WASHTUB BASS PLAYERS SURVEY
DON'T HIT [RETURN] UNTIL YOU'RE DONE. Of course by "washtub bass" we don't mean to exclude similar sorts of basses that just don't happen to be made using a washtub. Click the check-boxes and choice buttons for your basic responses. Use the Comments boxes to expand your answers (especially in the cases where you pick "other"!).
Your responses will provide material for a book about the washtub bass and its players, being written by Jim Uticone, organizer of the recent Washtubs Galore event. This book will perhaps be the first ever written on the topic. So the more detail you provide, the better! (No one's name or personal information will be used without their permission.)
And your feedback and ideas about Washtub Bass Gatherings (the 2004 First Annual, or any future ones) can help make these events exciting, entertaining, and educational for all.If you have any questions, e-mail Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or me (Lauren Miller) at email@example.com, or call Jim at (315) 568-8494.
IF YOU HIT [RETURN] BY MISTAKE ... and find your survey suddenly terminated ... CLICK THE [BACK] BUTTON and you can pick up where you left off.
1. Name (required)
2. E-mail address (required)
3. Location (requested)
Street Address (optional)
4. Phone number (optional) (
BACKGROUND AS WTB PLAYER
5. Do you currently play the wtb?
not now, but I used to play
no, never played
6. Whether you play wtb now or not, how many years have you played?
1 or less
other, more than 12
7. Did you ever have music lessons (on any instrument)?
yes, but not on the wtb
yes, and on the wtb in particular
8. What other instruments do/can you play?
upright (wooden) bass
acoustic bass guitar (ABG)
9. When and where was it that you first heard or saw a wtb?
10. What was your first impression of the instrument, at this time?
11. When did you first start playing a wtb?
12. What were your thoughts about it, at the time?
13. Was there a specific person whose playing (or encouragement) inspired you to take up the wtb?
14. Do you play wtb with a regular group or band?
yes, that's my main wtb activity
no-- I mainly jam with whoever's available
no-- I'm mainly a solo act
15. If so, what other instruments are used in it?
guitar or similar instrument
banjo or similar instrument
violin or other bowed instrument
sax or other woodwind
trumpet or other brass
drums or other percussion
16. What style of music does the group play (mainly)?
17. With a band or not, what style do you personally like most to play?
18. Do you have other musical talents?
19. Do you play along with recorded music?
no, or rarely
yes, just for practice
yes, as part of public performance
20. If you play with recorded music, what musician/band/album do you especially like to play with?
21. Who's your favorite musician/musical group?
22. What's your favorite recording featuring wtb?
23. Further comments on wtb and musical styles
24. Speaking of your main/favorite wtb (the one you prefer to play), did you build it yourself?
25. If you built it yourself, how'd you know what to do?
just picked up the idea from tradition
worked from printed plans/illustrations
patterned my wtb after another I'd seen
improvised my own design
26. What does your main wtb use for the resonator chamber?
tub or similar metal container
barrel or similar polyethylene container
snare drum or similar percussion instrument
27. How many strings does your instrument have?
28. How are vibrations of the string transmitted to the head?
via a bridge, like a fiddle
more or less directly (without a bridge)
29. What do you prefer to use for a string?
clothesline or similar multi-strand cord
weedwhacker line or similar monofilament
wire (e.g. aircraft cable)
musical instrument string (please specify which, in Comment)
30. How is the string attached to the chamber?
tied to an eyebolt
terminated (e.g. knotted) inside the tub
attached some other way
31. Where is the string hole located?
dead center in the tub bottom (head)
offset toward the neck
offset away from the neck
32. How is the neck positioned on the resonator?
fixed (firmly attached to the tub)
floating (not fixed, but remaining upright even when not being played)
rocking (must be held to be upright)
33. If a rocking neck, where does the neck pivot?
on the tub's flange
directly on the "head"
34. Additional comments on wtb construction
35. What's the lowest (acceptably musical) pitch your wtb will produce (approximately)?
typical bass low E (~41 hz)
typical guitar low E (~82 hz)
36. What's its range (approximately)?
less than an octave
about 1 octave
about 1.5 octaves
37. How do you stabilize the wtb when playing?
foot on top of resonator chamber (tub)
foot on bracket attached at floor level
it needs no stabilization
38. What do you do to better hear the pitch of the note?
press stick against head/ear
use an extension (e.g. thumb) between stick and ear
just listen real close
39. How do you change the pitch of a note?
only by rocking the neck
only by flexing the neck
only by moving a lever (pump action)
only by pressing the string against the neck at different positions
a combination of the above techniques (please explain)
40. Do you use a "capo", or some such device that varies the point where the open (unfingered) string takes off from the neck?
41. Do you ever "bow" the string?
sometimes, with a bass bow
sometimes, with some other sort of bow/agitator
42. Further comment on wtb playing techniques
43. Do you play through an amplifier/p.a. system?
always, or almost always
44. If so, what electronic equipment do you typically use?
guitar-style (magnetic) pickup
attached (piezo, ceramic) pickup
some other arrangement
45. If you use a microphone, what type/brand do you prefer, and where do you place it relative to the wtb?
46. If you use a contact pickup, what brand/type is it, and where do you place it relative to the wtb?
47. Additional comments regarding amplification.
WASHTUB BASS GATHERINGS (could they be called them Rumbles?)
As you may have heard, there was recently a gathering of wtbassists, in Trumansburg, NY. This was a lot of fun, and there's talk of having another one next year. It featured demonstrations of building and playing techniques, seven performances by bands using wtb, much hobnobbing and comparing of notes, etc.
48. As a measure of your interest, what's the farthest you would travel to attend such an event, if one takes place next year?
about a block
up to 50 miles
up to 100 miles
up to 500 miles (maybe)
49. Would you be interested in organizing or helping to organize one in your area?
helping to organize
performing on stage
conducting a workshop/discussion
50. In your area, what town/setting would you suggest as an especially good one for a wtb gathering? (Just for comparison, Trumansburg is a laid-back small town not far from Ithaca, and the Gathering took place in the "Rongovian Embassy", which serves Mexican cuisine and 137 varieties of exotic beer.)
51. As a wtbassist, have you been featured in the news, on tv, radio, etc.?
52. What do your family and friends think of your interest in the instrument?
53. What other hobbies, interests, and leisure time activities do you enjoy?
54. If your wtb is painted/decorated, how did you do it?
55. What kind of work do/did you do, for a living?
56. How many other wtb players do you know of, in your area?
57. Would you like to be listed on the Washtub Bass Page's Registry of WTBassists? (Be sure we have your city/state/country back in question #3.)
to pop over and have a look at it.
58. Would you like to receive a summary of the results of this survey and news of wtb-related events? (Be sure we have your e-mail address, back in questions #2 and #3.)
59. If you know any other wtb players who would like to take this questionnaire, please send them the url, which is http://tubotonia.freehomepage.com/frquest.html . If they don't use the internet, write their mailing address in the space below and we'll send them a copy of the survey.
60. If you have any further ideas/comments about the wtb -- construction, playing, music, gatherings, etc.-- or about this survey, please use this space to let us know.
Thanks for your participation.
Plunk in Peace,
Lauren Miller and Jim Uticone