THE CIGAR BOX GUITAR BLOG

Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by!

After writing more than 10 books on cigar box guitar I figure its time to start a blog to share what I've learned.  I will be adding tips and lessons so check back often.   

A little bit of history first - I got interested in the cigar box guitar about 5 years ago when a student brought one in and asked: "how do you play this thing"?  I quickly realized there wasn't much instructional material other than some video on youtube so I decided to make up a few lessons and songs to print out.    As a guitar teacher, making tablature charts was already a daily occurrence so all I had to do was arrange the music for 3 or 4 strings instead.  Of course, this opens up a whole bunch of issues the first being the tuning.  After a search, it appeared that most people were using the tuning GDG or GDGB.  I've stuck with that tuning for all my CBG books but will be exploring new tuning in upcoming publications. 

I've come a long way in 5 years and now own at least seven cigar box guitars? I stopped telling my wife but I do ocassionally hear:  "how many of those do you need?  I'll be sharing the collection on this blog soon though you have seen some of them already on my book covers.

Keep sending questions and suggestions for more lessons and share posts with your like-minded friends.  

Thanks, Brent     

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New 4-String Chord Book - Now Available 

Good news, the Complete 4-String Cigar Box Guitar Book is now available.  I've put many hours into assembling a book with thousands of chords on the 4- string tuned GDGB.  I think I counted over 2400 hundred chord shapes!  I'm sure there are still more, but likely all you will ever need. 

I categorized the chords into the twelve notes in music - A to G#(Ab), then took the most common chord syntaxes.  The syntax is not something you pay the government :).  Syntaxes are the type of chords like major, minor, dominant 7th, etc.   

Here's the cover created by my good friend Anton Pickard (thanks Tony):

 

 

Now you can approach any stye of music and find the right chords.  Some chords are a bit weird and hard to finger, but there are at least 6 to 12 voicings of each chord so you should be able to find a usable shape.  I hope you find the book an excellent resource for mastering the CBG.      

Learn 132 Chords on the Cigar Box Guitar in Ten Minutes! 

A great way to master chords on the cigar box guitar is to memorize the most common chord shapes, or "moveable chords." Moveable chords allow you to keep your fingers in the same shape and change the chord name by moving to a different fret.  

For example, play an A major chord with a barre on the second fret as shown in the diagram below, then move the same chord down to the fifth fret to play a C chord. You will quickly notice moving the shape is easy, but now you have to study where the root for each chord is and the letter names on the fingerboard.  

The root of the chord is the note that gives the chord its name – so, the root of a C chord is C. The root can be found on any of the four strings, but I recommend learning the notes on the fourth, then moving to the third string. Fortunately, we have two strings tuned to a G, so when you learn the notes on the fourth string, you are also learning the notes on the second string.   

With time and practice, you can learn the note names on the cigar box guitar and expand your chord knowledge exponentially.  Here are 11 moveable chord shapes that can be transposed into all 12 keys in music (11 x 12 = 132).  For more chords check out my new book:  The Complete 4-String Chord Book For Cigar Box Guitar.   

 

10 Popular Chord Progressions on the 4-String Cigar Box Guitar   

Here are ten popular chord progressions you are sure to recognize.  Wait, do you know what a chord progression is? 

A chord progression is just a bunch of chords that get repeated and form the harmony of many popular songs.  They are often part of the intro, verse, or chorus and repeat a certain amount of times in each section.  For example, Learning to Fly by Tom Petty uses a four-chord progression throughout the entire song:   

 

Here’s another famous example from part of the intro, see if you can guess what song this is: 

 

Did you recognize it?  Here’s a hint: “Just a small town girl” … Yes! Don’t Stop Believin'.  

Ok, so here are ten chord progressions in the key of G that I’ve transcribed to the 4-String Cigar Box Guitar tuned GDGB.  The progressions were chosen from some of the top songs on the Billboard charts.  

See if you can guess what songs the following chord progressions are from and win a free Ebook of upcoming release “The Complete 4-String Cigar Box Guitar Book.”  Join the mailing list above to submit your answers. 

 

Happy strumming, Brent 

 

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