The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55454   Message #862248
Posted By: JohnInKansas
09-Jan-03 - 12:03 AM
Thread Name: Washtub Bass String Question
Subject: RE: Washtub Bass String Question

One of the great things about WTBs is that you make them to suit your own notions about what fits. Certainly, if you rig something that's comfortable for your 5'1" size, the kids will manage it. Remember that they're faced with an "adult sized" world that they're trying to grow into -- gives them an incentive to grow up.

If you want to make something that really fits the little ones, you probably want something like a dishpan bass rather than a washtub. Where you'd use a 2" dia hoe handle on an adult size, you'd use one of those cheap 5/8" dia mop handles from the supermarket for the little ones.

Anything that has a little "boom" to it when you slap it good can make the sound box. Don't be afraid to consider plastic buckets, wastebaskets, wooden boxes, or anything else you can tie a string to. If you can get the orchestra outdoors, a piece of binder twine tied to the latch handle on the barn door works pretty good. (And a 10' long string works fine, if you tie it to the kid that puts the tension to it so he/she can put a little body weight to it.)

Remember too, that if you make an instrument that "speaks" at orchestral levels, the kids'll drive you batty with the noise.