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

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Latest Articles

Blues Legends, Old Cars & Your Mama

Is this the greatest blues lyric ever?This past Sunday, my son Brennen and I were doing body work on his 1962 Corvair and I had a blues radio channel blasting the entire time.  The station kept dipping into some…

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Hi all!

There's a "new improved" video up, "Boo-Gah-Dee-Ah."  I'm starting to go through the hundreds of lessons I've posted on YouTube over the last decade and update some of the videos.  In this one, I explore a really cool…

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Jimi Hendrix Plays a 1-String Broom Guitar!

Here's a little fun discovery:  Jimi Hendrix noodling around with a homemade one-string broom guitar!  It was the Summer of Love, 1967 when the Jimi Hendrix Experience sat down for a fun photo shoot.  The iconic power trio goofed around…

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VIDEO: Derick's Sword of Death - Beyond the Snake Oil Band

Shane Speal's Snake Oil Band is like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

I have somehow surrounded myself with a full band of Renaissance men, and it's the coolest thing ever.  Each member of the band has wild occupations and hobbies from Farmer Jon's farming, brewing and Revolutionary War reenacting to Rick's hot rods & stadium announcing.  

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Build a Super Tub Bass - Hot Rodded Washtub!

These "Super Tub Bass" plans have just been added to the CigarBoxGuitars.com archive of musical instrument plans.  The bass is set up to be played like a fretless upright bass and is relatively simple to make.  

The article is originally…

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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. 


Sample photos from the book...