Wash Tub Bass


Cree Vicar Dave  - SASS Life #49907

The Cowboy Action Shooting™ club at the Sault in the Upper Peninsular of Michigan puts on a great two day shoot every year.  The yoopers really know how to combine good shooting stages with a social event.  On Saturday after the first day of shooting the supper table is set up along with grills where steaks are prepared to satisfaction.

After a satisfying meal a local band is brought in to entertain.  They play and sing country music with a few gospel songs.  As I was watching the musicians setting up to play they brought out a banjo, guitars, violins, mandolin, etc.  Then I noticed a homemade stand up bass.  I play electric bass at our Church so this novelty intrigued me.

After asking a few questions I found out that the leader of the band made the 4 string wash tub bass from plans he got off the internet.  He asked me if I played bass, I answered in the positive.  He then invited me to play with them as their regular bass player was unable to make it that evening.  I had never played a standup bass before so it took a couple of songs to find out where the frets were supposed to be.  The sound could be related to a bass drum playing to scale.  I enjoyed immensely joining their band for the night. 

Upon returning home I couldn’t wait to do a Google search (havlena) to find the website so I could make my own wash tub bass.  It is fairly easy to make for anyone with wood working skills.  It turned out to be a great looking instrument.  I had to make a few adjustments and move the sound post a little closer to the center of the tub but it works fine now.  The secret to having a good sounding wash tub bass is quality bass strings and good tuners.  Before Church on Sunday morning The Vicar’s Wife and I play songs as the congregation enters.  She plays the keyboard and I join her on my home made bass.  It says in Isaiah 38:20 “The Lord will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the Temple of the Lord.”

The web sight where I found the plans for the washtub bass is: www.ehhs.cmich.edu

They also have many other instrument plans on hand.  As for me there is nothing more entertaining than live music with singers playing their own instruments.

God Bless,

Cree Vicar Dave