Friday, May 9, 2014

Playing a Fretless Cigar Box Guitar

Here are my thoughts after my first hour of playing around with my new Cigar Box Guitar.
  • It really helps/makes you learn to hear the notes with your ear.
    • With time and practice I think this will help me learn to play by ear better.
  • Goodness, if you thought playing medium or heavy strings on a guitar are hard, try a fretless guitar with the strings raised higher.
    • The first 3 frets or so are almost impossible to hold down.
    • This is good for slide playing but very hard for holding down chords.
  • If you tune to g-b-e then your three strings are the 3 highest strings on a standard tuned guitar meaning you know the chord shapes that fit those strings.
    • This is neat but due to the difficulty holding down the strings I did not like playing this as much.
  • Open-G is g-b-d and I found this to sound nicer when strumming the 3 strings and using a slide it was much easier to play stuff that sounded decent.
  • It is louder as an acoustic than I expected.
    • Going to be great when I hook in some lo-fi Piezo Pickups and add it to an amp but even without it is good.
With a little work I was able to modify Taj Mahal's Country Blues #1 on the fly and come up with something ok sounding. I already posted that: Cigar Box Country Blues

I do plan to add frets with a marker (no raised frets) and some fret indicators along the side to help myself and the boys hit the notes faster. It's also nice that you can adjust the feel of the guitar. You can sand down the back to make it feel just right for playing (It needs more work).

Besides that, playing this has been a joy. I am like a little kid, beaming as I twang away at my new toy making a racket!

1 comment:

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