Welcome to PoorMansGuitar.com, a network dedicated to the history, preservation and research of folk instruments and their makers.  This site is run by Shane Speal, a performing musician, historian and creator of the modern cigar box guitar resurgence.  For Shane's music and live concerts, please visit www.ShaneSpeal.com

Latest Articles

DELTAPUNK AMP & GUITAR - A Blues Version of Steampunk!

Announcement:  Your instruments can be props as much as playable instruments!  This pair is the perfect example.

I've seen many instruments created to give a "steampunk" look, a style that mixes Victorian Era aesthetics with futuristic robotics and technology.  The…

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VIDEO: How to Make a Telephone Microphone!


In my book, Making Poor Man's Guitars, I show how to make a microphone from a beer can, Mason jar lid and piezo elements.  This project is even easier than the beer can mic!  

The mic is perfect for blues…

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Not all legends are written 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.”

— Fox Chapel Publishing

Making Poor Man's Guitars:  Exclusive Signed 1st Edition Direct from the Author

Many books have been written about how to build cigar box guitars and other unique hand-made instruments... but few have touched on why.  Making Poor Man's Guitars  presents the authentic stories of American DIY music with step-by-step projects, photo studies of antique instruments, interviews with music legends, and historical accounts. 

EXCLUSIVE: Autographed by Shane Speal. 


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Sample photos from the book...