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Canmore, Alberta, Canada

How to Build Yerself a Washtub Bass

‘Taint nothing better after a gut-bustin’ meal out campin’ than settlin’ down to a bit o’ sweet-sounding Mountain Music round the campfire. Don’t have an instrument? Make yerself a washtub bass.

Step ONE

Gather one metal washtub, a sturdy broom handle and braided nylon string.

Step TWO

Flip the washtub bottom side up and drill a center hole for the string. Tie a large knot so the bottom of the string won’t pull through the hole, then feed the string up through the hole.


Set yer broomstick on the upturned washtub to see how it fits ya. I grip mine at shoulder height. Too tall? Cut’er down to size


Drill a hole through the broom handle top for the other end of the string. Then, whittle or saw a straight notch across the flat bottom of the broom handle to it catches on that bitty raised rim on the bottom of the washtub.


Pull the string through the top hole in the handle, makin’ sure she’s real tight. Place the notched handle on the washtub and tie yer knot so the string has a good bit of tension.

Step SIX

Finger pick that string to test your notes. Stretching yer handle back and forth gives you a gob-smacking variety of sounds.


Have someone with ya? Give them an empty jar or water bottle filled with dry beans for shakin’ out the beat.

Giv’r A Try! Tag #SpringCreekLiving and share y’ar music!

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