Your Source for Cigar Box Guitar Parts & Accessories

C. B. Gitty Cigar Box GuitarHere at CigarBoxGuitarParts.com we showcase the various parts and supplies you can use to help build and decorate your Cigar Box Guitar, as well as discussing some of the creative ways that these parts can be used. Though not a true “how-to” site (check out our sister site www.cigarboxguitar.com for a growing knowledgebase of cigar box guitar how-to), a lot of good how-to information will be presented in terms of how to make use of some of the parts we feature: things like how to install a piezo, wire up a volume pot, make good use of sound hole inserts, install tuners, etc.

We will showcase parts and supplies from various sources, with the primary source being C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply, the only cigar box guitar superstore. For over five years they have been working hard to bring CBG builders great prices on an ever-growing list of instruments, kits, parts and accessories. If you haven’t yet checked out the C. B. Gitty store, browse on over today. You won’t be disappointed!

RESO-NATION! Hand-made Resonator Build Pics submitted by C. B. Gitty Customers

In last week’s C. B. Gitty Newsletter (click here to sign up!) resonators were the focus, and Gitty asked folks to send in pictures of what they had built. Hand-made resonator guitars and cigar box guitars are a fascinating part of the whole cigar box guitar movement, and building them is a great way to expand your enjoyment of the hobby.

Here are the awesome photos they sent in. If these don’t get your creative juices flowing, then I don’t know what will! Thank you to all of the folks who took the time to send us photos.

7 Tactics to Increase Your Productivity

What are you supposed to be doing right now? By making the time to read this, something else goes undone.

That’s the way it works.

Going to the school play that your child is in takes you away from the work that you need to do around the home.

Getting in a little walk for some vital exercise cuts into the time necessary to go shopping for groceries.

Putting in extra time at work to push forward in an important project eliminates your participation in the life you have created outside of work.

Being productive is a difficult thing to put into practice

Read More…

Curious about Diatonic (Dulcimer-style) Fretting?

When it comes to cigar box guitar fretting, concepts like Chromatic and Diatonic scales can be enough cause your eyes to cross. To try to simplify the matter, C. B. Gitty has written an article explaining the difference between the two fretting styles, along with presenting the how-to info you need to try it out for yourself.

Check out the new article in the knowledgebase over at CigarBoxGuitar.com… and all of your wildest dreams will come true!

Got a Cramped Workspace? Here’s 4 Tips to Make the Most of It

drawers on an organizing bin

Have you got a tiny little workshop? Have your building projects been relegated to a closet-sized area in the home? Do you feel like you are trying to fit a massive holiday family dinner for the whole clan onto a quaint little table for two?

It is crucial for you to find the best way to use the space you have. Doing so will allow you to set your table with the necessary standards to feast upon the sublime gratification that is building your cigar box guitar.

Follow my four tips to overcome the obstacle of space limitation and enjoy the time you have in your own little workshop

 

fisheye view of my cramped workspace

Organize Your Space

This may seem basic or obvious but is also easy to overlook or simply not practice. Every item you have needs its own home. Keep your screws, nails, and glue together. If you have clamps, keep them all in one area that is within convenient reach. Your hammer, saw, drill and bits all should have their own place in the workspace. With as little room as you have to work with, it is essential that when you think to reach for something, you know exactly where it is. Rummaging through bins, boxes, and bags of assorted items severely decreases the time you have to work and makes for a frustrating experience.

Plan Ahead

If you are going to enlist the help of a video like those I have posted here, watch it a few times before you set out to build. Gather the necessary tools. Become familiar with what the process is going to require of you. Mentally walk through the game plan, seeing yourself perform the actions that you are watching in the tutorial. Trying to start a new project with little to no insight in a cramped space will derail your efforts and make the space seem even smaller.

Be Resourceful

Make the most of what you have. Don’t worry about what you don’t have or what someone says you need to have to build. Learning to be resourceful and practicing it with intent will make you an efficient builder. A power miter saw would be great. So would a table saw, a belt sander and a host of other tools. Tools take up space, add clutter, cost big money, and require maintenance and care.

Only the most basic of tools are required to make a sweet, 100% playable cigar box guitar

Being resourceful is also learning to use your space efficiently. Go to a site such as Pinterest.com for organizing ideas in tiny spaces. If you think Pinterest doesn’t apply to you or has nothing to offer a woodworker or hobbiest, think again. The site is filled with a ridiculous amount of helpful ideas and links.

Clean up

Put everything back where it belongs when you are finished working for the day. Don’t be building until the last available minute. Leave some time to clean up after yourself. Don’t leave a mess that you will have to face the next time you can set aside to build. Starting a building session with a messy, cramped space is like setting your tiny dinner table with unwashed ware from the previous nights meal. It’s entirely unappealing and kills the buzz to build.

tools on a pegboard

Cramped spaces make for challenging workshops

Give yourself the opportunity to learn and to grow without creating obstacles for yourself. Limit the number obstacles you will face by being deliberate in managing your workspace.

Your success in building will be the direct result of your choices and actions. Choose to feast like a king upon the fruits of your labor. Choose to make the most of your cramped workspace and get building.

The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less. -Socrates

What one thing can you do today that will optimize your workspace?

Glenn Watt is a maker of things. Join him in celebrating the cigar box guitar at glennwatt.com
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3 Tricks to Ignite Your Enjoyment to Build

close up image of a tuning peg

It’s easy to dismiss the opportunity to do something good in hopes to do something great

A young man I have known wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. At the time, his idea of a life-changing act lacked the depth of vision that experience brings. Nonetheless, he wanted to touch lives. He wanted to affect change. He wanted to do something great.

You probably have come to know this young man in your own life. While not the same man, one that fits the same description. He is forever standing on his tip-toes, looking forward to find the next great thing on the horizon. By forever lifting his chin, straining his neck, and focusing his eyes to the distance for that great thing, he loses the ability to see the potential for good that is in front of him.

Don’t let big dreams ruin your project that’s right in front of you

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Shedding Ego: Is Your Ego Getting in the Way of Building Your Cigar Box Guitar?

by Glenn Watt

credit: The U.S. Army flickr.com

credit: The U.S. Army flickr.com

Fighting with a partner or spouse is about as much fun as a handful of smoldering embers. It can be a battle with an immovable object or an irresistible force. Often there seems to be a point at which the search for a clear-headed solution is lost and it just seems easier to bend the matter at hand to your will.

It never truly works. If you’re lucky, you get to enjoy a fleeting feeling of a sated ego but the problem inevitably will rear it’s ugly head again. However, stepping back to catch your breath and gain a fresh perspective almost always seems to work.

Battling a problem is the problem

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Canray Fontenot: From Cigar Box Fiddle to Cajun Legend

WritteCanray Fontenot

Written by Shane Speal, www.shanespeal.com

“So, we took some cigar boxes…In those days, cigar boxes were made of wood. So, we worked at it and finally made ourselves a fiddle. For our strings, we had no real strings … we took strands off the screen door. We made fiddles out of that stuff, and then we started practicing.  [I visited my neighbor] to see how he tuned his fiddle. He would sound a string, and then I would try mine, but I couldn’t go as high as his fiddle; every time I tried to match his pitch, I’d break a string…. But then when he would break a string, I would take the longest end. Then my fiddle sounded pretty good. And that’s how I learned. It’s just a matter of having music on your mind.”

- Canray Fontenot
Quoted from his National Endowment for the Arts Honor

I first came across the name Canray Fontenot from the dedication page of book, Fiddle Fever by Sharon Arms Doucet.  In the book, a young Cajun boy named Felix comes of age when he falls in love with music and Read More…

Sure-fire 3 Step Process to Overcoming Your Fear of Performance

Photo Credit: ashleynmiller flickr.com

Photo Credit: ashleynmiller flickr.com

The game is in the third inning and she’s playing second base.

The batter hits a lazy pop-up with a trajectory that’ll send the ball between first and second. My niece, the girl playing second, throws up her hand, glove in the air, with just enough conviction to feign earnest effort.

However, the act is soft. The ball is not caught. The lack of effort is apparent. She doesn’t give what she can to make the play.

She is scared to give real effort and have it turn into failure. Worse yet, she fears suffering the embarrassment of judgement by others.

Fear of performing in front of people and being judged stifles many a creative endeavor.

There are few things more sensitive and personal than the fruit of creative labor. Performing a song, a lick, a riff, on a handmade instrument, especially of one’s own toil, is an overwhelming challenge for many of us; so overwhelming that often the effort is never made.

I posted a topic about this on cigarboxnation.com, revealing some of my thoughts on this subject. Through conversations with several veteran performers I have put together three rich tips that will help you overcome your fear of performance.

  • Practice, practice, practice: Get to know your material in and out.

Cal Ripken, Brett Favre, and Bobby Orr didn’t step onto the diamond, field, or ice without having to put in the work of preparation. As nervous as they may have been in the biggest games, they walked in knowing that they were as prepared as possible. It is that same confidence you can gain through practice that will help you to nail your performance. Get to know your stuff!

  • Be your own audience: Record yourself and watch the game-tape.

Use whatever device you have handy to record videos of yourself. Phones, laptops, and a host of other devices are available for recording. Use the video to not only help you tighten up inconsistencies in your performance , but just as importantly, to get used to performing under the pressure of a watchful eye. Practicing in front of a camera can simulate the pressure of playing in front of live eyes.

  • When in doubt, hang ‘em out: The key is to take action!

Take a swing at the first pitch. Upload one of your videos to youtube and tell a friend to check it out. Go to an open mic with an instrument and sit in with another performer. Ask yourself, “What is the worst that could possibly happen?” You’re not playing Carnegie Hall or the Super Bowl halftime show. Whatever discomfort you may feel will be out-shined by the pride of accomplishment you will experience by taking action.

Life is going to send pop-ups your way from time to time.

These are opportunities to learn and to succeed. Your success is easily within your reach.

Find the courage to not only put your glove up but to also make the effort to catch the ball.

There will be plenty of drops but the catches you make will have you flying high and looking to dive at every opportunity that comes your way.

Written for CigarBoxGuitarParts by Glenn Watt, www.glennwatt.com

Here’s 1 Killer Resource for Building Cigar Box Guitars – and it’s completely FREE

photo credit: Darek Donnfhlaidh http://goo.gl/QWnXtL

photo credit: Darek Donnfhlaidh http://goo.gl/QWnXtL

Maybe you are familiar with a certain Tolkien story about a hobbit. In this epic tale the main character, a hobbit named Bilbo, sets out on an adventure that is fraught with fear and doubt. The object of his quest is to burglar a gem from a dragon. However Bilbo must endure a journey filled with great danger before he can even arrive at the dragon’s fiery doorstep. It is with the help of many other characters, all playing their own specific roles, that Bilbo can finally face the dragon and outwit the beast to claim what he came for. Without the help of various curmudgeonly dwarves, suspicious elves, wary humans, and a wise wizard, the hobbit would never have reached his goal.

Imagine yourself as the hobbit. The dragon represents whatever obstacles, reservations, or fears that stand in your way to finding the inspiration or direction you need to build your first, or your tenth, cigar box guitar. It is your adventure to outwit the dragon and take from it the know-how and imagination to get on with your build. To get you to the point where you can face your dragon, you can first find the encouragement to spur you into learning and growing with the help of your own community (dwarves, elves, and wizards aren’t necessary). Read More…

3 Essential Tricks for Reclaiming Pallet Wood: Plus 1 Bonus Tip!

The Challenge - A Man and his PalletThe idea of reclaiming wood and making new use of it in cigar box guitars and other homemade musical instruments is very appealing. Using materials that have a long history and story brings that history forward, gives it new purpose, and lets you tell that story as you use or attempt to sell what you’ve built. Unfortunately, reclaiming wood from shipping pallets (also known as skids) is not a particularly easy task.

Pallets are usually a hodgepodge of different woods, ranging from the softest pine up through the hardest and most stubborn hickory. On pallets that have seen some use, the wood often is cracked and splintered in places. Pallets are often assembled with blunt-tipped nails that are specifically designed to stay put, and they are especially stubborn when sunk into hardwood. These same nails have heads on them that like nothing better than to fold up into a clamshell when you put the pry bar to them.

With all of the challenges presented by pallets, you might ask yourself whether it is worth using them at all? My answer to that is a resounding “yes”! Read More…