Box guitars were one of the first Delta blues guitars played in
the South. The idea is simple really. A cigar box is made of thin
light wood that can amplify the sound of strings. They were often
3 or 4 strings tuned to an open tuning.
I am playing a guitar made by master cigar box guitar builder
Bluesboy Jag. (you can see him playing his instruments on youtube.com)
The frets are mde of toothpicks! It is tuned to the key of G.
Because some strings are repeated in a 6 string open-tuned guitar,
I get a full chord sound from 4 strings. I love the primitive
voodoo sound of these unique instruments!
I went ahead and made me a guitar. I got me a cigar box, I cut
me a round hole in the middle of it, take me a little piece of
plank, nailed it onto that cigar box, and I got me some screen
wire and I made me a bridge back there and raised it up high enough
that it would sound inside that little box, and got me a tune
out of it. I kept my tune and I played from then on."