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ok, a washtub bass IS easy to make, but.

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GUEST,stan the man 07 Feb 02 - 05:48 AM
Deckman 07 Feb 02 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,micca at work 07 Feb 02 - 06:28 AM
GUEST 07 Feb 02 - 07:49 AM
kendall 07 Feb 02 - 09:13 AM
JohnInKansas 07 Feb 02 - 10:45 AM
Fortunato 07 Feb 02 - 11:01 AM
Ned Ludd 07 Feb 02 - 02:02 PM
Blackcatter 07 Feb 02 - 02:41 PM
reggie miles 07 Feb 02 - 07:41 PM
Deckman 07 Feb 02 - 07:56 PM
E.T. 07 Feb 02 - 09:18 PM
reggie miles 07 Feb 02 - 09:49 PM
GutBucketeer 07 Feb 02 - 10:29 PM
Deckman 07 Feb 02 - 10:34 PM
JohnInKansas 07 Feb 02 - 11:39 PM
Blackcatter 07 Feb 02 - 11:44 PM
Blackcatter 07 Feb 02 - 11:53 PM
CapriUni 08 Feb 02 - 12:10 AM
JohnInKansas 08 Feb 02 - 12:24 AM
reggie miles 08 Feb 02 - 02:09 AM
Bert 08 Feb 02 - 02:21 AM
GutBucketeer 08 Feb 02 - 08:02 AM
Blackcatter 08 Feb 02 - 01:48 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Feb 02 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,Chip A. 08 Feb 02 - 02:48 PM
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Subject: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but..
From: GUEST,stan the man
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 05:48 AM

where the hell do i get a tub???????????


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 06:01 AM

At the wash tub store! In America, I'd go to my local hardware store, or farm supply center. 'wanna' phone number? CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: GUEST,micca at work
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 06:28 AM

Stan, it depends on which side of the "pond" you are, If the US someone played a rather splendid one at the Getaway, so maybe they ,or one of the other attendees can point you in the right direction for a source.
If UK based, try an old fashioned hardware store such as Batemans Famous Emporium in Hastings, E. Sussex, but UK skiffle basses were usually mabe from Tea chests,, esp the (rare)1/2 size about 18 inches high, and a broom handle, seemed to give the best results.


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 07:49 AM

This page gives some information as to the size and type of washtub to look for.


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: kendall
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 09:13 AM

In Jamaica, I saw a guy playing a type of bass I had never seen before. It was a big wooden box, on which he sat, and, it had a round hole in one side, with 4 or 5 strips of flat metal bars that he plucked with his fingers.It reminded me of the African thumb piano. It made a most unusual sound.


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 10:45 AM

Stan the man:

In my part of the US, the smaller hardware stores frequently don't stock tubs, but you actually should have no problems locating them at the "big chain" lumberyards like Builders Square, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.

Any place that carries janitorial supplies - especially the heavy-duty stuff, is a likely source.

Don't overlook other possibilities. A small (pref. metal) trash can - 15 to 20 gal range - can work well. A couple of notorious noted performers around here have used old auto gas tanks (clean carefully!) to make some remarkable "instruments."

A large tub may give slightly more resonance, but anything from about 15 gallons on up will work well. Keep in mind that you'll probably want to be reasonably portable, so don't get too carried away with size - especially for a first try.

My own "classic" uses two tubs, with a tuning diaphragm between them, to produce "truly melodious" double-bass effects - but I had to put wheels on it to get it around the campground. And I never know if I'm being followed by appreciative musicians, an angry mob, or a buch of people who think I'm wheeling a keg to a party.

John


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: Fortunato
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 11:01 AM

I've emailed our resident Tub Man, Gutbucketeer to sign on here. kowabunga.


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 02:02 PM

Micca is right about the store in Hastings,I've seen them there too. Having played both, the Tea chest is like an acoustic guitar, while the washtub is more like a dobro!


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: Blackcatter
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 02:41 PM

JohninKansas:

Could you describe your bass a bit better? I'm having trouble picturing it.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: reggie miles
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 07:41 PM

Okay, there are traditionalists. They go for the visual of using an actual metal tub, and that's all well and good. It's difficult to play and the results one may achieve vary greatly depending upon the individual's playing approach and materials used. Then, there are those, few though they may be, with a burr in their britches, that go for something different. They are not afraid to stand out among the many, to step away from the maddening crowd, boldly plucking where few have tubbed before. No, they do not fear innovation, inventiveness, or looking beyond convention to rekindle the pioneer spirit which was the very backbone of the jug band musical philosophy. No, they did not settle for merely sounding good but continued to push the musical envelope to discover a better way, a better sound. They were not satisfied but rather yearned for something more, something easier to play. I'm talking about something just as unique and visually stimulating for an audience to view as it is played. In fact, it is played in just the same fashion, except the result is incredible. You'll discover unbelievable volume and tone that simply can't be had from the traditional tub. No it isn't some kind of digital doohickeythingamabob with flashing lights and volume knobs. Those few brave souls I'm talking about have used something that is as easy to locate, about as expensive to buy as a metal tub but as I've said produces much greater response. What would you pay for such a device. Portability is not an issue as it is smaller than the standard tub. If I gave you an alternative like this would you choose it?

Now that I've got your attention, can we talk about Amway.

Just kidding!

It is starting to sound a bit like one of them ads you catch late at night on tv isn't it?

I'm talking about using a small bass drum body instead of a tub. There only needs to be a head on one side of it which can be reinforced with leather washers to accomodate the hardware used to connect the string. As I have said, the big difference is in the results and they are astounding, volume galore, tone that would make many upright bassists jealous and with an ease of playabilty that will make you want to fall down on your knees with thankfulness.

Hey, come to think of it, maybe I should be charging for this kind of info.

I know from whence I speak. I've played with upright players, metal tub players and with my good friend Dr. James Rhythm who happens to use a drum body for his tub and there is no comparison.

Have fun, go crazy, keep on tubbin'!


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 07:56 PM

Hi Reggie ... I sure wish you wouldn't make your posting so darned brief! CHEERS, Bob (by the way, we're having a hoot in a couple of weeks).


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: E.T.
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 09:18 PM

Don't forget asking your neighbors/putting up a sign in the local laundromat etc. Aha - farm auctions! check the paper. Might even find your tea chest. We (in a relatively rural area) seem to have 1-4 about every other week. What about advertising for one in the local paper?

Tell everybody you talk to what you're looking for. It's AMAZING what turns up through a friend of a friend of a friend. (a 100 year old 6 harness floor loom, lately - the friend didn't like the curator of the Czechoslovakian museum so gave it to my friend who gave it to me). Of course, this is a good start.

Best of luck Elaine.


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: reggie miles
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 09:49 PM

Yeehaa! I'm invited to a hoot! I've been askin' when you might be hosting another but haven't heard about anything in so long. A couple of weeks, that wouldn't be the weekend of the 23rd, the same as Wintergrass would it? Oh no, tell it's not true. Do you know which weekend yet?


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 10:29 PM

Hi guys:

I've been playing the gutbucket for some time now. The only thing that I do that's unusual is use a cross piece at the bottom.

Wow, I would love to see and play some of the inventions described here. I've actually looked for a small bass drum before, but haven't been able to find one that someone is willint to part with cheap. JohninKansas, your double tub bass sounds fascenating. Especially the tunable head...sort of like the kettle drum of basses. :-)

Be sure to check out the other threads on washtubs and gutbuckets. There have been several with good descriptions of materials to use and different designs.

Keep on thumpin!

JAB

P.S. Anyone in the Washington D.C. area that want to play jugband and other old music from the 10s 20s and 30s I'm ready anytime, anyplace (within driving range)


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: Deckman
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 10:34 PM

Reggie, I sent you a private e-mail about the 17th. Bob


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 11:39 PM

Blackcatter asked????

#1 tub, 12 gal, "rightside up" on the bottom.

3/4" thick plywood ring, tapered to fit the slope of the bottom tub - about 2" radial thickness. This is the support for the other tub.

On top of the support ring, a piece of 1/4" thick masonite, with about a 1.5" hole in the center - makes a Helmholtz resonator out of the bottom tub.

#0 tub, 9 gal, upside down on top of the lower tub. With the same masonite plate & hole, makes a separate Helmholtz resonance about 2.5 semitones higher frequency.

The combination of the two "loosely coupled" tuned resonances gives a fairly broad response curve.

The pair of tubs, with their internal tuner sit on a square base - 2 lawnmower wheels and a "foot" make a stable 3-point base for playing. Tip it up on the wheels for transport.

A "T" shaped wooden assembly lays over the upside down top tub, and 3 turnbuckles hold it down to the base.

The "T" also anchors the "fingerboard," made of a split and shaped 2x4 (finished dim about 1.5x3 at bottom, 1.5x1.8 at top, crowned for easy fingering. About 4.5 ft long.

Lawnmower starter cord for the string. Comes in 2 weights - the lighter (1/4") works best. Has a slightly impregnated surface for durability, and is easy on the fingers since it resists fraying. Heavy enough to tune well, and very low stretch.

Tension using an electric fence tensioner - $3 US at your local farm equipment store. Get the "wrench" for an extra $1.50.

Tension the string to get a good tone - probably about 40 to 60 lb. Tune with a sliding "capo" wedged under the string.

Fingers like a regular stand-up base - and thanks to the tuned resonant tubs, sounds much like a real base if you don't get close enough to hear the tin rattle. Plays a musical 2 octaves.

Have your S.O. paint some pretty flowers on the woodwork and it looks right purty too.

John


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: Blackcatter
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 11:44 PM

Ye Gods!


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: Blackcatter
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 11:53 PM

I'll tell you, I'm tempted to take my old small bass and turn it into an upright bass, but I really like it as a drum. I'd love to hear how one sound, I guess before I do it - I have to admit, the "metal" sound of the washtub is a limitation and I'd love more volume. I'm going to have to think about this.

Encouragement and tips would be appreciated! - Do you have sound holes on the drum body for volume (I need that for the washtub)

Thanks for reviving this discussion.


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: CapriUni
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:10 AM

JohnInKansas:

And here I was thinking that a washtub bass was a relatively "low tech" instrument!

Silly me!

Ever thought of going 'round to high school physics classes to give demonstrations in accoustics?

Just a thought...


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:24 AM

CapriUni,

One of the advantages(?) of my monster is that the regular gas tank bass boys all duck and run, because it's "too high tech," and the "real" bass players run for cover because they think it's "just another gutbucket."

Gives me (or whoever borrows it) lots of chances to play unmolested.

It actually has been most frequently borrowed by traditional bass players who left their "real" instrument at home - and apparently find it enough like a one-string version of their regular instrument to play enjoyably.

John


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: reggie miles
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 02:09 AM

It may have been mentioned above, but a simple piece of 2x4, six inches in length, with a notch cut into it, so it lays flat on the floor with the notch on the upward side to cradle the rim of the drum body and allow sound to exit out from below is all one needs.


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: Bert
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 02:21 AM

Of course, if you want to hear a gut bucket played properly, get yourself down to the DC area and listen to Gutbucketeer. The guy is WAAAY too modest. He plays melody on the damned thing.


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 08:02 AM

Thanks Bert !

John, I've heard of and seen many different WTB designs, but yours takes the cake hands down as being the Stratavarius of the instrument.

JAB


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: Blackcatter
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 01:48 PM

I'd love to see a picture (or 10) of the Strad or gutbuckets.


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 02:04 PM

My S.O. has been looking through our snapshots, and unfortunately, the only pictures we've found handy show very small parts sticking out of crowds of "musicians."

I've located my camera - but I think it still has pics from Xmas 1998 on the roll that's in it. Maybe I can finish the roll and get a few shots.

I'll trace this thread just in case.

John


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Subject: RE: Help: ok, a washtub bas IS easy to make, but.
From: GUEST,Chip A.
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 02:48 PM

Go to www.bassbox.org for a different kind of bass. This sounds like the one kendall saw in Jamacia. I've seen and heard one and it's very good.

Chip A.


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