Q: Do you sell your guitars?
Q: What do I have to do to get a cigar box guitar?
A: Be Keith Richards...if you are Keith Richards, contact me here.
Otherwise, if we meet and play/write music and enjoy hanging out, your chances are good!
Q: How long is the waitlist?
A: As of November 2018, the waitlist is about 11 months long...so we have time...bring beer!
Q: Why make guitars out of cigar boxes?
A: When people could not afford guitars in the American South, they would use cigar boxes, cans, and some wire or fishing line. Basically anything to make a sound. There are also many other examples of people worldwide upcycling containers to make instruments. Gas cans in South Africa are another example.
I love combining that organic approach with dedicated craftsmanship and top shelf parts. I want a box with Soul, I want it to play like a top-notch boutique instrument, and I want it to sound like it belongs on a world-class stage.
Every build I learn something. The road does not end.
Q: How does your proprietary rye infusing process affect your instruments?
A: If I told you...
Q: What do you start with? What is the process of crafting one of your guitars?
A: I start with:
1. A carefully chosen cigar box. I prefer all-wood boxes for better resonance and structural stability.
2. Wood for the neck, the fretboard, and other small parts.
3. Parts from various suppliers.
4. Sometimes I get one-off special pickups or adornments (license plates, old gauges, knobs, etc.) from flea markets or eBay.
Q: I love the way X guitar looks...can you make another one?
A: I would rather not make copies of instruments. Each one has specific design elements to account for the player's style, sound preferences, and aesthetic tastes. We can use ideas, but each Soul Box is one of a kind.
Q: How do you play a three or four (or one) string guitar?
A: In many ways, it's a whole new instrument from a standard-tuned guitar. There are lots of video tutorials available on the web. Get yourself a nice heavy slide (I prefer fat pinky slides from The Rock Slide).
That said, it's not hard! You will be playing the blues within 30 minutes, and will be able to improvise with a little dedicated practice.
Want a real deal Mississippi Delta blues experience? Attend a camp by Down 2 the Crossroads (tell Ralph I sent you). The camp takes place at The Shack Up Inn (tell Guy I sent you) in Clarksdale, MS, which is about the coolest place on the planet if you are into the blues.
Q: Who taught you how to make guitars?
A: Mostly videos on YouTube, articles and posts on CigarBoxNation, and tutorials on Stewart MacDonald. That and more than a few mistakes that have made me say a few prayers out loud (F^#&&*$!!).
The luthier community is incredibly helpful. You can see all the people who have helped me in my journey on the Friends page.
I have also interacted with lots of people on Instagram, where people are happy to answer questions.
Q: What's the story with guitar #003?
A: #003 was confiscated by the authorities. The terms of the settlement forbid me from disclosing any information about its current whereabouts.