I’ve been teasing this idea on this blog for the last few months, and I can finally begin to talk about it—my good friend, Bob Kilpatrick, and I have co-designed a new musical instrument that we believe can shape how we make music in the future. It’s called the WalkaBout.
The patented WalkaBout is a strap-worn, guitar-shaped, fully-acoustic, amplified percussion instrument capable of replacing an entire drum set with quality sounds and a unique but surprisingly familiar feel.
WHAT MAKES THE WALKABOUT UNIQUE
- Experiment with the patented WalkaBout and you’ll find an abundance of sounds, from subtle high and low bongo and djembe-type sounds to aggressive kick and snare sounds. This is because of the unique shape and proprietary internal bracing which amounts to a compact, mobile package that just feels right. Drummers can finally step out in front of their drum kits and move and interact with the rest of the band.
- And our patent-pending SoundDots—which quickly slip in and out of the WalkaBout due to our specially designed attachments and sound hole—provide even more sound and placement options, and we’ll be increasing this line of percussion accessories over time. For example, we’re developing a Snare, a Crash, anda Tambourine Jingle. We believe that this makes the WalkaBout not only customizable but applicable to virtually any style or genre of music.
- You can see that the WalkaBout can be played strap-mounted, providing unprecedented mobility to the percussionist. Standing, sitting, even dancing—You create your own playing style. Drummers and percussionists will find a new sense of freedom—both physically on stage and musically.
- The patented WalkaBout has a proprietary internal bracing system which provides an abundance of sounds throughout the body. Make no mistake—this is not a guitar without the neck. This is a unique and extremely musical percussion instrument. No one has this.
- We’ve teamed with the well-respected pickup company, L.R. Baggs, to provide a unique combination pickup and mic system to amplify the WalkaBout. This internally-mounted system captures both the beefy lows and sizzling highs present in your playing. We’ll have single and two-channel versions, to give you the option to send both signals separately to your sound tech to add separate EQ, compression, and effects.
- We’ve found that everyone who has tried the WalkaBout inherently knows how to play it, regardless of skill level. The player’s hands intuitively drift to the sweet spots, and the player adopts their own unique style to play it. Even non-percussionists quickly grasp the musicality of the WalkaBout. It’s like magic.
Check out the attached video. We believe the WalkaBout is a musical game changer. Drummers are finally set free to step up to the front of the stage. Bands finally have a legit way to add percussion to unplugged sets, open mic nights, smaller band venues, even jamming while camping or at the beach. And we’ve seen musicians use it for everything from Rock and Hip Hop to Latin and Americana. Simply put, the WalkaBout is inspired fun. Drummers—take a stand!
At this point, there are two models: the Odyssey (featuring the LR Baggs dual-source system) is $449, and the Venture (with an exclusive mic we’ve developed) is $299). For more information, videos, and ordering, see the WalkaBout.com website.
[Note: The video shows the duo, Waiting For Sunday, which features my good friend, Kent Peterson, and I.]