Over 4000 Sold Since 2005
" A one of a kind professional stage instrument
that will turn heads and last a lifetime."
Yes I Ship Worldwide!
FREE How to Play A CBG CD and Slide with Every CBG order!
Yet MORE Videos.
Cigar Box Amplifier
How To Play A CBG' Video
See My CBG's at South Main Creative In Little Rock
Custom builds, weird questions?
I make a TON of custom models, dual pickups, selector switch cbg's, short scale basses, dulcimer guitars etc...
BBJ CBG Manual
Professionally Made For Professional Musicians
Signed and serialized.
Approximately 2 octave neck!
Choose A Humbucker Or Single Coil Pickup
Makes a great travel guitar!
Quality Tuning Machines
Play it acoustic or 'electrically'
Meticulously hand sanded and shaped
All boxes are 100% wood, not cardboard
Easy enough for adults OR kids to play
I've used mine for 10 Years to play live shows
The Same wire frets Gibson and Fender uses for intricate chording and excellent tone
Contoured and lowered headstock for better intonation.
Hang them on your wall for that extra decorative touch
Contoured (rounded) underside of neck for easy playability
Custom artwork available on request - email me for a quote
Each guitar is hand made and unique, no two are alike or sound alike
Yes you can play this puppy live on stage - it never fails to sell a few CD's!
Most models have a 5th 4th 3rd and 2nd strings, however you can use heavier gauge strings
Red oak neck - hand made, the best wood for a guitar neck, light and very easy to fret and resistant to bowing
The Cigar Box Guitar will be packed professionally and securely, making sure that it arrives in perfect condition
Choose my hand wound magnetic (Strat style) pickup made especially for 3 & 4 string cigar box guitars installed for amplification or super quiet (no hum) humbucker pickups.
I make sure the action (string height) is low enough for regular fretting but high enough for slide playing. A lot of CBG's have strings up to an inch above the fretboard (!) That's way too high even for a slide only CBG but if you like your strings crazy high or crazy low, you can adjust the neck height with the neck bracket I put on all my CBG's.
"Let There Be Notes"
on the first day Jag said "let there be notes"
and Jag saw that it was good
on the 2nd day Jag said 'remove the third"
and Jag saw that it was good
on the 3rd day Jag said 'if there MUST be a third, flat it"
and Jag saw that it was good
on the 4th day Jag said, "let there be guitars"
and Jag saw that it was good
on the 5th day Jag said 'remove three strings"
and Jag saw that it was good
on the 6th day Jag said "get me some glass"
and Jag saw that it was good
on the 7th day Jag said "boogie chillen!
Sound and Video Clips
Play ANY Kind Of Music On A CBG!
Sound Clip 4
An entire song recorded entirely with
cigar box guitars.
Lead solos were recorded on a ONE STRING diddley bow and a 3 string 12 inch candy tin guitar, the 'bass' is actually a 3 string cigar box guitar tuned down.
These handcrafted instruments can also include guitar pickups if specially requested.
See dozens of my previously sold CBG videos here (since 2005)
An Article About One of My Cigar Box Guitars On the Huffington Post Web Site
One of my early fretless models is on display at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur Alabama.
I'm featured in the Cigar Box Guitar Documentary "Songs Inside the Box"
Playing a Cigar Box Guitar
About My Cigar Box Guitars
Cigars were packed in boxes, crates, and barrels as early as 1800, but the small sized boxes that we are familiar with today did not exist prior to around 1840. Until then, cigars were shipped in larger crates containing 100 or more per case. After 1840, cigar manufacturers started using smaller, more portable boxes with 20-50 cigars per box.
Trace evidence of cigar box instruments exist from 1840 to the 1860s. The earliest illustrated proof of a cigar box instrument known is an etching copyrighted in 1876 of two Civil War Soldiers at a campsite with one playing a cigar box fiddle. The etching was created by illustrator and artist Edwin Forbes who, under the banner of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, worked for the Union Army. The etching was included in Forbes work Life Stories of the Great Army. In the etching, the cigar box fiddle clearly shows the brand ÔFigaroÕ on the cigar box.
In addition to the etching, plans for a cigar box banjo were published by Daniel Carter Beard, co-founder of the Boy Scouts of America, in 1884 as part of 'Christmas Eve With Uncle Enos.' The plans, eventually retitled ÔHow to Build an Uncle Enos BanjoÕ as part of Beard's American BoyÕs Handy Book in the 1890 release as supplementary material in the rear of the book. These plans omitted the story but still showed a step-by-step description for a playable 5-string fretless banjo made from a cigar box.
It would seem that the earliest cigar box instruments would be extremely crude and primitive; however, this is not always the case. According to Bill Jehle, curator of The National Cigar Box Guitar Museum, and author of One Man's Trash: A History of the Cigar Box Guitar, has acquired two cigar box fiddles built in 1886 and 1889 that seem very playable and well built. The 1886 fiddle was made for an 8 year old boy and is certainly playable, but the 1889 fiddle has a well carved neck and slotted violin headstock. The latter instrument was made for serious playing.
The cigar box guitars and fiddles were also important in the rise of jug bands and blues. As most of these performers were black Americans living in poverty, many could not afford a "real" instrument. Using these, along with the washtub bass (similar to the cigar box guitar), jugs, washboards, and harmonica, black musicians performed blues during socializations.
The Great Depression of the 1930s saw a resurgence of homemade musical instruments. Times were hard in the American south and for entertainment sitting on the front porch singing away their blues was a popular pastime. Musical instruments were beyond the means of everybody, but an old cigar box, a piece of broom handle and a couple wires from the screen door and a guitar was born.
I've been playing guitar for almost 30 years and recording for almost as long. I've been a guitar teacher for 25 years, specializing in beginners and finger style acoustic blues. I started playing in a cover band in Little Rock while still in high school. Opened up my own recording studio in 1984 (still in business and I have the business cards to prove it) and recorded about 40 90 minute cassettes of my own music over the next 20+ years. Got into blues after discovering Robert Johnson and RL Burnside. I've recorded over 20 full length CD's in the past 4 years including acoustic blues, electric blues, piano blues, ambient electronic and experimental electronic. I play regularly at local bars and coffee houses, playing my cigar box guitar and 6 string Simon and Patrick acoustic. I've made over 200 CBG's of various types.
A little history about this fun instrument:
Cigars were extremely popular in the 19th Century, and therefore, many empty cigar boxes would be laying around the house! The 1800's were also a simpler time for Americans, when necessity was truly the mother of invention. Using a cigar box to create a guitar, fiddle or a banjo was an obvious choice for a few crafty souls.
The earliest proof of a cigar box instrument we have found is an etching of two Civil War Soldiers at a campsite with one playing a cigar box fiddle [click here for picture]. This was created by French artist, Edwin Forbes, who worked as an official artist for the Union Army. The cigar box fiddle appears to sport an advanced viola-length neck attached to a "Figaro" cigar box. The etching is copyrighted 1876.
In addition to the etching, plans for a cigar box banjo were published in the 1870's by Boy Scout's founder, Daniel Carter Beard in St. Nicholas Magazine. The plans, entitled "How to Build an Uncle Enos Banjo" [diagrams pictured above] showed a step-by-step description for a playable 5-string fretless banjo made from a cigar box. The plans were eventually published in Beard's immensely popular American Boy's Handy Book.
By the 20th Century, times were still lean for many Americans and cigars gained even more popularity. The "television of the day" was the trusty Sears and Roebuck Catalog that allowed families to dream of items they'd love to own. It also provided a catalyst for more homemade creations.
In her magnificent book Fiddle Fever, writer Sharon Arms Doucet describes Felix LeBlanc, a young Cajun boy who makes a cigar box fiddle after studying violin pictures in the Sears Catalog. The story, based on the life of Cajun fiddler Canray Fontenot, details the entire building process. "Canray said that he really wanted a fiddle when he was a little boy," Doucet told us, "and an uncle or somebody told him to use a cigar box. It was somewhat 'common knowledge' for them to build instruments like this," she said. Fontenot and the fictional Felix both used a tree branch as a bow, pine tar as resin and screen wire as strings (although Felix eventually replaced the screen wire with old strings from his uncle's fiddle.)
The cigar box guitar has such an awesome pedigree. Blind Willie Johnson made a one-string when he was five and learned how to play melodies up and down that lonely string. Later, he would record the monumental Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground) on standard guitar. The song is a instrumental classic that has droning chords laying the background for a haunting melody played up and down on the high E string...a technique he learned on his original one-string.
Not only does the cigar box guitar have a great history, these little suckers are so much fun to play. Each one has it's own unique sound. Mine are played with a slide and have a great whining blues sound...one that just cannot be emulated from another guitar. They're small, portable and almost indestructable. And let's face it...they're weird looking and attract major attention.
4 String CBG with Bluesboy Jag Boogie Board Foot Stomper
Huffington Post 2012
Arkansas Life Magazine 2013
Arkansas Times 2011
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Order Your Bluesboy Jag Cigar Box Guitar Here
I've been playing guitar since
1977 and recording for almost as long. I've been a guitar teacher
specializing in intermediate and finger style acoustic blues and slide.
I started playing in a cover
band in Little Rock while still in high school. Opened up my own
recording studio in 1984
(still in business) and recorded about 40 90 minute cassettes of my own music over the next 20+ years.
Got into blues after
discovering Robert Johnson and RL Burnside. I've recorded over 30
full length CD's in the past 12 years
including acoustic blues, electric blues, piano blues, ambient electronic, surf and experimental electronic.
I perform all over the country,
including the King Biscuit Blues Festival playing my cigar
box guitar. My current band is Bluesboy Jag & the Juke Joint Zombies. We specialize in period - correct interpretations
of blues classics from the 20's to the 60's. We played the King Biscuit Blues Festival in October 2014 as well
as competing at the International Blues Challenge and many clubs in
JAG's the real deal!!! I've played his cigar box guitars and they absolutely rock.
His cds are mandatory listening for any prim-rock wannabe.
-Shane Speal, self-proclaimed king of the Cigar Box Guitar
Sweet Cigar Box 6 string; sexy, sounds
and the playability is incredible. Very fine instrument. Jag ships world wide, and always creates
fine stringed instruments. I own a 4 string myself
and enjoy every minute playing it.
-Terry Guy, Little Rock
The cbg has arrived - it's the best sounding and prettiest instrument I've ever seen - when I was unpacking it my finger accidentally plucked a string - when I heard the sound my eyes opened really wide and I said wow - thank you very much - I can't wait to start playing it Awesome job I'm ordering another one soon - just because I want another one!
-Terry Lewis, Russellville Ar
Gday Jag. Got your order this morning, love it
I'm sure my mate who's getting the CBG and cigar box amp for christmas
will really dig on it. He does a bit of playing while he's chillin on his
hammock out on the deck so it's going to cop a fair beating.
Hopefully you'll make another customer. Thanks again mate!
-Stu Riley, Australia
By the by, I use my 6 string CBG every gig and I love it. Thanks so much.
-Brandon Rankin, Little Rock
BBJ: Just got the Ashton "Speedster" (great
humbucker and it's just what I was looking for: cool box and even cooler sound! Thanks!
-Bill Hammond, McKinney Falls, Tx
Bluesboy- I wanted to let you know that you NAILED
the custom CBG I ordered! The hum bucker
sounds great and the tone is amazing! Two of my buddies will be contacting you soon to buy one!
-Tom Rainey Little Rock, Ar
I've been a guitar player for over 30 years and
played in pretty much every type of band there is: blues, rock, jazz, improv, country, etc. I gotta tell ya man: this 3 string CBG is
amazing! I've been experimenting with tunings and this thing has opened up a whole new world for this old guitar player! Thanks!
Jag, Just wanted to let you know that I am really
digging my CBG!
You shipped it quick and packed it well and it's easy to play and sounds fantastic! Thanks again!
-Ron Herman, Columbia Mo
Hi Jag! First, thanks for answering all my
sorry I had so many questions! Second, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the CBG! It's perfectly tuned and STAYS in tune (something I can't say for
my Squire Telecaster!!) ands it sound simply FANTASTIC! I've been playing it every chance I get all weekend and I'm planning on making
it's debut at the Beerhaus Friday. Can't wait! I'll be sure and tell everybody where I got it ;)
-Stan Gary, Milpitas Ca
Just wanted you to know that I got the 6 string
CBG and it sounds incredible! And it LOOKS incredible too! I always get comments and people coming up to look at it at my gigs. Thanks for
such a unique, well made instrument.
-Susan McAllister, Alturas Ca
Bluesboy Jag, just a note to tell you that I'm
To your CBG LOL! I'm getting a tremendous response from the audience at my gigs due to your CBG and I'm even getting the press to
mention it in their articles! KUDOS!
Hello! I love the CBG! I got here yesterday and
already played it several hours yesterday and today! I've even got several songs in progress. Amazing how using a different instrument can
-Kevin Armstrong, Austin Tx
Jag, Just a not to let you know that I received
the reliced F hole
CBG in great shape and I love it! Your attention to detail is spot-on as they say in England :) Well done!
-Chad Gardner, Huntsville, Al
Jag, just wanted to let you know that we got
CBG in time for my husband's birthday and he is THRILLED! He's been playing it every day and absolutely LOVES it! Thanks again for such
a unique gift.
-Grace Tipton, San Antonio Tx
I've been playing one of Jag's cbg's on the
for almost 5 years and it's still in great shape and delivers the goods every time!
-Will Greene, Terre Haute In
Jag!!! What can I say??!!! The CBG/Bass Combo
you made for me is truly a great axe. After just a few minutes of playing slide on it, I wrote a song! It's truly inspiring! THANK YOU!!
-Tom Ruston, Springfield Il.
Thank you so much for the exquisitely crafted
string cigar box guitar. Sorry I bombarded you with so many questions! I'm already playing RL Burnside songs with my band and we just started
playing blues two weeks ago. -
-Scott Calhoun, Myersburg Fl.
My husband loves his 6 string Bluesboy Jag
His eyes popped out when he unwrapped it and he's played it every day since (going on a week now!). Thanks you again for the guitar and
-Miranda Sittlemore, Scottsdale Az.
I Currently own a 1978 Guild D55, 1987 Guild Nightbird, and a Martin ¬Ý- Ian Anderson signature 0+18 (only 87 made)
Just got the three string Cohiba and it RAWKS! Gonna play this weekend at a gig, can't wait! Thank you!!!!
Ron Perry, Lawrence, KS
I have not been able to put down the new Cuesta 3 String!! Just worked out a version of Led Zeppelin "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" last night. Great instrument! Thank You!
Regards, L Perry
Just wanted to say a great BIG thanks for your prompt shipment of my custom 6 string Blues boy Jag CBG. I've been playing it almost nonstop for 3 hours and it's simply fantastic!
I recently purchased a 3 string diddley bow from you, and I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you how totally pleased that I am with it.
I deliberately waited a couple weeks to get some playing time in before writing you - anyone can open the box and say "oh wow, what
a great instrument"...that's a nice thing to do, but it doesn't represent the world that my instruments go through.
I play in a working bluegrass/country/old timey/whatever band - The Lonesome Midnight Cowboys. As a side gig, our guitar player and I
do a duet act called The Goat Ropers, with him on either a Tele or a 6 string CBG, while I am the utility man on 3 and 4 string CBG's,
CBG mandolin, a Speal one stringer, washboard, jews harp, harmonica, mountain kazoo...and now the Blues Boy Jag 3 string Diddley Bow.
Jag, Your humbucker CBG SCREAMS! I get compliments on it every time I play a gig and it's quickly becoming my fave axe! Thanks SO much!
Bluesboy, just wanted to drop you a note and tell you that the cbg I ordered last year has played at least one show a week since I got it. By my calculations that's pushing 75 shows. It's built 'RAM TOUGH' and stays in tune and never ceases to bring gawkers up to the front of the stage. Thanks for helping me put my band on the map.
The BBJ 3 stringer plays absolutely super and is built like a tank. It hangs with the electric guitars like you wouldn't believe, and the wide
string spacing allows me to do hammer on's and pull off's with my trusty Stevens steel bar that are incredible. In short - it works and it works real real good!
I've played a couple house parties with it and will be using it at a benefit this Saturday. Out of all my CBG family instruments, it's my r
ock...my Steady Eddie. Always in tune, always ready to go, always delivers the goods. I am well pleased.
Thank you for making such a well made instrument that a gigging musician can afford and be proud of.
Jg, I'm enjoying playing the 3 string la
Cubana I purchased. The guys in my band really get a kick out of it and we've added several new songs that feature it. Thanks again for a
Todd Gardner, Austin
REALLY digging' the 4 string Cohiba F Hole
cbg! The hum bucker really grinds!
Thomas Fisher, Clarksville Tn
Just wanted to say thank you for your
to detail and intricate guitar building skills. I'm addicted to the cbg. The only problem is my wife keeps telling me to go to bed ;)
Marty Calhoun, Dallas
I just received my Hoyo Jag and I love it. I've been playing it for the last 4 hours. Thank you for offering a great product at a very reasonable price.
Hey there, I wanted to send you a note to tell you how much I love my CGB. My girlfriend Lorijo Daniels bought it for me.
I didn't have any idea what to make of it when I saw it and didn't realize what a fine instrument it truly is until just recently.
I've never played slide guitar, or an open tuning for that matter, so it's been a bit to wrap my head around. I'm really a piano player
with decent guitar ability, but not great. I'm playing the CGB through a fender bassman 25 and a Guitar POD XT. My stuffy
guitar player friends would look down on the setup, but who cares?! The CGB sounds friggin awesome and plays beautifully. It's inspiring. Sooooo coooool!
Keep up the fantastic work, you have a fan in Portland.
W O W!
This guitar is fantastic! It plays like a dream and has a tone that KILLS. My friends keep ooh-ing and ahh-ing when
I jam with them. Your work is precise and gorgeous. I'm starting a new band! Thanks SO MUCH!
Gerald Preston, Minneapolis
Hey Jag, My CBG arrived today, thank you for sending it all the way to Norway! It sounds and looks amazing, I keep having a hard time putting it down,
I've had it for a few days now and I have truly fallen in love with this instrument. And also I could never play slide
before on my other guitars, on this however its not just easy but it feels natural to me.
Man I bought one of those cheap CBGs on eBay with the transducer pickup and I was really disappointed. So I bought yours with your magnetic
pickup and I gotta tell ya, thing things is AMAZING! The attention to detail really makes your CBGs stand out.
You get what you pay for I guess. Now I know why you are mentioned all over the internet!
I love my three string cigar box guitar. But it's dangerous to have around. WheneverI grab it, I can't put it down. It's seriously addictive.
Though intimidated at first by the lack of frets, I've found it to be very easy to play. It's well constructed and the electronics work fine.
And the best thing about it of course, is that all the groupies go crazy over mynew natural sounding groove.
I want to let you know the guitar made it in great shape as promised and it is beautiful! I have been lusting after one of these for a couple
years and it certainly did not disappoint. Now I just need to take my rudimentary knowledge and skills and figure out how to play it.
I am looking forward to the journey. I may be checking in for one of your foot stompers some time soon. Thanks!
Jag- I just had to let you know how your instrument was recieved. I
thought my husband would have to learn how to play it for awhile, but
no,instead he tuned it, plugged it in and started playing it like he had
it his whole life! He's in love with it. He said, "finally that blues
sound I've been looking for!". He even called me today from his day
job where he works with kids in a juvinile detentention center and he
brought his CBG and everyone was amazed, one of the correctional officers
happened to have a harmonica with him and they started playing and
pretty soon had a crowd. Tomorrow he's performing at a big festival and has
already come up with a couple of songs he's going to play. I'm going
to take a picture of him playing there and email it to you. I want to thank
you again for making it so fast, shipping it so soon, and making it soundso good.
Sam in California
Just wanted to follow up to let you know my husband LOVES his left-hand cbg and amp!Thanks for a great turn around and a great product!
Happy New Year
Got the Punch guitar last Friday.... excellent sound and really like the work.
Im playing it any chance I get. Thanks, Daniel
Guitar & amp arrived today. No problemo,
Sounds nice and dirty, I just love it ! Thanks for the nice job,
Hey Jag, just got the La Grand Fabrica cbg and it is KILLER!!! It'll be perfect for the blues festival I'm playing in Maryland.
I can now effectively do covers of Moreland and Arbuckle at my gigs! Thanks man.
Thank you for my cigar box guitar it's beautiful I shall enjoy very much making a noise on it! Bye, Alison (UK)
I just received my first cigar box guitar by Jag, and I simply couldn't be happier with it! This little instrument is a whole lot of fun, and EASY to play.
I've owned a bunch of musical instruments over the past 30 years, but dollar for dollar this has got to be THE best bargain I've ever had! Jag is a true craftsman!
I know that he plays it with a slide, but for myself, I've found that the neck is so silky smooth that I like to "fret" the strings and slide up and down the fingerboard that way.
Overdrive it a bit, through a little tube amp, (or in my case a solid state amp with a tube emulator pedal), and you've got the makings for some geniuine,
heart grindin', foot stompin', po' boy, street corner blues. For a different sound I'm thinkin' about getting another one fretted . . .
string it up lighter, and try it with a drone string (like a mountain dulcimer.) I think that would be the cat's ass, too!
I can't wait to incorporate this into my band's "MucklandMusic" sound!
http://www.mucklandcrooners.com I received the guitar yesterday... It is PERFECT! I am giving it to my 11 yr old son for his birthday.
He loves to play guitar and came across a guy with a CBG last yr. He was amazed after playing it and has wanted one since then.
I am going to have a really hard time waiting until the 21st to give it to him!!! You did a great job. I know it will sound great and that he will LOVE it!
Dear Bluesboy Jag,
First of all, I bought a guitar from you in March and have LOVED it! the pickup sounds great,
action plays well, and I have found it sounds a lot like a sitar if you play it a certain way.
Also, I bought a guitar yesterday for my brothers birthday-- when you ship the guitar to him, please do not include the receipt, as it is a gift.
THANK YOU AND KEEP UP THE GREAT INSTRUMENT-MAKING,
HEY JAG! did someone ever tell ya that your
CBG are a wonder of keeping in tune-mine barely needs tuning after i tuned it WEEKS ago°
I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with not only the quality of workmanship but with the sound of the guitar also.
Everything was much nicer than I had anticipated.You did a beautiful job on it. I wouldn't hesitate to
buy another one from you or to recommend you to anyone interested in buying one of these great instruments.
Thank you so much.
got my cb guitar yesterday and have been playing it ever since,sorry for the delay but you make awesome guitars
love the warm sound from¬Ýyour pickup she sure screams for one string and a broom stick! love it! Thanks!
I received my CBG yesterday and played it for several hours. I thoroughly enjoyed the uniqueness of the instrument and expect
I will log many, many hours playing it. I tried it in open A, open G and G5. Open A seems to be optimal with the strings it came with.
I would like to compliment you on your craftsmanship (my wife sends her compliments aswell). I played the instrument through my
Ampeg Jet tube amp, straight into the amp and also through a Korg ToneWorks processor, with excellent results. I also played it through
my Fender Acoustasonic amp which produced very appealing tones and really brought out and enhanced the acoustic properties of the
instrument. Thanks for being out there and also for your prompt service. I really appreciate what you're doing!
Why Is My Website So Creaky? Because I'm Too Busy Making Geetars!
the word 'mojo' was not used in the creation of this web site.