The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55454   Message #861859
Posted By: GutBucketeer
08-Jan-03 - 03:30 PM
Thread Name: Washtub Bass String Question
Subject: RE: Washtub Bass String Question
I use a real bass string (a G string I think) that was given to me after it had worn out its usefullness on a regular upright. I find that it works perfect for me and since it was free I like the price. I've tried weed wacker and clothesline and find that they stretch to much to provide any good control of the notes that you would like to play. So in my mind the key factors are low string stretch, small diamter (from 1/8" to 3/8"), and sustain. You want a string that has fairly long natural sustain since you can always muffle it as needed. So I agree with JohnInKansas about the lawnmower starter cord, and I've also heard that a vinly covered wire clothesline does pretty good.

Gutbucketeer.

Since all washtub basses are essentially customized to the taste of the individual you will never get consensus on this topic. Likewise, everybody I've come across plays them with a different technique based on how they can best internally relate what they do to the sound that comes out. I both finger and stretch the string when I play. I'm also trying to figure out how to use a "slap that bass" technique. I've seen others just stretch, or just finger. Last, I've heard of a guy that plays his almost like a percussion instrument with a stick.