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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


OK. I apologize for not having kept in better contact with my friends out there in inner-net land. This is what I have been working on:

These are called "tongue drums." They are made of red oak, and at about 12" by 8" x 6", they are pretty heavy. The mallets are oak dowels with bouncy balls glued to the end (the "sawdust" created by drilling holes in 8 multi-colored bouncy balls is pretty sweet).

It's a very simple instrument that, apparently, was made from hollow logs in the olden days. Basically, it sounds like a wooden xylophone. The tough part was cutting the "tongues" in the top. Otherwise, it's pretty much just a wooden box, with some internal bracing. If I could play them, in any musical sense of the word, I would record a snippet and place it here, but instead, you can go here and hear a sample. This guys' have a little cleaner sound, though overall, I am pretty pleased. I was worried about not getting joints as tight as they needed to be, and ending up with lots of vibration. There isn't really any of that, so long as they are sitting on a relatively soft surface. I think mine are tuned roughly to D Pentatonic Minor, though I admit I only half know what that means/sounds like.

Oh yeah--in case you're asking why I made 4 of them--they are gifts for my nieces and nephew. I am happy to be out from under that particular set of projects, though I did enjoy it. Now I need to get started on a crib..

Oh yeah--and in the first picture, yes--the drum is sitting on a toilet with a sheet draped over it.

More posts to follow, including pics of my guitar's busted innards.


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