[Dixielandjazz] Washboard tuning

Don Ingle dingle at baldwin-net.com
Wed Dec 17 05:57:11 PST 2003

Mssr. Dick Baker:
Au contrere, mon ami. Washboards are tuned according to their pitch. Pitch
is determined by their key -- as are brass and reed instruments. To play as
an E flat washboard, you must use a set of E flat thimbles. The same holds
true for C, B flat, G, etc.
Spike Jones, one of the premier washboardists of all time, had complete sets
of tuned thimbles in all keys so that he could play in any key called. It
got a little trickier with the gun shots and broken glass. This often
resulted in a constant turnover of band members and a big surge in the sale
of gauze and surgical dressing.
Hope this bit of vital information helps. Lacking tuned thimbles, some
change of washboard pitch can be achieved with the energetic use of a five
pound ball peen hammer -- but not while the washboardist is wearing it.
Yours for greater truth in jazz.
Don Ingle
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dick Baker" <dickbkr at goon.org>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 6:22 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Washboard tuning

> At 03:00 PM 12/16/2003, Steve Barbone wrote:
> >Question: Do different sized washboards have different tuning
> >characteristics. If so, then Bill Gunter and Jerry Gordon et al could
> >use several and always be in tune no matter what. ;-)
> >--------------------------------------------
> All sharp washboardists tune in two seconds flat.
>    Dick Baker - Falls Church, Virginia, USA
>                dickbkr at goon.org
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> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
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