Curtis Blues
playing a cigar box guitar at the Bangkok Blues club July 07.


"Second Chance" *

* Song was written and is owned by Curtis Blues, all rights reserved.

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Cigar 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

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!


"So 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."

-Lightnin' Hopkins