A stoneware (or glass) vessel that is used as an improvised folk instrument to provide a rhythmic bass line for string bands in the American rural south. At one time, jugs were common items to have around the house to store water or other drinks for the family, so everyone had easy access to these improvised instruments. The performer would buzz the lips into the mouth of the jug from about an inch away. As with brass instruments, changes in pitch are controlled by altering lip tension, and a well-practiced jug player could perform with a two octave range. The actual sound quality and frequency range of the jug varies widely, depending upon the material the jug is made from and the size of the jug. Some jug players utilize throat vocalization along with lip buzzing. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the jug was occasionally used in Dixieland bands. The jug provided a sound between the trombone and sousaphone or tuba in Dixieland bands, playing mid- and lower-range harmonies and rhythm.
See also Jug band.