I’ve been thinking lately how much I missed my diddley bow.
My old one has a habit of coming apart at the output jack. I didn’t think I could fix it, so I spent the kingly sum of $15 on a new pickup and a new output jack, which I plan to solder together so firmly that archaeologists will find it, intact, in the year 8585.
But I got antsy waiting for the new parts to arrive in the mail. So I went down to work on the old one. And sure enough, it could be fixed.
Now I’ll have the makings of two diddley bows. Maybe I’ll play one with my hands and one with my feet. I’ll play lavishly orchestrated, carefully harmonized duets of “Quando, Quando, Quando.”
(This sheds new light on my previously stated goal of becoming “the Ferrante & Teicher of the diddley bow.“)
I love the diddley bow for its simplicity, and also because it’s a wonderful instrument to just pick up (metaphorically) and bang around on.
I’m nowhere near note-perfect on it, and I never want to be. I prefer the way it sounds when I’ve been playing it for about five minutes — when I’m close enough to imply the correct note, but far enough away to make everything sound wobbly and fluttery and variable.
There’s damn well enough perfect music in the world; I’m trying to redress the balance in the other direction.
The default use for a diddley bow is pentatonic blues licks. Personally, I like to deploy mine in the service of the Seventies’ most memorable melodies. You haven’t heard mellow gold ’til you’ve heard me do it.
Awwwwwwww, yeah. Ol’ blue eyes is back.