On or about 4/29/06 I
posted the following letter to a user group for cigar box guitar enthusiasts:
A Letter to Diddley Bow Players
Everywhere (And Everyone Else)
To the diddley bow players:
When I joined the cigar box revolution,
I couldn’t help but notice the diddley bow, and I said to myself, “Self, who would really want to play a single
string? How boring can you get?”
Growing up as a bass player,
first on the bass violin, then the bass guitar, I was condemned to the simplest of lines until I matured in my musical ability
and figured out how to play a decent bass line on my own. But even though I enjoy
playing, nobody wants to hear a bass solo (at least the way I play). How sad
I thought the diddley bow player must be, consigned to his single string, sitting in the corner waiting for an upgrade.
Yet this did not seem to be the
case. They appeared to be proud of their little boxes. I couldn’t understand this, so last Saturday night, after I put the baby to bed, I wandered down
into my workshop and whipped myself up a diddley bow to see if I could figure out what the fascination was. It took me three hours to build my little diddley bow (complete with eye-bolt tuner). At this point, however, I was too tired to diddle so I went to bed myself.
I got up very early the next
morning, like I used to on Christmas mornings when I was a kid, to play with my new toy.
After almost a week of diddling, I would like to apologize to diddley bow players everywhere: I’ve had fun beyond belief. I’ve been enjoying
songs I’ve been sick of for years. And it takes a considerable amount of
kung fu to play – more than I imagined (and my bass playing has improved as well).
I have so much respect for you guys. Please forgive my arrogance. Please forgive my doubt. I have been converted.
To the non-diddley bow players:
Everything I said stands
to this day, which is why I offer the following guarantee:
If the diddley bow you have purchased from me is your first diddley
bow ever, and if you have not found your diddley bow experience to be better than you expected it to be, return the diddley
bow within 30 days in its original condition for a complete refund of the purchase price.
applies only to Internet orders. Retail returns are subject to the return policies
of the merchant.