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washtub basses

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by d-train, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. just wondering if anyone in here has ever fiddled with wash tub basses. i've made a one stringer already and am hashing out plans for a two-stringer. interested in any feedback!
  2. mpm


    May 10, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Love 'em, made my first in Bissbe, AZ 45 years ago. Get a glove.
  3. Maybe I've never heard anyone who could really play one but based on my experience-they are a complete waste of a good washtub. The only sound I have heard them make is a whoompf-whoompf-whoompf like you might get by beating a feather pillow with a tennis racket. The novelty of one might get an audience excited but as far adding anthing to the music--no thanks.
  4. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    I played someone else's a while back, it was pretty cool. There are a bunch of links under MISC in my Double Bass Links Page at http://www.urbbob.com/basslink.html
  5. Now Steve, they don't sound that good!
  6. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I once heard a guy who I swore was playing a DB. Nice tone, too. There as some really amazing musicians out there.
  7. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    In the late 80's I held the gutbucket chair in DTW's Don't look Now Jug Band for three years (maybe you can stil catch them at the Dally in the Alley or Rochester Heritage Fest). Tub from Busy Bee on Gratiot, G supernil was the string of choice.
  8. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I'll be darned; we used to be neighbors! I played the Dally once, in the early 80s- I was busking there, playing banjo and guitar with the Grand River Mountain Boys.

    I found some references to you in the Cass Corridor Tribe site (http://corridortribe.com/). Lots of bittersweet memories there.

    (Apologies to other TBers for temporarily hijacking the thread)
  9. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I hope your memories from that period aren't too bittersweet. Being a visiting graduate student in Detroit in the 80's has being a really great experience. In retrospect I feel really lucky that I've landed in the Cass Coridor, and proud to be counted among the members of the Cass tribes. The live music I've heard in Detroit has shaped up my taste. I remember interesting discussions with DBassist Ray McKinney while having breakfast at the Coney King. Pianist Eileen Orr was also very encouraging and invited me once to bring the tub and jam with her at a pasta restaurant gig she was doing downtown. And also we jammed with Louie Bluie (Howard Armstrong)... I could go on and on (we're in the Off Topic section, right?). Alright mje, I'm glad we used to be neighbors.
  10. richard curry

    richard curry

    Feb 25, 2004
    I've been playing a washtub bass for over 30 yrs. Amplified for 22 years. Serious business competing w/other bass players for 10 years. Playing in bands for over 10 yrs. Currently w/ a folky oldies group and a blues band. I use a plastic tub, cut from the bottom of a 55 gallon plastic barrel. The deeper the cut (taller the barrel) the lower the tone. I get just under 2 octaves. People say its lower than other basses they have heard. Intonation can be exact. Being heard over a drummer is sometimes a challenge. At present I'm experimenting w/effects. Got a Digi-tech 50 unit and that works on about 10 different settings. Needs lots of fine tuning but hope to be playing out w/it by summer.
  11. I saw a wash tub bass once that was rigged with an ax handle that would change the pitch of the string. The guy plucked with his right hand and moved the handle up and down.

    The same band had a one-armed steel guitar player. He held the "steel" in his prosthetic hand.