One of the questions frequently asked about the WalkaBout Drum is, “why is it shaped like a guitar?” Great question, and there are a number of reasons why.
The first is ergonomics. There’s something that just feels right about the shape of a guitar against the human body. It’s a shape that’s very familiar and instinctive to musicians. When worn with a strap, it naturally nestles into the right spot and moves easily with the player. We think that the WalkaBout may be the best feeling hand drum out there.
Second is the acoustics. A guitar shape has an “upper bout” and a “lower bout”—which mimics the shape of two drum heads melded together—and this shape naturally provides high and low sounds. But then we took this simple concept to the next level, and did a lot of experimentation to optimize the sound.
For example, we found that there are inherent limitations to beating an acoustic guitar because of the complex web of internal bracing needed to mitigate string tension. Eliminating the neck and strings allowed us to totally re-envision the internal bracing to maximize the number of sounds you can produce all over the body. Also, the shape and size of our sound hole provides for larger playing surfaces and accommodates our patent-pending SounDots.
So while it has a guitar shape, you’ll find that there are a lot more musical sounds on a WalkaBout than just banging an acoustic guitar. Get bassy sounds from the lower bout center, high and mid sounds from the upper and lower bout edges, sidestick and woodblock sounds from the sides, even brush sounds by stroking the top.
The third is elegance. “Elegance” can be defined as “beauty that shows unusual effectiveness and simplicity.” A math theorem is said to have elegance if it is simple yet comprehensive. A computer program is elegant if it uses a small amount of code to great effect. In engineering, a design is considered elegant if it has a simple aesthetic design that also provides great functionality.
To us, the patented WalkaBout Drum is elegant. It feels right, plays effortlessly, provides a wide variety of expression, and most importantly—inspires music.