[Dixielandjazz] One for Brother Gunter
tcashwigg at aol.com
tcashwigg at aol.com
Mon Nov 6 18:45:07 PST 2006
More than likely that was the serious intention of developing that
position Ron :)) ha ha
To muffle the sound, the other option was firing the Washboardist,
often difficult to do when he is usually the fearless leader with all
the gigs :)) How else would one of them get a gig? :)) Not counting
when the drummer dies, of course or the banjoist is off sick, or heaven
forbid has a higher paying gig :))
From: ronald_wheeler at bellsouth.net
To: bhaesler at bigpond.net.au; jazzboard at hotmail.com;
dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
Sent: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 6:14 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] One for Brother Gunter
Preferences aside, it just seems like the horizontal position,
laying in the
lap, would deaden any resonance and just about totally muffle the sound
washboard. All those dulcet tones would be lost in the pleats of the
player's trousers!! I realize the YouTube clips don't have a great
audio fidelity, but I really couldn't tell what the guy was doing until
saw that he had a small cymbal set on the end of the board.
From: Bill Haesler [mailto:bhaesler at bigpond.net.au]
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2006 19:23
To: Bill Gunter; ronald_wheeler at bellsouth.net; dixieland jazz mail list
Subject: Re: One for Brother Gunter
Dear Bill and Ron,
Since the late 1930s Australian jazzmen have always played the washboard
sitting across the knees and, as there were no available photographs of
washboard bands playing rather than posing, this seemed to be the most
logical position at the time. A simple extension of the drum kit.
Australian cornet player, Roger Bell (Graeme's brother) was also a fine
washboard player and he and record collector, jazz writer, record
William H 'Bill' Miller were among the first to play it this way. By
example, it was passed on to all who followed, including the great Lem
Roger was regularly featured on washboard with the Graeme Bell band
'backroom' contingent on its two triumphant tours of Europe and the UK
1947-48 and 1950-52, and this too would have influenced others 'over
Yes, I am indeed claiming the 'horizontal' set-up as an OZ original!
Australians only discovered the 'American' vertical method much later
some now use this position for stage performances. But it is an
here, rather that the rule.
If the washboard is to be played as it was originally meant to be -
as a rhythm instrument - then the horizontal position gives much better
control, particularly on a regular job, or for recording.
If is it for novelty effect only (as many American players seem to
then the vertical method allows for some showing off, and a few dance
and other excesses to be included in the performance.
Beryl Bryden, a dear old mate, was primarily a singer, so hung the
around her neck for occasional use. A European fan eventually made her a
pocket-sized, folding model which she used on stage in her latter years.
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