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A Sound Education: Wacky Waves

Author(s): Gregory L. Vogt, EdD

Make a Washtub Bass

A washtub bass, or “gutbucket,” is a stringed instrument used in American folk music. It employs a metal washtub as a resonator to produce the deep bass sound. The tension of the gut string or wire determines the pitch created when the instrument is when it is plucked.

Optional: Depending on the age of students, have them work in teams to build one or two washtub basses. Adjust quantities as needed.  

See the Notes section in the slide for materials needed, optional materials, and setup instructions. 

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