Making Poor Man’s Guitars

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Cigar Box Guitars, the Frying Pan Banjo, and Other DIY Instruments


Not all legends are written in books. Sometimes they’re written inside the instruments that people make. Making Poor Man’s Guitars digs deep into the past to find the music that connects with the living soul of America. Shane Speal, the “King of the Cigar Box Guitar” and creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement, brings the making of music and musical instruments back to its roots. This book presents the authentic stories of American DIY music with step-by-step projects and interviews with music legends. From a simple two-string tin can guitar to an electrified washtub bass, Shane shows how anyone can build amazing musical instruments from found items. Sidebars present the fascinating backstory of the music, capturing struggle, poverty, and the blues within the artistic side of cigar box guitar building.

  • How to make your own cigar box guitars… and why!
  • Step-by-step projects for building amazing handmade musical instruments.
  • First-hand accounts that tell the poverty-stricken backstory of DIY music.
  • Fascinating photographs from the golden age of blues and jazz.

By Shane Speal. 176 Pages. Paperback. 8" x 10" x .41"

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