[Video Lessons & Tab] Learn how to play Cotton Fields on your 3-string cigar box guitar

Want to learn how to play Cotton Fields on your cigar box guitar?

Like to keep cigar box guitar lessons short and sweet?

In this post you get 3 essential resources to learn how to play the much-loved classic, Cotton Fields.

The resources include -

  • a 1 minute video lesson to learn how to play Cotton Fields with just 1 finger
  • a full 8 minute lesson with more advanced chord shapes and strumming pattern
  • downloadable and printable PDF tablature and strumming pattern 
  • plus a bonus video tutorial on how to read the PDF

So let's keep rollin'.

It's time to learn Cotton Fields on your 3-string cigar box guitar.

Will Jerome Graille revolutionize cigar box guitars?

Is a cigar box guitar destined to play only the blues?

What exactly can you play on a cigar box guitar?

In this post you get 6 different videos showing how one man is changing the way cigar box guitars are perceived, and revolutionizing how they are played.

Introducing Eric Denton | The Man Who Makes Cigar Box Guitars Sing

Looking for some new music?

Want something to point to when someone asks, "Is a cigar box guitar a real guitar?"

In this post you’ll discover an artist who has stepped forward, representing the cigar box guitar world, with heartfelt original music played on his handmade cigar box guitars.

Play 3 Songs In 3 Minutes On Your Cigar Box Guitar

Have you built a cigar box guitar but don't know how to play it?

Wish you could strum an easy tune on your cigar box guitar? 

In this post you'll learn how to play 3 different songs on your cigar box guitar.

[ARTIST PROFILE] Found Object Instrument Making With Zeke Leonard

He's a madman, in the best sense of the word.

He deconstructs pianos and reanimates the remains into new musical instruments.

He erects monuments of music out of salvaged timbers, sinks, and fire extinguishers.

He opens your eyes to the potential for art in the discarded objects around you.

"As a former theater set designer I used to build beautiful things, and they'd be thrown in the trash when their use has passed. Now I take things out of the trash and make beautiful things." - Zeke Leonard

For seven years, Zeke Leonard has been sharing his stories of experimentation and instrument-building on his blog, Salt City Found Object Instrument Works.

Each of Zeke's stories builds upon the last towards a height yet unseen, but certain to dizzy the rest of us in its genius.

For Zeke, a university assistant-professor and traveling impresario for handmade found-object musical instruments, the story started with a simple stick and a box,

but turned into something much, much different.

This is a profile of Zeke Leonard and his found-object musical journey. I can assure you, his journey is like none you've seen before.

Use The Gambler's 6 Step Guide to Build Your Best Cigar Box Guitar Ever

Everyone knows The Gambler, that classic country song popularized by crooner Kenny Rogers.

But what only a few people know is that The Gambler isn’t just a smokey rail-car story sung by a velvet-voiced country star.

The Gambler is a 6 step guide to making your own cigar box guitar.

So lean back and take a look at this study of how you, the cigar box guitar builder, benefit from a The Gambler's 6 guide.

With cigar box guitars, you got to...

[REPAIR HACK] How to Replace Cigar Box Guitar Pickup Rings In 7 Easy Steps

"So, we have a problem" says Ben, my dear friend and boss at C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply.

"We shipped a gentleman in Australia one of the guitars you built."

I immediately tense up. 

What went wrong? I wonder. 

This guitar's on the other side of the world now, Glenn. What did you do? 

"The box we shipped the guitar in got pretty beat up in transit," continues Ben, "and both the pickup rings are broken."

While this isn't great news, I'm mildly relieved. At least the issue isn't due to neglect on my part. 

But the worst part of the whole thing is someone gave us their hard-earned money and received a guitar that disappointed him.

And the customer is totally justified.

"The guy feels good about replacing the rings himself, so we'll send him some new ones. How about you make a video showing him how to replace the rings without having to open the cigar box?"

"Absolutely." I say.

Due to this man's initial misfortune, I was able to make a video demonstrating how he can ultimately empower himself. 

And the act of helping someone move from a place of frustration and disappointment to a place of satisfaction and empowerment excites me.

In turn, I'm sharing that video, and excitement, with you.

In this post you'll learn how to replace the pickup rings on your cigar box guitar with 

  • a quick video tutorial
  • step-by-step text & image instructions
  • and the knowledge that all you'll need is a screwdriver

So without further ado, let's do this!


Country music is simple. And like birds singing in the morning, simple music just feels right.

Learning to play your cigar box guitar should be simple, too. It's a simple instrument, often built by simple means.

What better way to enjoy the simplicity of great music on your handmade musical instrument than to play a catchy country tune?

With this blog post you'll learn how to play Body Like A Back Road, the country music single that's spent more time in the #1 spot on country music charts than any other song by a solo artist, ever.

In this post are 
  • a 5-minute video lesson 
  • a chart teaching you how to finger the 4 chords in this song
  • and a breakdown of the strumming pattern (the biggest challenge to this tune)
So let's get pickin' country music style!

The Cigar Box Guitar Builder Podcast | Episode 21

Do you ever listen to talk radio?

Whether sitting in the car, noodling around the shop, or passing time at work, listening to the kind of stuff you want to hear makes the day go by better.

Podcasts are the new talk radio, but better.

You can

  • find whatever you want to learn about or be entertained by
  • download whatever suits your fancy 
  • take it with you wherever you go 
  • and listen to it whenever you want.

I love podcasts and spend at least an hour a day listening to my specialized interests - not what an ad-driven corporate radio giant wants to serve me.

In our world of cigar box guitars, there's someone who's connecting with other builders and players, having thoughtful conversations, and posting them to his podcast. 

And I'm honored that this man chose to have me on his show.

Click the "Keep reading" link below to see
  • my YouTube Vlog  
    • where I talk about being on the podcast
    • and hint at an upcoming How-to video
  • the full Vlog transcription
  • the link to the podcast.
So without further ado, let's do this!

Learn why G-D-G is the King of Cigar Box Guitar Tunings

It's the one tuning that rules the Cigar Box Guitar Community

Watch any online video of a 3-string cigar box guitar being played and that guitar is likely tuned G-D-G. 

You can't help but ask yourself why that is. 

Well, my friend, I'm here to lay out the case that answers that question, and confirms why G-D-G is the King of cigar box guitar tunings.

Following is that case - written for my employer C.B. Gitty Crafter Supply - originally posted on Gitty's Facebook page

So read on to learn some really cool stuff that I didn't know before embarking on this crusade for the King ;)

Cigar Box Guitar Tabs (an ongoing list)

Here'a an ongoing list of tabs I've put together for 3-string cigar box guitars.

Some of these tabs have been done with computer software, and some are handwritten - looking all sorts of raw and authentic, just like our CBGs.

If you have any questions, leave 'em in the comments and I'll get back to you.

Now, with that out of the way...

Cigar box guitar tabs, or tablature, are a simple language used to learn how to play songs.

Like sheet music, tabs have a series of horizontal lines to help you figure out what notes to play.

However, cigar box guitar tabs are much easier to read.

Below is an ever-growing list of tablature for 3 string cigar box guitars. In them, I always intend for the guitar to be tuned 1-5-1 like a power chord (ie. GDG).