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Stompbox imageA Stompbox or Stomp Box is a small wooden box that creates a percussion sound comparable to a bass drum when tapped with the foot. These often have a microphone or pickup in them, many are homemade or commercial like the Stomp Box featured below in the photo. This lightweight wooden box, simply plugs into a P.A. or amplifier using a standard quarter inch jack. Tapping the Stompbox with your foot causes the pick-up to produce a variety of bass drum sounds, from subtle to heavy. John Lee Hooker used an acoustic version back in the 40-50’s. A Stomp Box allows a performer like a singer or guitar player to create a simple rhythmic self accompaniment.

This Stomp Box designed by Stu Box and Made from Solid Australian Timbers with a pickup inside. This will help you keep the beat and enhance your performance. Best results are achieved by tapping on the plate with heel, forefoot or fingers. Variations can be achieved by stomping in different areas of the plate or wooden surface. Sells for $90 US. The Stu Box Stomp Box is well designed, very sleek looking and far from cumbersome. Just plug a ¼” jack in to the stompbox and the other end in an amp. I enjoyed playing bass and using this along to tap along with. For a guy who can’t talk and walk it took a few minutes to get my hand and foot jiving. The process was easy to learn and fun to play with. The architecture of the Stu Box was top notch and finished well. It’s almost a shame to put such a beautiful item under your shoe.

From what I can find Stompboxes are used in American folk and blues. These would be great for a solo acoustic guitarist to add a percussive element to the sound.

I asked Deak Harp, a recorded harmonica blues man who uses a stompbox about his experience with them. Deak has been playing with a stompbox, or uh should I say a stomp crate for two years. Prior to that he was a heavy foot tapper. Deak first saw/heard them while at King Biscuit in Helena Arkansas. It was Blues legend James Cotton who told Deak he used an old Coke crate sitting at local store play for tips. I guess Deak kicked it up a notch with an old wine crate with a microphone under it. Deaks says using a stomp box gives him a big full sound.

Want to hear one, visit an old stale beer juke joint and listen for a harmonica man or some country blues. Check out Deaks video on Youtube, get an Hooker CD (I like the 1949 recording “Jack O’ Diamonds” the best) and/or order a stomp box from Stu from down under at www.myspace.com/stubox. Thanks again Stu, I love the stomp box!

eace and Love,

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