Diddley Bows and Other Primitives


Diddley Bows and Other Primitives

A place to discuss one-string diddley bows, washtub basses, washboards and any other primitive instrument that may fall outside the Cigar Box realm.

Members: 341
Latest Activity: Sep 13

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Comment by TN Twang on March 15, 2022 at 8:00am

Reminds me I've got a bunch of oak dowels from a busted shoe rack. Knew I kept them for some reason.

Comment by BrianQ. on March 15, 2022 at 12:13am

Getting into my hoarde of meat cans :) building a few spike fiddle style Diddley’s with a few 24” dowels - 18.5” scale length

Comment by TN Twang on March 12, 2022 at 2:13pm

Thanks Brian! Saw your suggestion somewhere and have been using the search box on forums and videos. Lots stuff to get through. 

Comment by BrianQ. on March 12, 2022 at 2:05pm

You’re in the right place, just not much activity lately? Most people ask questions in the Forum instead of the individual groups? The possibilities with one string, no frets & a slide are never- ending? 

Comment by TN Twang on March 12, 2022 at 12:15pm

Hello one-string people! I see evidence of recent activity but can't find recent posts. Let me know if I'm looking in the wrong place. 

I'm most interested in what can be done with one string, a slide, no frets, and a flat pick. I use boxes, cans, or whatever resonator is handy.

Shane Speal has pointed out that these may be one-string guitars instead of diddley bows, but what's in a name? 

Comment by Frank Carr on July 26, 2020 at 9:09am

Just completed this 'rusty paint can' Diddley bow. It was made from:

A 1 quart paint can, dented up and painted with a blend of acrylic paints (burnt sienna, Mississippi mud, mustard yellow and shrimp red).

A piece of pallet wood that was painted with Varathane charred wood accelerator then with dabbed with the Mississippi mud, mustard yellow and shrimp red paints.

It has a single coil Strat style magnetic pickup and a piezo disc inside the can. A 2 way switch allows selection. Magnetic is good for when you don't want the can sound.

Bridge and nut are cut threaded rods. Tuner is a cheap gear tuner. Dot markers are brass screws. 

Comment by BrianQ. on October 15, 2019 at 11:33pm

Found the beginnings of a Diddley pushed behind a pile of wood, Poplar, with regular hardwood Toothpicks & Bamboo skewer Nut. Time to git ‘er done...

Comment by BrianQ. on October 6, 2019 at 2:46pm

Mock up for Xmas one stringer

Comment by Clint Spotts on August 6, 2019 at 11:01pm

Plans for a “Doodle Bass”. Credit goes to Dennis Havlena ( www.dennishavlena.com ). Cool site - may inspire a new build!

Comment by Poorness Studios on February 1, 2019 at 6:24am

My first diddley...


Members (341)


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Discussion Forum

One String Wonder

Started by BrianQ. Jan 29, 2021. 0 Replies


Started by Ken Thompson Nov 27, 2020. 0 Replies

Diddley Bow Tabs #5

Started by BrianQ. Apr 22, 2019. 0 Replies

Diddley Bow Tabs #4

Started by BrianQ. Jan 25, 2019. 0 Replies

Diddley Bow Tabs #3

Started by BrianQ. Nov 28, 2018. 0 Replies

1 String Tab

Started by BrianQ.. Last reply by BrianQ. Nov 15, 2018. 1 Reply

Diddley Bow Tabs #2

Started by BrianQ. Nov 8, 2018. 0 Replies

Diddley Bow Tabs

Started by BrianQ. Nov 5, 2018. 0 Replies

Dead Flowers Diatonic Tab for Rolling Stones fans

Started by Jeff Powers. Last reply by Jeff Powers Oct 5, 2017. 2 Replies

Cookie Tin Diddley Bow

Started by Jeffrey Greene May 12, 2017. 0 Replies

First stringed instrument build!

Started by Bob. Last reply by Bob Apr 30, 2017. 3 Replies

My first Diddley-Bow!

Started by Boris Timofeenko. Last reply by Dano Schultz Apr 23, 2017. 2 Replies

String For My First Diddley Bow

Started by Jeffrey Greene Apr 11, 2017. 0 Replies

Showing off my first Diddley Bow.

Started by Andrew Cooper. Last reply by Andrew Cooper Mar 11, 2017. 2 Replies

Harmonica tab to Diddley bow/Canjo

Started by James Conder. Last reply by Gordon Cooper Dec 6, 2016. 1 Reply

My double stringer

Started by Craig Simpson Nov 14, 2016. 0 Replies


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