Shane News: Free Cigar Box Guitar Lessons, Concert, Antique cigar box uke, more

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The unknown builder of this antique uke knew how to make beautiful inlays, but his fretwork was all wrong. 

And that's an awesome thing.

I just purchased this antique cigar box ukulele last week.  It will eventually be hung at my Cigar Box Guitar Museum at Speal's Tavern in New Alexandria, PA.  It's a fine example of primitive lutherie. 

The builder took a good wooden cigar box and added some beautiful wood inlays on the edges.  He then attached a neck with homemade fretboard and used a belt buckle for a tailpiece.  And the frets are all wrong.

But that's the magic of homemade instruments...

It's the magic of this whole movement we've created.  Our instruments are as flawed as we are.  There's no high-grade CNC machines, no Chinese factory churning out perfection.  Nope.  It's still simple, true and void of Autotune.

I'm working on documenting this uke and will even try to get it back to playable condition.  I know that the notes won't be "correct" as I fret up the neck.  But then again, this uke will play sounds that no other ukulele will ever produce.

Individual.  Just like each of us.


ps.  Today's email is stuffed with extras.  Scroll down for more articles, DIY tips, cool discoveries and more.  And come see me play live at the Pub on the Trail tomorrow night.  It's my new favorite bar...the crowd is off the wall awesome.

Extra #1:  "The Cuban Beauty" cigar box guitar by Shane Speal
The Cuban Beauty 3-String cigar box guitar.  On sale now - $285.00   Only one available.  Handmade 3-string acoustic/electric guitar by me.

Extra #2:  My two-part feature on 'The Yard Sale Guitar'

Part One:  The Almighty Yard Sale Guitar - This old Teisco rocks!  In my latest Guitar World article, I explore the joys of collecting cheap electric guitars from the 1960's.  The article includes notes on how I reconditioned the instrument and even has a blistering demo video:

Part Two:  "How I Revived the Life of This Old Teisco with a $15 Set of Tuners."  In this article for Cigar Box Nation, I give a detailed, step-by-step tutorial on upgrading, drilling and installing new tuners in an old guitar. 
Extra #3:  Free Cigar Box Guitar Lessons - my video series
How to Play Cigar Box Guitar   I recently took all of my free how-to-play videos and organized them by category.  Check them out and gain a few new songs/licks/techniques of your own. 
Extra #4 - I just published a cigar box guitar chord chart poster!
Open D Chord Chart Poster - $10 at C. B. Gitty  This is the second in a series of posters I'm developing with Gitty.  I added a chart for the blues scale up the entire fretboard.  All hand sketched by me. 

Extra #5:  The all new Cigar Box Guitar TV!


1 comment

  • Allen Pifer

    Allen Pifer Cave Springs. Ar.

    I've been building CBGS for about a year and have learned a bunch from Shane.

    I've been building CBGS for about a year and have learned a bunch from Shane.

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