Free Tongue Drum Plans Pdf
Tone Drums, also referred to as "log drums" are unique and mellow sounding percussion instruments. Their basic construction is a long, hollow, rectangle box whose lid is perforated and cut into "tongues" which, when struck, produce a warm, mellow and earthy "thunk".While nearly anyone with a few woodworking tools can produce a tone drum, it takes construction experience and a good ear to produce a drum with tones that are tuned in a scale. Therefore, it is suggested that you make a two tone drum to begin with and experiment with the length of the tongues on it before advancing to more tones/tongues.
free tongue drum plans pdf
The tongue drum plans were born out of a need to create an inexpensive, simple craft for a group of about a hundred children ages kindergarten through fifth grade. During my research into tongue drums, I learned that most really nice sounding drums are made using exotic hardwoods. They also take a fair amount of woodworking skill to assemble them and were really outside of the ability of most school age children.
Most tongue drum designs I found online use solid wood and flush joint construction. They look and sound great, but would be difficult to assemble as a craft. To simplify the construction and make it easier for kids to put together, I chose to oversize the top and bottom. This way, if there's a little bit of misalignment it isn't too noticeable.
Since the tongue drum plans are for a very simplified version of a true musical instrument, the question comes up, "What does it sound like?". Although the notes don't correspond to anything specific, they sound pleasing when played together. I put together a short video that demonstrates how it sounds. Part of the problem is that I'm NOT a musician. Nonetheless, it's a lot of fun to bang on and not really loud enough to drive most parents crazy.
As I mentioned, the tongue drum plans were developed to be a simple craft for about a hundred kids. After experimenting with various inexpensive lumber options, including pine and cedar dimensional lumber, I settled on a combination of 1/4" and 1/2" Baltic birch plywood. It's free of voids, flat, reasonably priced, and takes finishes well.
One of the pieces I found most difficult to find was a material suitable for the feet. It turns out that 3/8" x 3/4" foam rubber weatherstrip isolates the tongue drum from any surface it's resting on while you play it. Otherwise you get a lot of loud banging resonance (on a dining room table, for instance). I cut the weatherstrip in disks for aesthetic appeal, but it works just as well cut into a small square or rectangle.
One final note about using the tongue drum plans for a kid's craft. We let the kids color and decorate their drums with felt-tipped markers. It's amazing what they'll come up with and gave the drums a uniquely personal finished look.
I hope you'll choose to build a tongue drum. Once you build a simple one, you'll probably be hooked and want to build a larger, more exotic instrument. Until you're ready for that, you can view the tongue drum plans by either clicking the image to the left, or by clicking here. If you wouldrather download a copy to your computer, right click then "save-as".Either way, you'll need the Adobe reader to view the file.
Would you like to build a simple tongue drum, but don't have the time or tools to cut the parts yourself? I now have kits available for purchase. They're cut from quality materials in my own workshop and are a great way to jumpstart your project. If a kit would help fulfill your project needs, please visit my online store.
You can use the calculated lengths to help layout a pattern for your drum. This will also help you determine the dimensions for the top of your box (the part you will cut the tongues into). Once you have figured out how many tongues you need and their approximate lengths you can start designing the rest of your box.
Music is one of the oldest art forms on our planet. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors fashioned instruments out of logs, bamboo, sticks and even animal bones. Today, we are still being creative and finding new ways to make beautiful melodies. One example of a recently developed instrument is the tongue drum. Tongue drums are percussion instruments made from propane cylinders and have become increasingly popular since their creation in the late 2000s due to their relaxing sounds, ease of playing, portability and their unique UFO-like appearance. There is also another version of the tongue drum made from wood. These tongue drums resemble long, rectangular boxes. Tongue drums are charming instruments which can be played by anyone and are found in many different environments, from a therapist's office to a classroom to a meditation session. If you are new to tongue drums, we have created this ultimate guide discussing and exploring the ever-expanding world of tongue drums and their peaceful notes.
The tongue drum, also referred to as a steel tongue drum, a tank drum, or a hank drum, is a relatively new instrument belonging to the idiophone family of percussion instruments. An idiophone is an instrument that produces sound via the vibration of the instrument itself. Tongue drums are similar to, and were inspired by, other percussion instruments like the hang drum, slit drum, whale drum and tambiro. Today, however, they are well-known in their own right as they have become very popular for meditation music, yoga practice and sound therapy. The drums, which look a bit like UFOs, are not from another planet, but the music they can create is otherworldly! Tongue drums are an excellent instrument for anyone wishing to get creative, jam, enjoy beautiful melodies and relax. They can be enjoyed by anyone at nearly any age.
The tongues, of course, are where the tongue drum gets its name, but what do the tongues do exactly? In a way, the tongues are like the individual strings of a guitar or the keys on a piano. They are what allows the instrument to create rhythms or melodies. Each tongue is tuned to a specific note. The weight, width and length of the tongue determines the sound and pitch of the note. To play a note, you must hit a tongue with your fingers, hands or a mallet. The drum itself amplifies the sound and is released through the slits of the tongues. When you hit more than one tongue at a time, you create a chord. By mixing and matching the notes and chords on the steel tongue drum, you can create beautifully sounding melodies. The best part is, you need little to no musical instrument experience or knowledge to make your steel tongue drum sound good! This is because of the special way steel tongue drums are tuned.
It is important to note that tongue drums can also be made to have different scales. The most popular scales for tongue drums, in addition to the pentatonic scale, are: the diatonic scale, the chromatic scale, minor or major scales of all notes or Akebono. Tongue drums tuned to the diatonic scale have a scale that includes five whole steps with two half steps (semitones) in each octave. A chromatic scale is a twelve-tone scale with twelve pitches. The Akebono scale is a musical scale used in traditional Japanese music and is most similar to the diatonic scale. Although these scales involve more notes, the instrument does not become increasingly more complicated or harder to play. Instead, it gives the drum a wider array of new note combinations.
Generally speaking, the manufacturer will indicate which scale the drum is tuned to. These tunings tend to be static; however, if you do possess some understanding of music theory and can work a chromatic electronic tuner, you also have the option of purchasing a tuneable tongue drum. Tuneable tongue drums allow the player to change the scale of the instrument. This is often done so by adding weights, usually neodymium magnets, beneath the tongues. Having a tuneable tongue drum, or even a double-sided tongue drum, gives you a wider range of notes to play and create with.
Some tongue drums are also associated with a specific pitch, or the degree of highness or lowness of a tone. Most frequently if a tongue drum has a specific pitch, the drum will be manufactured to possess a 432 Hz frequency, also known as the Verdi pitch. The 432 Hz frequency is said to be the vibrational frequency of the universe. Tongue drums with this pitch are normally tuned to the C Major scale. Other common pitches you might find with tongue drums are 440 Hz and 444 Hz. These pitches can mean different things for the musician and we will elaborate on this later on.
Different manufacturers and artisans premake tongue drums tuned to any scale or pitch they wish. However, many of these manufacturers and artisans are happy to work with customers to tune drums to the wishes of the musician.
There are a few different types of tongue drums which differ due to what they are made out of. They can be made from metal, steel, alloy steel or wood. Metal, steel and alloy steel drums are the most similar in sound, size and shape. Metal tongue drums are often sealed with corrosion-resistant coatings that protect the drum from getting scratched. Metal drums are also more customizable, as they can be painted different colors and have different designs etched into them.
On the other hand, wooden tongue drums usually have a more natural appearance and are shaped like a box rather than a round circle. They can be made from many different types of wood, such as red elm, spruce, canarywood, mahogany, cedar and more. Artisans tend not to paint the wood, but instead seal the drum with natural oils and beeswax to protect and show the natural beauty of the wood used. When choosing which kind of tongue drum you would like, try listening to different YouTube videos and choose the one that sounds most appealing to you. Whether it is steel or wood, they will all sound beautiful.
There are many different situations and reasons why one might want to play a tongue drum. Not only is it a great instrument, but it is also a tool for finding inner peace. Whether you are headed to a jam session with friends or a therapy session with a healthcare professional, it is possible you will encounter the soothing, mystical tones of a steel tongue drum.