Monday, October 7, 2013

Introducing the Diddley Bow #musicmonday

So have you ever wanted to get started playing a stringed instrument but the guitar or the cello is just too intimidating. Have you ever wanted to learn to play an instrument but don't have the bucks? Well have you thought about trying an instrument that you can make yourself for little money, is super easy to play, and takes you back in time? Then come with me and hear about the magic of the diddley bow.

I know I sound like one of those scammers on infomercials talking about a miracle product. I assure you that the diddley bow is everything that it sounds like. It's a traditional folk string instrument that is a descendant of the African Barimbau. It started to gain prominence in the Great Depression when young children wanted to learn to play the guitar but their parents didn't have enough money to buy them a new guitar.  So they would give Junior an old cigar box and a broomstick and he would make a one string instrument that they could learn the scales on. Once the kid got good enough his parents might move him up to a three stringed cigar box guitar and then they would have saved up enough put a Sears and Roebuck guitar under the Christmas Tree that winter.

With the advent of the internet the diddley bow and the cigar box guitar have gained prominence from websites dedicated to giving free instructions to make them and Youtube channels and Pinterest boards totally dedicated to people that love and make them.

The great thing that I love about the Diddley Bow is that you have to earn the musical knowledge. It's super easy to learn how to play but since there aren't a million tutorials or tabs about it online you have to think and experiment to find your own style. You have to earn the knowledge. You'll find that you'll be creating more original songs than trying to cover the Top 40! You'll actually be original.

Wanna learn more? All you have to do is type in "diddleybow" or "cigar box guitar" in Pinterest or Youtube. In fact you can look at my Pinterest board here for a lot of stuff I've pinned on the topic and more (shameless plug I know). Have fun exploring and get to making music!

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