The washboard, as an instrument, more often than not is used as a novelty item. Give a musician a washboard and a clown act will soon follow. Curbside Jimmy and Washboard Jean use a washboard because it gives off exactly the right sound for the music they play. The African Shakere is a close second but the washboard is a little better for roots country and classic blues. Washboards that are recently manufactured sound terrible. To get a classic sound it is best to use Zinc Kings, which were manufactured if the first half of the 20th century. They come in two sizes but the smaller lingerie model gets the edge as far as Jean is concerned. Full sized Zinc Kings are good also and Jean does use one from time to time.