Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How Simple Can It Get?

Our Diddley Bow
A big influence on the Blues sound can be traced back to the Diddley Bow.  This is a single stringed instrument that was normally hand made, not store bought. It was considered a starter instrument for children and beginning guitarists.

It's song and the lack of additional strings can probably explain the reason that a Blues Scale has so many notes in use (up to 9 out of a possible 12). Compare the Blues Scale to the Major Scale (7 notes) or the Minor Pentatonic (5 notes). No wonder they added more notes to the scale, on a single string you needed to take advantage of all the notes that worked together so you could make a song.

Given that, I was home with my youngest one day last week and said, "Let's go build a basic guitar." He was all in and so he went about finding a stick for us to use.

I grabbed a broken guitar string and we headed to the tool shed. In a couple minutes we had our Diddley Bow and were both trying it out.

We tried putting it into some empty plastic bottles to amplify the sound but decided to go without "amplification".

And here is what it sounds like:

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