Monday, December 9, 2013

Pay money for a cigar box guitar?

So I've gotten a little ticked by websites, Etsy stores, and other places where people sell cigar boxes they've made online. Now I'm not talking about custom shops like Smokehouse or Daddy Mojo Guitars that give you a custom professional axe that rivals the performance of a top shelf guitar you can buy at a music shop.   And I'm not talking about people who try to sell a great product that they made. What I have big problems with are these sites that sell these mass produced cigar box guitars and for a lot of money (like $90 or more)

I made this one this spring and I'm still constantly perfecting it!
Here's the thing, cigar box guitars are supposed to be instruments steeped in a tradition of poverty. When you didn't have enough money to even buy a very cheap guitar you went into your garage or
woodshed and you made one. These were custom things that had a sense of personality and uniqueness. These were not things you that had a million that looked just like them. These were not things that cost so much that people had to "save up" for. So why is it when I go onto the web and look at these people that I'm seeing one-strings that I can make in my own shed (That ANYONE can make) and being asked to fork over 90 bucks for it.

There's something about the core philosophy of these instruments that I feel is wronged when you do this with these instruments. These are peasant instruments, not professional guitars. They are supposed to be a celebration of personal artistry and uniqueness. At a certain point you just totally insult that entire philosophy. Please go out and buy a good cigar box guitar from somebody who is making them personally with love. When you start getting better at your skills and start getting serious about music then you really should invest in the more costly professional sounding instruments out there made by very talented craftsmen. I know I'm planning on getting a good four string sometime soon. But when you're talking about the backyard, gut-busting guitars that sound so primal when you make them yourself...at their foundation they're a folk art. Cheap art you can play. And that's how they should stay.

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