BASS CAT’S FACE

Playing the Bass Cat’s Face

This is a specialized variant of the cat’s face (also shown in this collection) using just one of the three modes of vibration available on that instrument. The bass cat’s face has long whiskers of spring-steel rod. Their frequency is subsonic and inaudible in the primary mode of vibration (that’s the “swinging back and forth mode” that works so well for shorter plucked prongs). But with a special plucking technique that involves flexing and releasing, the rods on the bass cat’s face can be excited in the second mode. This is a different pattern of vibratory movement, higher in frequency, producing the distinctive tone you hear in the audio sample.

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