Saturday, May 19, 2012

Building a Washtub Bass

Lexa plays the washtub at the lake.
Like to get some of the kids playing along with the Sabbath School song service?  Here's an easy to play instrument that can be easily mastered by a kid that has an ear for music.

A washtub bass will set you back less than $30 if you have to buy the washtub and all the gear.  I like to use the larger tubs because they make a bigger sound and are more forgiving if the kid has a tin ear. Much of the music is in such a low register it is felt rather than heard.

The musical sound of the tub bass carries very well, due to it's very low resonance. The deacons will surely come stick their heads in the youth room door to find out what that deep rhythmic thumping is all about. Once they see you've got a seven year old playing bass with the Sabbath School band, they usually just smile and go away.

It's a great instrument for providing an element of rhythm to your song service music as well - kind of a big thumpy metronome. Useful if you have a lot of new guitar players with you (which I highly recommend that you do).

Sarah works on getting her foot placement right.
[ This link ] lets yo download a one page PDF file with the basic instructions for making a washtub bass. You can get all the parts for it down at Ace or one of your local hardware stores. Call first. They don't all carry the good steel washtubs anymore .  The picture above shows Lexa Arante playing the washtub bass I made for the Tyler Youth  To the left, Sara tries her hand at it to back up the Sabbath School band. We were out by the lake and people in the nearby houses came out to see what was thumping. Some of them sat down on their porches to listen to the singing.

Making instruments is fun. We also bought a gym bag and filled it with tamborines, triangles, maracas and other percussion devices and had the kids help us with any song that seemed to call for a little percussive rhythm.

The project takes about an hour. The instuctions for making a washtub can be had if you [ click here ].

Have fun.

Tom King

No comments:

Post a Comment