Articles and Other Writings

Shane Speal blogs for Guitar World for the column, The DIY Musician and posts articles at Cigar Box Nation.

GUITAR WORLD - Electric Cigar Box Guitars and other lies

GUITAR WORLD - The Djentstick

GUITAR WORLD - Five Reasons You Suck at Slide Guitar

GUITAR WORLD - Turn Your Bathroom Into A Recording Studio Echo Chamber

GUITAR WORLD - Weesay, the Oil Can Guitar Master pt. 1

GUITAR WORLD - Weesay's Guitar, pt 2

GUITAR WORLD - Three Rules to Follow When You Suck at Guitar

GUITAR WORLD - How to Build a 2x4 Lap Steel Guitar pt 1

GUITAR WORLD - How to Build a 2x4 Lap Steel Guitar pt 2

GUITAR WORLD - California Drummer Completely Reinvents Guitar String with SlapStick

GUITAR WORLD - Frankenstein Guitars and the Pizza Dobro

GUITAR WORLD - Freak of the Week:  1996 Musicvox Spaceranger Prototype

GUITAR WORLD - Freak of the Week: Barn Wood Guitar

Coffin case lap steel guitar, Seasick Steve, The Budrows and more. Jan 29, 2015

 Folk Art Cello, CBGs in Poland, Free Lessons and more.  Jan 15, 2015

The Greatest Rock Legend You've Never Heard Of...  Shane's Personal Newsletter.  Jan 12, 2015

When the Adrenaline Rush Leaves...  Shane's Personal Newsletter.  Jan 5, 2015

Let's rock 2015.  Jan 2, 2015

Three gifts to you for the Holidays.  Dec 24, 2014

Cigar Box Nation Newsletter - Tips, lessons, cool instruments.  Dec 12, 2014

Weird, Freakish Instruments   Shane's Personal Newsletter.  Dec 2, 2014

Cigar Box Nation News: Mud Pie Canjo, New CBG songs in Tab, DIY Christmas, much more...   Nov 25, 2014

Steam Whistles and Cigar Box Guitars   Shane's Personal Newsletter   Nov 18, 2014

Washboard Wizardry   Shane's Personal Newsletter   Nov 12, 2014

Weird Musical Instruments - An appreciation   Shane's Personal Newsletter  Oct 29, 2014

SNAKE OIL FANS RULE - Shane's Personal Newsletter   Oct 23, 2014


Cigar Box Nation News - Featured Instrument + Lots of Cool Stuff   Oct 3, 2014

Cigar Box Guitar Season: The Shane Speal newsletter.   Oct 1, 2014

A Visit to Matty Baratto's Guitar Shop - Hollywood's Cigar Box Guitar Builder to the Stars  Sept 17, 2014

Cigar Box Nation News - Aug 8, 2014


News & Blog

Shane Speal Band Member, Derick Kemper to Appear on Forged in Fire 

Fans of Shane Speal & the Snakes will get to see the band's harmonica player, Derick Kemper appear on The History Channel's popular show, Forged in Fire on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.  Kemper, based in Fawn Grove, PA, is a professional blacksmith who specializes in coal-fired, period-correct blacksmithing  at Damselfly Forge

Here's a typical scene of Derick in his shop.  (No, he didn't play blues harp on Forged in Fire!)

We can't say whether Derick wins or not...because even we don't know!  He's been very secretive about this whole shindig.  Tune in to the History Channel on Wednesday, October 17 to find out and join us on our Facebook event page for real time chatting about the episode.  




Cigar Advisor VIDEO: Build a Cigar Box Guitar with Shane Speal 

They call him "the king of the cigar box guitar." Shane Speal, an avid cigar smoker, guitar player, woodworker, and author, is not only building some of the best cigar box guitars, he's also serving-up a lesson in American history. Working out of his modest backyard shed in York, PA Shane takes pride in recreating the "poor man's guitar," which dates back to the turn of the 20th century.    ...Read more and see the full video

NEW Shane Speal Cigar Box Guitar Strings from 

I am proud to announce my brand new 3-string signature sets from  The strings come in either acoustic or electric and are the same exact gauges I use in every concert.  TUNINGS:  Each string pack also includes my tuning guide, allowing you to take your cigar box guitar from an Open G to jazz, Hawaiian and even dirty blues tunings. 

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Five Reasons Why You Suck at Slide Guitar 

By Shane Speal.  This article was originally posted in my Guitar World column.

Have you ever bought a guitar slide and had intentions of ripping new leads with it, only to discover when you get home that it’s damn near impossible to use? 

I’ve been there, too. 

Playing slide guitar, well, takes a little dedication in practice, but also in the way you set up your gear, too. 

Here’s a quick rundown of five roadblocks that might be keeping you from sliding: 

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New Secret Prizes at 

Remember toy suprises in the cereal box?

When I started my own guitar slide company, I wanted to surprise folks in the same way that Cap'n Crunch did back in the 70's...except I would include stickers, collectible pins and burlap "mojo" bags instead of bicycle license plates.

I just got the brand new Felix the Cat stickers in.  Each one is 4.25" square and is screen printed on weatherproof vinyl.  They look awesome on guitar cases and car bumpers!  Starting today, I'm tucking one inside every order. 

I've continued to introduce various collectible 1.5" pins that are included with every guitar slide.  (Have you collected the pins?  Send me a picture of your collection!) 

I hope to bring out even more guitar slides and work with artisans who craft these awesome pieces. For me, every slide inspires a new song or playing style.  

Thanks for making my life fun!  I hope you're enjoying this stuff as much as I am.

Staying primal...always,

Start Shopping

Snake Oil Medicine Bottle Slide - $10 each (2 slide set for $15)

As featured at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS!  Get 'em here - I ship worldwide.

Snake Oil Bottle Slides »

The Preacher hand-tooled brass slide - $13

Fully adjustible for all size fingers. 
See the demo video in the link.  
Worldwide shipping




Monday, June 25 - Mudhook Brewing Co., York PA. - 10pm
Thursday, June 28 - Bog Turtle Brewing Co., Oxford PA - 7pm
Saturday, June 30 - Mayfly Festival, Wrightsville PA - 1pm

See all concert dates, addresses and info at

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VIDEO: Further Adventures in MANGLING the Open G Tuning! 

LET'S MANGLE THE OPEN G TUNING AGAIN!!!  Let's retune just one string and make the fretboard FRESH.  This is a G major tuning, a tin pan alley version of the blues tuning.  If you're in Open G, simply retune the middle string down to a B.  That's it!     

Check out the Susquehanna Folk Festival at .  I'll be performing there on Saturday, July 28. 

Shirts and slides at 

VIDEO: Break Away from Cigar Box Guitar Boredom - Retune one string to GDF! 

Have you been playing the same licks over and over again?  Let's retune just one string and make the fretboard FRESH again.  This is the G7 tuning, a jazzy version of the blues tuning.  If you're in Open G, simply retune the high string down to an F.   


Check out the Susquehanna Folk Festival at .  I'll be performing there on Saturday, July 28. 

Shirts and slides at 

Shane Speal official: