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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
reggie miles Washtub Bass: What kind of string & why? (153* d) RE: Washtub Bass: What kind of string & why? 29 Mar 11

Pretty wild! Amazing what the right pickup and an amp can do for you when playing with balloons. I checked out one of the videos. The guy had great technique but his left hand work looked a bit tricky to emulate. He almost had a cat's cradle going on when reaching for those upper notes. Still, what a hoot! There seems like plenty of room here for imagination to play a role in the continuing development of this idea.

I've heard folks using a simple rubber band as a reed instrument. Years ago, there used to be rubber band player in a local band. He was quite good.

The first time that I noticed the resonance factor of a balloon was over 30 years ago. We were hangin' out and playin' on the street in Santa Cruz. One afternoon, when there were too few folks to entertain and we were doin' more hangin' than playin', I got bored and decided that it was time to inflate the 6 foot weather balloon that I had, for some odd reason, decided to bring with me in my backpack on this hitchhiking/busking tour that we were on.

Since I only had my lungs to use to inflate the thing, it took me a while. My buddies just stood around and watched as I became more and more hyperventilated while in the process of trying to get it fully filled with air. I noticed that I became rather light headed in the process. It was a strange sensation that I had not experienced before and a lot of bad puns seemed to accompany my attempt. Balloonatic was one word that came to mind.

I halted my inflationary mission when the thing was about four feet in diameter. I figured that was big enough. That's when I noticed the sound that the balloon could make when my fingers plucked its surface. I put my ear next to it and heard an amazing kind of reverberation of the sound of surface being plucked. I had always wanted to get another 6 foot weather balloon since then and explore that aspect further.

I see that someone else has discovered at least one other really cool musical property regarding playing with balloons. Balloonatics untie!

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