Why Is It Called A WalkaBout?

We’ve heard it referred to as a guitar drum or a strap-worn cajon. Where does the WalkaBout name come from? What’s behind the name?

WalkaBout was not the first name choice. For a year, co-inventors, Manuel and Bob called it a Tabre or Taber or something else cool like that. And there were other possibilities they entertained, eventually settling on the WalkaBout Drum for mostly nerdy, word-play reasons. They both like the art of words. Both Manuel and Bob are published authors and self-confessed book nerds. So, the name WalkaBout tickled their funny bones. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. The term comes first from the Aborigine culture of Australia and it describes a spiritual journey, a time of wandering and self-discovery in the outback. (As a side note, that’s why our motto is Rhythm for the Journey.)
  2. The second reason they liked it is because it describes one of its unique features—this strap-worn percussion instrument allows the player to walk about.
  3. The third—and most obscure reason for the name—is found in the words used to describe the parts of an acoustic guitar. The narrow middle of a guitar is called the waist. The upper part (what would correspond to the shoulders) and the lower part (what would correspond to the hips) are called respectively the upper bout and the lower bout. That’s why the “B” in WalkaBout is capitalized: Walk a Bout. The rhythmist…walking about…playing bouts…keeping the rhythm for the journey… on his WalkaBout.

[Note: WalkaBout™ is a trademark of our parent company, INNOVA Music LLC. Photo by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash.]