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How Do You Tune A Cigar Box Guitar?

 

However you want :)

Seriously, you can tune it like a traditional guitar but with three or four strings or you can tune it to an open chord similar to a banjo (but without the banjo 5th string).

There are as many ways to tune a CBG as there are to tune are regular guitar which is many hundreds. You can also tune some strings in unison such as A a D G g (the small letters represent a higher octave).

 

Here are some common tunings for a 4 string cigar box guitar. The top string (first) is the third of the chord.

 

 

Here are the same tunings for a 3 string cigar box guitar. There is no major third so technically these aren't major chords.

 

 

 

D-A-d (using the 6, 5 and 4 strings)

G-d-g (using the 5, 4 and 3)

f-c-f (using the 3, 2 and 1)

A-d-f# (using the 5, 4 and 3 strings)

d-f#-a (using the 4, 3 and 2)

f#-a-d (using the 3, 2 and 1)

B-d-g (using the 5, 4 and 3 strings)

d-g-b (using the 4, 3 and 2)

g-b-d (using the 3, 2 and 1)

 

String 5 (A) tune down to G or

String 3 (G)

 

String 5 (A) tune down to G / String 4 (D) or

String 3 (G) / String 2 (B)

Know as G5 Tuning, only two tones, but three strings

String 5 (A) tune down to G / String 4 (D) / String 3 (G) or

String 3 (G) / String 2 (B) / String 1 (E) tune down to D

 

String 5 (A) tune down (G) / String 4 (D) / String 3 (G) / String 2 (B) or

 

String 5 (A) tune down to (G) / String 4 (D) / String 3 (G) / String 1 (E) tune down to (D)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the various string sizes

Medium gauge acoustic strings (thickest - thinnest = low to high)

E - .056 / A - .045 / D - .035 / G - .026 / B - .017 / E - .013

The numbers are approximate.

Use EAD

Tune: EAC# / EBE / DAD ...

Use ADG Tune: ADF# / AEA / GDG ...

Use GBE

Tune: AC#E / GBD ...