At first glance, the WalkaBout does look similar to an acoustic guitar body. After experimenting with different shapes, we discovered that the shape of a guitar is simply a profoundly intuitive shape to play, while also providing a very wide range of different sound “zones” across its surfaces. But the patented WalkaBout is quite different from a typical acoustic guitar. Because the WalkaBout doesn’t need to accommodate string tension, we came up with some very different (and proprietary) internal bracing. The results are surprising. You’ll find that practically anywhere you strike the WalkaBout, you’ll find a different and musically pleasing sound.
Great question. The short answer is that the WalkaBout is so new, that people are still discovering how to play it. We’ve seen it played in a great variety of styles, and a great variety of ways—standing or sitting, on a strap or on the lap, with the fingers or palms or knuckles, tapped or struck or rubbed, right-handed or southpaw. We’re setting up a YouTube channel so that the WalkaBout community can share their different styles and techniques with others. We can’t wait to see what you all will do with it!
For the first run of WalkaBout early adopters, we have something special planned for you. Right out of the box, you will find the following: The WalkaBout Studio body complete with an exclusive LR Baggs equipped Dual Source mic/pickup system; the WalkaBout gig bag, a cool backpack-worn or hand-carried soft case; one SounDot sound accessory (the first of many internal magnetic attachments that allow you to customize your WalkaBout to your playing technique and musical style); a WalkaBout strap, a custom strap that works with the WalkaBout; a custom leather key fob, a cool bit of pocket presence that shows off your good taste; and a bumper sticker, because why not!
The patent-pending SounDot “Snare” is the first of many percussion accessories that we are developing, and we’re quite excited about it. Essentially, these accessories allow you to customize the WalkaBout to give you different sounds in different zones on the Walkabout face. The WalkaBout is equipped with Dot Spots mounted internally to the body. You simply slip the accessory into the WalkaBout and it will effortlessly attach magnetically to one of the Dot Spots, giving you a snare-like sound in that zone. This allows you to customize the WalkaBout to your playing style, and even from song to song, depending on your needs.
And by the way, we greatly encourage third-party innovation. If you have developed your own sound accessory, let us know!
We are pleased that LR Baggs has partnered with us to provide a carefully customized a dual-source system that is tuned specifically for the WalkaBout Studio. This system is comprised of an internal mic, which captures more of the high end sound, and an internally mounted pickup, which captures more of the lower tones. There are two control knobs located at the bottom of the sound hole: volume and mix. A quarter inch phono plug located at the bottom of the WalkaBout body can output either a combined mono signal or a two channel signal, effectively splitting the pickup from the mic.
You can certainly put in whatever system you’d like. But we do warn you that it will void your warranty. We do stand behind the LR Baggs system, as we believe LR Baggs is the finest makers of acoustic guitar pickups on the planet. But if you do replace it, and it sounds better than the Baggs, please let us know!
We believe that the WalkaBout is a quality instrument that can literally take a beating. That being said, it is a hand-percussion instrument, and the nature of these instruments is that they will show use over time. Dents, nicks, rubs, and scratches are normal and should be expected over time. But we proudly stand behind our one year warranty, and we believe that you will be extremely happy with the WalkaBout. (Please refer to our warranty page for more information.)
Oh man, do we! We have a number of different models in mind, and we will be unveiling these over the course of the next few years. It’s our hope to create an entire ecosystem for strap-worn percussion. We can’t wait!
We are also waiting for you all to tell us what you want. Ultimately, we’re driven to help our WalkaBout community make the best music possible, so your questions, comments, suggestions, and innovations will drive us. Together, we’ll make Rhythm for the Journey!