Servaas Bollen
Schiedam, Nederland


Gumbo & The Monk (on Gumbo Guitars) live at the BSA CBG Festival 2014, France


Gumbo & The Monk live at Kadmium, Delft, the Netherlands


Justin Johnson showcasing a Gumbo Guitars License Plate Resonator Guitar


Secrets to the 4 string License Plate Resonator Guitar by Justin Johnson


Gumbo Guitars Electric 6 string played by happy customer: "Beslide CBG" from France




Blues duo: Gumbo & The Monk:

The Wizard of the Cigar Box Guitar -
Justin Johnson:

Gumbo Guitars is a Dutch company that sells hand crafted Roots Instruments built by its owner Servaas Bollen. He started Gumbo Guitars in May 2013 and is inspired by the amazing story of how the blues historically found many creative ways to express itself. Back then, people who couldn't afford a guitar built it themselves from any available hollow object with any kind of string on it. Servaas now builds several types of these. For example: Cigar Box Guitars, License Plate Resonator Guitars, Beer Canjos and also Stomp Boxes (a flat box covered with a license plate that you put under your foot to amplify your foot tapping rhythm).

You don't have to be a guitar player to be able to play the Cigar Box Guitar or License Plate Resonator Guitar. It's pretty easy to get that authentic rootsy sound from it because they are tuned to an 'open chord', so when you strum all the strings you are already playing a chord. Now when you use a bottleneck or slide, you can play other chords or even melodies. Playing tips and lessons are widely available on Youtube.

And by the way: All license plates used are road worn and have seen miles and miles of American highways, dirt roads or maybe even Route 66! Gumbo Guitars mainly uses plates from states where the blues originated like: Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Illinois. On request it is possible to put any other plate on a Gumbo Guitar.

If you have questions or want to order any of my products, please send me an email. You can pay by paypal or bank transfer. 

The 3 and 4 string License Plate Guitars all have a piezo pickup inside, so you can easily amplify them, but they also have a very nice acoustic sound. There are position/fret markers on the top of the neck (not visible on picture).
Price (standard model): €175


The 6 string License Plate Guitars are built like a 'normal' electric guitar from a solid piece of Mahogany, Alder or Ash wood with a strat-type neck and a single coil pickup. Other pickup configurations are also possible on request.
Price (standard model): €350


Beer Canjo (including brass slide and protective tube): €35


The License Plate Stomp Box is made with a bass guitar pickup under the plate and a volume and tone knob to shape the sound. You can amplify this without a preamp.
Price: €75


Glass Bottleneck (made from wine bottle): €10


Gumbo Guitars also makes a little preamp in a mint tin that is specially designed for piezo pickups. Without it, these pickups can sound a bit thin. This preamp brings out the mid and low frequencies and gives it a fuller sound and as a bonus it also reduces feedback!
Price: €80