Washtub Bass

One of the best examples I can think of for the type of spontaneous constructs that we are dealing with in our studio is the Washtub Bass, a traditional jugband instrument that was popular in the 1900s in the United States and had a revival in the 1960s. The basic version of the instrument is made with a washtub, a pole and a single string. By varying the tension of the string, you control the notes produced.
On The Washtub Bass Page, there are numerous variations of the washtub bass, made from buckets, boxes, and even a wheelbarrow.The whole idea of a jug band is based upon making instruments out of random things, like jugs, spoons, combs, and washboards. The Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Down on the Corner" is about a jug band called "Willy & the Poor Boys" playing on homemade instruments: a gut bass, washboard, and kazoo. In 1969 the band actually played the Ed Sullivan Show as Willy & the Poor Boys, on these instruments. To see the video click here.

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