to be dissaponted buying from someone with less than 100 builds is just plain arrogant.

My first build sounded amazing. (To me) But there were some inconsistencies. Strings were cutting thru just below the bridge. But as a player 1st, builder 2nd I adjusted the technique on my second build to have  strength at that area. I still own and play that guitar often. But the square neck bugs my fingers after a few minutes. So on my 3rd build I started rounding the necks. I think it was my 4th CBG that I keep in my truck and goes with me evreywhere I go. It was my salesman. Everybody wants it when they see it. Its beat up because I couldnt repair the sticker damage correctly on the front of the box and decided to sand it and rough it up to give it the distressed look. Every build was sparking different ideas and thoughts to improve volume and comfort.  I learned my lessons about piezos. Then I started getting orders. I couldnt build them fast enough. By the time I had them finished somebody was waiting to get it from me. Next thing I saw was me working way too hard, not spending enough time having fun, but trying to be a Eli Whitney CBG builder. That got boring. And at that point I had sold enough CBG's to acquire the tools I needed. Then I started fretting them. That was where the big turn on quality took place. I really have some nice instruments but I would never pay the price I would want for my material cost and time spent for the quality I was building. I still have all of my fretted neck builds except one. And that one I gave to a guy because he wanted to hang it on the wall. I owed him 250 bucks for doing a 4 point home inspection and a wind mitigation. He said you can pay me or Ill take that guitar.It played fine but it was hard to tune it and play it up and down the neck without wanting to retune it.  Sounded fine with a slide but just didnt sound tight enough fretting up and down the neck. I have built 4 fretted and they have gotten better then worse.  I guess it depends on how much I rush things? Or maybe just a lil slip goes a long way to frustrating me later.One day Ill get back to building. But I dont think I will be selling them anymore. I just wanna build for me. Or for trades or gifts. Its a magical feeling when it comes out of my own hands and plays the way I want it.(or not Haaa) I have seen some really nice builds throughout the years from other builders. And have been tempted to spend the money. But just cant bring myself to spend too much for something I can build myself. My favorite builds are my fretless 3 strings. The early builds , the late builds. whatever. I still get to strum my 1st build now and then when I visit my niece. I told her she could trade me for any build I have if she ever wanted something different. Cause I would love to have it back. But i love it knowing she dont want nothing any different. Strings are still cut thru the neck behind the bridge. I dont think the strings have ever been changed. Sounds just as good as the last one I built. Im not sure how many ive built. Im guessin around 70. Maybe they will be worth the big bucks when I get 30 more completed!!! (just teasin Sam) I just love em all. Well this post went on forever and Im not sure it really went anywhere. Love you guys. Thanks for the post Brother.

interesting take on things- what I am getting from this whole topic are these things to consider;

If buying, check it out first if able or go with a reputable builder that can have folks vouch for his good work. Shop around.

If selling- ask yourself what would you pay for this? If you would pay a certain price for the CBG you just built, then I'd say it is fair to think others might. Yes, you have to consider the cost of the build and the time, but really, do you need to make $100-$400 profit- well you might if this is your sole income and you only sell 2-3 each month. What you sell and how much is your business just like in the real world. If folks don't want to pay your price, they will go elsewhere.

Making for yourself and maybe others if asked- build, experiment, get better, stay with what works, have fun. If others can have the fun owning and playing as you did making it- more the better.

Always remember about these topics/ threads. They have opinions on them. Respect opinions and differ from each other, that is cool. Become offended and make for interesting reads and 'can't we all get along' theology, life is way to short for that.

Lastly- have fun, I said that, right?

~Lonman

Dewy has good points.  He's been around long enough to see a lot of one build guitar shops came and go.  I think the terms 'buyer beware' and 'seller beware' both fit this thread, and some others lately. 

A traditional cigar box guitar is just that - a stick in a box with strings supported at each end by something found.

History baby, gotta love looking at the stuff in Bill Jehle's CBG Museum.

But there are talented builders who go beyond a stick in a box and make sophisticated instruments for gigging musicians.  And get paid for the cigar box guitar they craft.

Just sayin'

LJ,

 

100 was just a number that meant "a lot"... hyperbole...  The advice to "expect to be disappointed" simply meant "Buyer beware."   Too bad Mark didn't understand I wasn't critizing him or anyone else.   I started with no experience, talent or skills.  Building... and playing is about having fun. 

 

Let the music roll....

 

Sam


 
LJ said:

My first build sounded amazing. (To me) But there were some inconsistencies. Strings were cutting thru just below the bridge. But as a player 1st, builder 2nd I adjusted the technique on my second build to have  strength at that area. I still own and play that guitar often. But the square neck bugs my fingers after a few minutes. So on my 3rd build I started rounding the necks. I think it was my 4th CBG that I keep in my truck and goes with me evreywhere I go. It was my salesman. Everybody wants it when they see it. Its beat up because I couldnt repair the sticker damage correctly on the front of the box and decided to sand it and rough it up to give it the distressed look. Every build was sparking different ideas and thoughts to improve volume and comfort.  I learned my lessons about piezos. Then I started getting orders. I couldnt build them fast enough. By the time I had them finished somebody was waiting to get it from me. Next thing I saw was me working way too hard, not spending enough time having fun, but trying to be a Eli Whitney CBG builder. That got boring. And at that point I had sold enough CBG's to acquire the tools I needed. Then I started fretting them. That was where the big turn on quality took place. I really have some nice instruments but I would never pay the price I would want for my material cost and time spent for the quality I was building. I still have all of my fretted neck builds except one. And that one I gave to a guy because he wanted to hang it on the wall. I owed him 250 bucks for doing a 4 point home inspection and a wind mitigation. He said you can pay me or Ill take that guitar.It played fine but it was hard to tune it and play it up and down the neck without wanting to retune it.  Sounded fine with a slide but just didnt sound tight enough fretting up and down the neck. I have built 4 fretted and they have gotten better then worse.  I guess it depends on how much I rush things? Or maybe just a lil slip goes a long way to frustrating me later.One day Ill get back to building. But I dont think I will be selling them anymore. I just wanna build for me. Or for trades or gifts. Its a magical feeling when it comes out of my own hands and plays the way I want it.(or not Haaa) I have seen some really nice builds throughout the years from other builders. And have been tempted to spend the money. But just cant bring myself to spend too much for something I can build myself. My favorite builds are my fretless 3 strings. The early builds , the late builds. whatever. I still get to strum my 1st build now and then when I visit my niece. I told her she could trade me for any build I have if she ever wanted something different. Cause I would love to have it back. But i love it knowing she dont want nothing any different. Strings are still cut thru the neck behind the bridge. I dont think the strings have ever been changed. Sounds just as good as the last one I built. Im not sure how many ive built. Im guessin around 70. Maybe they will be worth the big bucks when I get 30 more completed!!! (just teasin Sam) I just love em all. Well this post went on forever and Im not sure it really went anywhere. Love you guys. Thanks for the post Brother.

well i have built over 350 cbg in my building life not really sure just how many but one thing i do know is that if i get an order for a cbg and i try my best to do what they want. when i build to sale at fest and when i sold on ebay i build what i want to and if someone likes it they buy it so far i have had only 2 people say that they did not like what they got and i offered their money back and they said naw i'll just keep it. oh yeah one guy said it sounded like a broke banjo but said he liked it. Whit all that being said I for one don't claim to be a high end guitar builder i build cigar box guitars. and when i make this statement i already know that i will be run down for saying it but here it is robert plant, shooter jenning,s hank j,r randy moore, jaren johnson have not called to tell me what i did wrong So its a box with a stick in it always has been always will be

Is it safe ?? :D

peace guys.

Sam.  Respect. 400 is a helluva number..  and in only 4 years too.  lets do sum math...   allowing 2 weeks off a year for a holiday (and to keep the math simple) youve averaged 100 a year.  thats 2 a week.  which is great..  I wouldnt knock it at all.  But I know that Mark spends at least a month on each one.  NOw both are great and valid approaches.  But its pretty possible that a guy who spends a month on each build might just benefit / learn more from each build than a guy who smashes out two a week.  Dont you think?  and intellect has nothing to do with it, so no need for oh ur smarter than me business.  A guy who spends a month sweating little details is pushing himself to a higher standard.  Therefore your  threshhold of 100 builds before youre consistently building nice axes.. well thats a hundred at two a week.  or maybe 100 15 hour builds..  which might equate to 20 or 30 200 hour builds.  MIght it not ??

you make real nice stuff Sam..  Im particularly impressed with your challenge entry, its awesome.

Mark Lillo.   oh man you really really make awesome ones, you know i think ur doing awesome.  When i think of those cedar box lowecone jobbies you were doing a year ago..  well to my way of thinking if theres a definitive lowecone build thats not Mike Lowe's own, its those.

Peace boys..

Kid,

Of course you are right.  My "100 builds" comment was never intended for a craftsman like mark or juju or several others.  But they are the rare exception.  My 4oo hundard builds included a lot of experiments.  Like taking 20 of the same box and neck configurations and seeing what difference sound hole placement and size made.  Or noodling out how to do something.  While there were a few like Ted 4 years ago who would help a guy out, there was nothing like Handmade Music or the CBNation that were really searchable that would give some much information.

 

I remain baffled at people who want to fight over someone else's opinion.  BTW, you over extimated my build time.  One of the famous build challenges on the old Cigar Box Guitar Group was a two hour build.  Of course, Ted won it with an absolutely awesome build.  I know I will never ever build things like He is doing.  I not that skilled and don't have that temperament (adult ADD, for real).  My standard is a great playing, decent looking CBG.  period.  And to have fun... and to share what I've learned with others, when they ask.

 

Someone asked about buying a CBG.  My answer in so many words (errr, probably too many) was CAUTION.  Money is to hard to come buy to throw down the rat hole on a CBG  that an experienced build promotes as the very soul of Robert Johnson.  Caution will lead people to builders like Mark who are worthy of the $$$s they drop down on a great looking, great playing instrument.  Sorry that he couldn't see that.

 

as ever, the best,

 

Wichita Sam

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