3 and 4 string guitars

 This is a website about homemade guitars.

Since the 1860's people have used old wooden boxes of all types to craft themselves a homemade guitar. They used scavenged or found lumber to crudely fashion into a guitar neck, and just with simple hand tools and a little creativity the music know today as the Delta Blues was born.

 Instead of just talking about those times from long ago, let's just take a short trip back in time and listen.

Here is a song recored on a 3 string guitar - no amplifiers or electronics were used...just an old fashioned acoustic 3 string cigar box guitar 

I have several different music albums and  how to play lessons for sale on this site. I also ship standard DVDs and CDs in the mail.

If you need help or have any questions email me at  john@reddogguitars.com

  All of the music and videos on this site are only made with homemade 3 and 4 string guitars - No regular guitars were used or recorded.

A lot can be done with a homemade guitar, you can record old time blues with little effort, but you can also record modern blues styles.
These guitars have a naturally vintage sound that doesn't require much effort to play and sound well. You can let the guitar work for you because the tone is so unique. 

Worldwide Shipping 

This DVD plays in all TV players - USA - Europe - United Kingdom - Australia 
It also plays on computers with a disc drive

  Three string guitars are fun and easy to play. It's much easier to learn to how play a cigar box guitar than it is to learn how to play a regular 6 string guitar.

  Early Blues music and slide guitar that was played on these homemade instruments was created by people who most often didn't know any music theory or what musical chords and keys were. Many of them could not even read the written word.

 If the musicians who played Blues music in the 1880's didn't know music theory or complicated math, then neither do you. You do not need to learn chords or complicated music structure to play great sounding blues music on a 3 string guitar.

 On this DVD I will explain the method of how to play guitar by feeling and ear. These lessons will teach you in a simple and easy manner how to play guitar that sounds like it's from the past. It doesn't matter what your age is or how well you can or can't use your hands or fingers. If you can use a computer keyboard, you too can play a 3 string guitar. 

 Watch this short video below, you will see that these guitars don't require much effort. Slide guitar is basically just one finger guitar with a few plucks here and there.

When I was in my teens, I was totally fascinated with learning how to play the guitar. I tried to learn from many teachers. I had a very skilled guitar teacher, but when he spoke it was so confusing to me. He spoke clearly, but it was all just too perplexing for my ears. 

 I was not the type of person who could grasp, "it's a G chord with this note as the root....or it's with a minor 7th,...or it's an F#"...and so on.

 I remember thinking to myself, "How am I ever going to learn?"

 I also found it too hard and frustrating to learn by trying to memorize fretboard maps or layouts with charts and dots from math that I didn't understand in the first place. I just wanted to be able to enjoy learning how to play the guitar. 

 As for me, I love hearing that old time deep southern blues. It makes me feel like I've been transported back into the past to a simpler time long ago. So in the end, I have spent 30 years studying and learning many different guitar techniques and styles. In the process, I've learned how to play guitar by feeling and ear. I can now teach you how to play the same way. 

This DVD is not like the other standard "hard to learn" guitar courses  

On this DVD,

NO math is involved

NO scientific music theory

These lessons are different. I will explain how to play guitar using easy to understand terms and concepts so you can play and create your own music that will sound compelling and moving to hear. 

 These lessons have been broken down into small easy to learn step-by-step building blocks that we will then put together to achieve an authentic old time vintage sound. With just a little patience and practice, you'll be able to create dramatic and captivating music without using difficult math or music theory.

Listen to this youtube video and let's take a step back in time, 

Imagine a time long ago and a farmer sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch after a long days work in the fields. He's holding in his hands a homemade guitar that was made out of an old used cigar box and some scraps of wood.
 He's just sitting there relaxing and not thinking too hard about how to create music. He didn't have a computer or cell phone to compare himself to others. He's just sitting there playing guitar on a breezy afternoon without a care in the world. He's having fun and entertaining himself playing songs that his heart and ears can enjoy. - If he can do it, so can you. 

 These guitars are rewarding to play. Anyone can learn to play one with just a little time and patience. Thanks for your time and if you have read this far, email me with any questions.

This video is instant download. These mp4 video will play on any computer, phone, or digital device.


If you would like a Physical DVD in mail click here

 any questions email me at john@reddogguitars.com


  This is a Delta Blues cigar box guitar music CD disc that was recorded using 3 sting guitars.
 My goal with this album was to take the listener back in time the early 1900's as if you were actually there... to relive those old dust bowl recordings and ghost towns from long ago.
 I set out to record these songs to sound and feel as authentic as possible. The music on this disc was played on several different types of 3 string guitars. I've also used resonator box guitars and a few different cigar box guitars that had various types of open tunings. 
There is no singing or band and no regular guitars were used on this album.

This album is instant download. These mp3 songs play on any computer, phone, or digital device.


If you would like a Physical CD in mail click here

have questions ? email me at john@reddogguitars.com

This is a cigar box guitar Blues music CD.  In these recordings I set out to recreate the 1920's and 30's era. I wanted to capture that dramatic sound and tone from long ago. 
 Without singing or using words, these songs tell a story all of their own, Juke Joints, old ghost towns, glass bottleneck slide guitar...and there's a few modern electrifying 'Chicago' style twist too. It will keep you on your toes like those old school two tone leather shoes.

 This album was recorded in my garage with vintage microphones and recording gear. I like to find and use aged and older analog gear that I can bring back to life.  Thanks for taking the time to read this and listening to the videos. I also have many other clips on Youtube, that's my favorite website, check them out sometime. Thanks again, John

There is no singing and no band on the album, 
it's only recordings of cigar box guitars.


If you would like a Physical CD in mail click here

Shipping for CDs in the mail is about 10 days
 I can mail you one anywhere world wide. 


This DVD plays in all TV players - USA - Europe - United Kingdom - Australia 
It also plays on computers with a disc drive

  Cigar box guitars are fun and easy to play. These guitars have a naturally vintage tone that sounds like they're from the past. It's also easier to learn how to play a cigar box guitar than it is to learn on a regular guitar - But, just as enjoyable as they are to play, they are also fun and easy to build.

 If you would like to build your own guitar that can capture that old-time classic Delta Blues sound, this DVD video will show you how to build a great sounding guitar that sounds like it's strait from the 1930's.

This video covers several types of guitars, both 3 and 4 string as well as resonator guitars.

 I share what to do about the body of the guitar, the wood for necks, how to fret the neck and homemade fretting like a pro - and yes, fretting a guitar neck is easy, even if it's your first time. All done with only basic hand tools. I also cover headstocks of all types and so much more than you could ever get from a book or watching random endless youtube videos....You will save many hours of trying to learn on your own.

 I will show you how and what I do when I build guitars in my shop. Everything is explained from start to finish. It doesn't matter if this is your first time building or your 10th. After you study and watch this dvd you'll build a better and more resonate sounding guitar.

  When I build a guitar to record with, I like the 'sound and tone' of my instrument to land somewhere in between the 1890's and a pair of rusty Hot Rod exhaust pipes :-)

 The recording possibilities are endless, here's a short youtube video,

Cigar box guitars are built with just a few basic hand tools that most people already have or can borrow. The great thing about building these guitars is that you don't need power tools. It's kind of liberating if you think about it, to build regular guitars you would need a whole shop of specialized tools, power saws and carpentry planes.

Here is a short sample list of the basic tools you will need,
  •  a small hand saw 
  • small hand pliers
  • sandpaper and wood glue
  •  a small hand drill 
  •  pocket knife 
  • small hammer / or rubber mallet 
  • a few small screwdrivers / Phillips type
  • a quality ruler (I prefer Metric) Buy a steel ruler, It's the most important tool you'll own
 As you can see, these guitars don't require expensive tools. Another aspect that I really enjoy about building these guitars is that they are easy to complete. They don't require a major commitment.

- We will also cover all of the parts needed, ideas for homemade bridges, electric pickup types, body hardware, etc. You can use new or used guitar parts or you can get creative and make your own parts with stuff from around your house. It's also exciting to look around your garage or the local hardware store for random items that could be used in a creative way on a guitar. 

 Here below is a rustic looking "road worn" guitar. It has homemade metal body parts. Even the hardtail bridge is made at home from a piece of bent metal. I explain how I make or find parts and how to think ahead when searching for them so that you can create ideas and themes that inspire you.  

 Resonator guitar construction is also covered on this DVD

 Homemade resonators are fantastic to play. The strings sit on a bridge that pushes down on a cone that is held upright inside the body of the guitar. When you strum, it vibrates the center of the cone and it provides amplification without electricity. 

 If you're trying to recreate that hair-raising deep slide gritty down home blues from the 1920's and 30's than this is the type of guitar for you. These instruments are a thrill to play. They have a crisp metallic bell like tone with a sound that is full of sustain and volume. The sound they produce is so vivid and incredible....and if you add an electric pickup on the guitar and plug it into an overdriven amplifier it will turn into a rude little screamer!

  There are many guitarist who play only this type of guitar and nothing else. The projection of tone is so phenomenal they can become the only guitar you'll ever want to hold in your hands. 

Building a resonator is much easier than you may think, the neck is a stick that runs right through the box and the body is cleverly anchored at the end. There are some things that are different from a standard cigar box guitar, but it's not difficult nor any harder to build. It just requires a bit more time to construct. 
- The parts to build cigar box resonators are for sale online in many places. The cones are specialty parts designed and made for these guitars, but if you want to build in the Lo-Fi style, I also explain how to use paint can lids and other items that also work well as resonator parts. If you live in Europe or the United Kingdom there are makers of these custom parts available for sale in your part of the world. They are also available for sale in Australia.

Here's a recording of a homemade resonator this was captured acoustically open air with a microphone right in front of me,

 If you have read this far, thank you for your time. I know this information was a lot to read but I only wanted to be factual and state what is offered on the video. This dvd will save you a lot of time from making mistakes and it will help you build a better sounding guitar.

Email me with any questions you may have and thanks again, John 

This video is instant download. This mp4 video will play on any computer, phone, or digital device.


If you would like a Physical CD in mail click here

If you need help with check out or have questions
 email me at john@reddogguitars.com

This is a southern cigar box guitar music CD called Cigar Box Americana. 

 The music and songs are all sounds that are vintage and southern in flavor. To record this music, I've used both 3 and 4 string guitars.  To add grit and tube tone I've recorded with old and vintage 1960's and 70's guitar amplifiers. Some were naturally overdriven to achieve a real primitive Southern gritty sound.

  I have also used some old retro radios that were hacked into guitar amps. They were once antique radios from the 1940's and 50's that have been converted and turned into guitar amplifiers. These neat little amps record with a really unique and captivating tone.

This album is instant download. These mp3 songs play on any computer, phone, or digital device.


If you would like a Physical CD in mail click here

My email is john@reddogguitars.com 

If you have any questions about these guitars, email me ...don't be shy!


3 string guitars sound great with many types of amps. 

3 String Blues guitar from days long ago.....

I also have a book on the subject of cigar box guitars.

 You can click below the "Cart Button " and there is a link for the shipping page - Worldwide Shipping

  Take a journey into the past as we explore cigar box guitars and other homemade stringed instruments that helped to create the music we now call Blues and Rock n' Roll.  If you like cigar box guitars you'll love this book!  

In this book you'll find lots of old and antique photos, old blues history with homemade guitars, vintage stories and plans of "how to builds" and much more from the past. Many of these images have never been seen or published for over a 100 years. 

 There's also lots of cool photos of modern 3 string guitars, 4 string guitars, Resonator guitars and hot rod amplifiers.

This is a fun book for anyone who enjoys learning about the history of cigar box guitars, you'll read it many times. The photos alone are a treasure to view.  You'll look at this book over and over.

Box Guitar Blues - The Book


Shipping anywhere in the World 
Same price worldwide $3.25


  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my music and videos with you. I am just one person who is super passionate about the hobby of homemade guitars. To me there is many many lifetimes of exploration a person can do in this hobby. You can learn and explore both the craft of building them....but also, playing them and then there is the art of recording with them.... and making recordings for video such as soundtracks, that is a whole world in itself!  Much of this music has taken many years to put together. I hope that you have an appreciation for all the time and effort I put into it. You can always see my newest stuff on youtube.

Still here??? I'm running out of room on this site....

Here's something to leave you with,

I have lots more videos of these guitars, check out YouTube, 
to see more guitars - visit to the full Red Dog Guitars website at this link