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Washtub Basses? What the. . . ?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by mattzink, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. mattzink


    Jun 21, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    hey guys and gals
    hope all is well. i'm going to ask this question, knowing that i could get teased merciliessly for doing so. but anyways. . .

    i'm thinking about constructing a washtub bass. i never would've considered it until i saw a street musician in new orleans playing one with a guitar player about 8 years ago. let me tell you - it was phenomenal. the guy was doing walking bass runs on the thing. i could not believe it for even two seconds.

    has anyone out there ever made one? anything i should know about making/playing one? the big question i have is what material should i use for the string? are there any good websites dedicated to this sort of playing? thanks a ton. just curious, matt
  2. I dont know the URL's, but if you look on Bob G's bass links site, theres a few washtub bass page.

    String material is debatelable. I opted to go the authentiv route and use clothesline, a handle from a garden hoe, and a washtub.

    Track down bobs site, and theres directions on how to make them.

    I made mine for my senior physics project in highschool ;)
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I saw a guy down in Tahiti play the hell outta one. Gave me new respect for the instrument.
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Maybe this site could help:
    wash-tub link
    Anyway, it's easy: get a beer keg bucket at your hardware store, remove the handle (they would rattle), nail a hole in the bottom and screw in a hook with large washers so you don't rip the thing out. You'll need a broomstick with a notch at each end, one to rest on the rim of the tub, the other one perpendicular for the string. Clothesline grasswiper line, G LaBella Supernil or G Obligato all work quite well as string. Metal tubs are more traditional, but plastic tubs do the trick too, with a more "gut-like" tone... be prepared for a very special relation with your blisters !!!
  5. Im pretty sure I followed the Tub-o-tone directions also, But we renamed mine the TUb-o-love...

    Has a nicer ring to it
  6. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    There used to be band (John the Conqueroo) in Milwaukee comprised of almost all home-made instruments, including washtub bass. The bass player wore a leather glove on his plucking hand (and possibly on the fretting hand also).

    The best part was the drummer sitting behind a card table full of pots and pans, cardboard boxes and various other items. He had a pedal duct-taped to a large plastic garbage can for his bass drum.

    They played full 3- to 4-hour shows, and were VERY popular. They were all accomplished players and all quite good.

  7. mattzink


    Jun 21, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    they sound way cool! anyway to get their music (i.e. downloads, cds)? the band you mentioned reminds me of seeing a band appear on the show that would later become the arsenio hall show. they were called "pianosaurus" and they played all toy instruments. they released a cd, i think. they rock my butt off. i couldn't believe it. they did a song called "thrift store shoppin'" it was pretty neat.

    anyways, thanks for the tip!
  8. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
  9. chris4001asat


    Dec 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Warehouse Manager : Reverend Guitars
    I've got the Pianosaurus album. It's actually pretty good. Muppet Babies drum set and all! They did a really cool cover of "Memphis TN".
  10. Visit www.thecove.us. After the main page finishes loading, it will play a 15 second clip where you can hear me playing mine.

    Visit www.jugmusic.com/wtb.html for building instructions.
  11. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    you DB guys are weeeeeird.

    For real. A real wash tub bass?

    Holy Crap.