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Cigar Box Guitars: The Ultimate DIY Guide for the Makers and Players of the Handmade Music Revolution Paperback – 18 May 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing (18 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565235479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565235472
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 1.6 x 26.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

You might be accustomed to seeing Evanston photographer David Sutton with a camera in one hand. These days, though, he's just as likely to have a homemade cigar box guitar in the other. Sutton, whose fame as a photographer of people and their pets is such that Forbes magazine has called him America's best, has written a book about his newest passion entitled Cigar Box Guitars: The Ultimate DIY Guide for Makers and Players of the Handmade Music Revolution (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2012). And, as you might expect, it's full of Sutton photos illustrating how to make your own musical instrument ? and your own music. A longtime amateur woodworker who has also played guitar since he was a boy, Sutton said he started thinking about making one around five years ago, when his five-year-old daughter Alisha expressed an interested in his guitars. I wanted to give her one, so she could try it out, but she was so little. I?d hover, thinking, ?She's going to bang it up? ? mainly because they were so big and unwieldy, ? he said. ?Then, out of nowhere, I had this thought: ?Cigar box guitars.? I don't know where it came from. Maybe my dad mentioned it when I was a kid.? Basic pattern Regardless, Sutton looked online and found a site or two with minimalistic plans for making a real, honest-to-goodness, 19th-century/Depression-era favorite, three-string guitar out of a 1 x 2 pine neck, a few old tuning keys, and a cigar box for the body. He made one for his daughter and one for himself and was a little surprised about how much of a kick he got out of playing this thing he?d made with his own hands. Although he?d played guitar most of his life, he said he felt different about the music he made on his homemade instrument. Though he had previously never felt comfortable performing for others, he felt competent and confident playing his cigar box special ? along with a special thrill about the sound it made. After you?ve made your own guitar, making your own music makes simple sense, ? he said. ?It's a great de-mystifying process, making your own instrument. Building one, somehow, makes playing music on it seem more accessible.? Sutton isn't the only one who's made this discovery ? far from it. When he first looked online for cigar box guitar plans, he could find only a couple of modest posts from aficionados. Now, five years later, a full-fledged homemade-music community has grown up on the Internet, with cigar box guitars in the forefront. DIY sites Look up Cigar Box Guitars on YouTube and you will find countless entries by people either explaining how to build or play CBGs (particularly videos demonstrating old-school, gut-bucket, down-home slide-guitar blues), sometimes with tens of thousands of views apiece. In addition, websites such as cigarboxnation.com and handmademusicclubhouse.com have racked up thousands of subscribers. What's behind the sudden rise in awareness about the joys of homemade music? Well, we?re not as rich as we thought we were, ? Sutton said, with a laugh. ?Perhaps because of the economy and perhaps just as a reaction to the idea that only professionals can be artists and entertainers, the idea that you have to buy your fun is petering out. People are realizing you don't have to have the biggest, finest, most expensive stuff to have fun, or make music. If you?ve got a cigar box and some old strings and a few used tuners, and a real desire to play, that's all you need.?

About the Author

David Sutton is a highly successful photographer who says that he enjoys woodworking almost as passionately. His portraits of people and their pets have been featured extensively in national media including the Today Show and Animal Planet, as well as in the Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Chicago Sun-Times and Crain's Chicago Business. He has also exhibited his work in numerous venues including Hermes of Paris and Takishimaya New York. Learn more about his work at www.suttonstudios.com "The best pet photographer in America." - Forbes magazine

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Majestic Elephant on 24 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Click to look inside: http://www.amazon.com/Cigar-Box-Guitars-Ultimate-Revolution/dp/1565235479/

The author's a professional photographer - this book's full of good photos. It includes 15 personal "profiles" - interviews with cigar box guitar makers/players, which are more biographical about these 'colourful' characters than musical.

There are instructions with step by step photos to make 3 guitars (from easier to more difficult)
1 - a three-string acoustic fretless slide guitar
2 - a three-string fretted acoustic-electric guitar with a piezo pickup
3 - a six-string solid-body electric guitar with magnetic pickups (you buy a Fender-type neck)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Wingate on 23 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I eagerly awaited the delayed UK publication of this book. I sadly belong to a couple of CBG forums where it received great reviews. Some good photos, some constructional advice, not a lot there for me. I am not impressed by the contents of this book.
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By webweaver on 19 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
Fascinating insight into cigar box guitar culture and some great ideas to get you started. Be warned, this may become an obsession!
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Does exactly what it says on the tin a great read for any ethusiast or professional.

Great pictures and explanations,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 30 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
One of the best books available on CBG's! 22 Mar. 2012
By Bad Penny Guitars - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have seen on cigar box guitars. There are a few other very good books, but this is the best. I really enjoyed reading the player profiles and found several to be very inspirational. I have been building CBG's for about a year and I take every opportunity to learn a little more about the history and maybe pickup a few tips here and there. This book is perfect for both. Very informative and awesome photography. Nice work David, appreciate your hard work!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Cigar Box Guitars 28 April 2012
By Archtop - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very well done book! From the beautiful photographs to the bits and pieces of construction. A high quality made book.
Suitable gift for that budding luthier that likes folk instruments.
The book's focus is more on the current state of this venerable instrument instead of it's history.
It arrived in the Amazon cardboard shipping package (that protects it from damage and is totally recyclable!) in perfect condition!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Mandatory reading for beginners 29 July 2013
By auilachs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Think of this book as being organized into 3 sections (recipes / plans, photo galleries, and biographies of successful builders.) The recipes / plans section is certainly extremely useful (5 stars); I just wish there was more content. The photo galleries provide a lot of creative hints if you study them very carefully, so let's call that part 3.5 stars. The "biographies of successful builders" section is kind of interesting, but really does not belong in a book subtitled "The Ultimate DIY Guide for Makers and Players..." Unfortunately, most of the text is "biographies of successful builders." I could have saved myself some time and money by buying this book and carefully studying it before starting my first build, so I would recommend the book to beginners. Still, more technical building information and less "Jimmy was born in North Carolina" would make for a better DIY book. The really important technical details are missing. For example, the author notes that Piezo pickups (where most of us start) are prone to feedback, but makes minimal efforts to explain why, or what to do about it - that seems like a significant oversight. As far as information for "players," there is virtually zero advice. Buy it as a reference, but realize it is just a place to start.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great book for building CBGs 23 July 2012
By jognart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is packed with good information on how to build a cigar box guitar. I had not built a CBG before and this book made it possible.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Cigar Box Guitars: The Ultimate DIY Guide.... 19 May 2012
By Jess. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is exactly wnat I wanted to start making CBGs. The information is reasonably detailed and illustrates examples to support the information. Interesting biographies about others with the same inclination. It is an encouraging book with excellent photographs, presented in a logical manner for anyone else so inclined. Thank you.
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