A washboard is a tool designed for hand washing clothing. With mechanized cleaning of clothing becoming more common by the end of the 20th century, the washboard has become better known for its originally subsidiary use as a musical instrument. A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified for the purpose of making Music.
The traditional washboard is usually constructed with a rectangular wooden frame in which are mounted a series of ridges or corrugations for the clothing to be rubbed upon. Wood is hard fibrous lignified structural tissue produced as secondary Xylem in the stems of Woody plants notably trees but also shrubs For 19th century washboards, the ridges were often of wood; by the 20th century, ridges of metal were more common. The M acro E xpansion T emplate A ttribute L anguage complements TAL, providing macros which allow the reuse of code across A "fluted" metal washboard was patented in the US in 1833. Zinc washboards were manufactured in the US from the middle of the 19th century. In the late 20th century and early 21st century, ridges of galvanized steel are most common, but some modern boards are made of glass. Hot-dip galvanizing is a form of Galvanization. It is the process of coating Iron or Steel with a thin Zinc layer by passing the steel Glass in the common sense refers to a Hard, Brittle, transparent Solid, such as that used for Windows many Washboards with brass ridges are still made, and some who use washboards as musical instruments prefer the sound of the somewhat more expensive brass boards. Brass is any Alloy of Copper and Zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties One of the few musical instruments invented in America is the Zydeco Frottoir (Zydeco Rubboard), a distillation of the washboard into essential elements (percussive surface with shoulder straps) designed by Clifton Chenier and built by Willie Landry in 1946.
Though the washboard is generally used as a musical instrument or sound-making device, many parts of the world still use them for washing clothes. Clothes are soaked in hot soapy water in a washtub or sink, then squeezed and rubbed against the ridged surface of the washboard to force the cleansing fluid through the cloth to carry away dirt. Washboards may also be used for washing in a river, with or without soap. Then the clothes are rinsed. The rubbing has a similar effect to beating the clothes and household linen on rocks, an ancient method.
The washboard and frottoir are used as a percussion instrument, employing the ribbed metal surface of the cleaning device as a rhythm instrument. The piano is a Musical instrument played by means of a keyboard that produces sound by striking steel strings with Felt covered hammers
As traditionally used in jazz, zydeco, skiffle, jug band, and old time music, the washboard remained in its wooden frame and is played primarily by tapping, but also scraping the washboard with thimbles. Jazz is an American Musical art form which originated in the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States Zydeco ( French "les haricots" English "snap beans" is a form of American roots or folk music, that evolved from The jure during Skiffle is a type of Folk music with Jazz, Blues and Country influences usually using homemade or improvised instruments such as the Washboard A jug band is a band employing a jug player and a mix of traditional and home-made instruments Old-time music is a form of North American Folk music, with roots in the Folk musics of many countries including England, Scotland, Often the washboard has additional traps, such as a wood block, a cowbell, and even small cymbals. This article is about the Musical instrument. See Woodblock for other meanings of the term Cymbals are a modern percussion instrument Cymbals consist of thin normally round plates of various Cymbal alloys; see Cymbal making for a discussion of their
Conversely, the frottoir (zydeco rubboard) dispenses with the frame and consists simply of the metal ribbing hung around the neck. It is played primarily with spoon handles or bottle openers in a combination of strumming, scratching, tapping and rolling. The frottoir, also called a Zydeco rub-board, is a mid 20th century invention designed specifically for Zydeco music. Zydeco ( French "les haricots" English "snap beans" is a form of American roots or folk music, that evolved from The jure during It was designed in 1946 by Clifton "King of Zydeco" Chenier, and fashioned by Willie Landry, a friend and metalworker at the Texaco refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. Clifton Chenier ( June 25 1925 - December 12 1987) a Creole French speaking native of Opelousas, Louisiana, was an Clifton's brother Cleveland Chenier famously played this newly designed rubboard using bottle openers. Likewise, Willie's son, Tee Don Landry, continues the traditional hand manufacturing of rubboards in his small shop in Sunset, LA. 
The frottoir or vest frottoir (from Cajun-Creole French "vest to be rubbed") is played as a stroked percussion instrument, often in a band with a drummer, while the washboard generally is a replacement for drums. A vest Frottoir is an instrument used in Zydeco music. It is usually made from pressed corrugated Aluminium and is worn over the shoulders The drum is a member of the percussion group technically classified as a Membranophone. In Zydeco bands, the frottoir is usually played with bottle openers, to make a louder sound. It tends to play counter-rhythms to the drummer.
In a jug band, the washboard can also be stroked with a single whisk broom and functions as the drums for the band, playing only on the back-beat for most songs, a substitute for a snare drum. A broom is a Cleaning Tool consisting of stiff fibres attached to and roughly parallel to a cylindrical handle, the broomstick. The snare drum is a Drum with strands of snares made of curled metal wire metal cable plastic cable or gut cords stretched across the a drumhead typically In a four-beat measure, the washboard will stroke on the 2-beat and the 4-beat. Its best sound is achieved using a single steel-wire snare-brush or whisk broom.
However, in a jazz setting, the washboard can also be played with thimbles on all fingers, tapping out much more complex rhythms, as in the Washboard Rhythm Kings, a full-sized band. A thimble is a protective shield worn on the finger or thumb generally worn during sewing The Washboard Rhythm Kings were a loose aggregation of Jazz performers many of high calibre who recorded as a group for various labels between about 1930 and 1935
Some washboard players may add other small percussion devices to the washboard, such as a cymbal, woodblock, or cowbell, which can periodically be struck to vary the effect. Cymbals are a modern percussion instrument Cymbals consist of thin normally round plates of various Cymbal alloys; see Cymbal making for a discussion of their
A frottoir is played with a stroking instrument (usually with spoon handles or a pair of bottle-openers) in each hand. In a 4-beat measure, the Frottoir will be stroked 8 to 16 times. It plays more like a Latin percussion instrument, rather than as a drum. Latin music, includes the music of all countries in Latin America (and the Caribbean) and comes in many varieties The rhythms used are often similar to those played on Guiro. The güiro is a Percussion instrument consisting of an open-ended hollow Gourd with parallel notches cut in one side
From the 1920s song "Coney Island Washboard":
•A threshing-board is an obsolete farm implement used to separate cereals from their straw that is to thresh. The Blues Washboard is a Musical instrument used in traditional Blues music starting in the late 1800s when it was played by ex- Slaves.