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Percussion Tongue Drums

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,912
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Just north of Munich
Anyone know much about these?

Lovely sound, thought I'd make one. Ordered a set of plans from tonguedrums.com, but they haven't arrived, no reply to chase up emails, either. :(

Am tempted to go it alone, but web info, especially on tuning is hard to come by. Many of the non-Steve Roberts examples on youtube sound terrible, so I don't want to spend a fortune on wood and make something that won't be any use.

I found S Roberts 'plans' for a simple one from an old woodworker mag online, but no tuning info. I'm not looking for which notes to tune to, but how to get a tongue to a specific note, including bringing it's harmonics into tune. I've found what I need for Marimbas, but these tune differently. and there's a lot of supposition on the web.
 

Colin the Bear

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13,992
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Burnley bb9 9dn
I've had one since back in the 80's. It's not tuned. The different shapes make different percussive sounds. It's symmetrical with the centre being offset to one side to give each shape a high and low sound. Very pleasing to play. It came with hard rubber beaters. It always reminds me of elephants when I play it. I don't know why.
 

Colin the Bear

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13,992
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Burnley bb9 9dn
I picked this one from a selection that were on offer. It stood out head and shoulders above the rest.

Just a quick pounding to give you an idea.

DeadAudiolink Removed
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Location
Just north of Munich
plans finally arrived today. Posted 10 Jan. Terrible. But now I can get going on it. Daft thing is I already knew as much about tuning the things as is contained in the plans.
 

Colin the Bear

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13,992
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
I'm assuming the wood will have a big influence on the sound.

The shape of the tongues affects the type of sound they make. The thin togues with a pointed tip seem to ring more.

The thin ones with a round end ring less but have more depth of tone.

The ones with a flower shaped head are more percussive with more bass.

The beaters are important too. My soft rubber ones seem to have perished and gone a little hard.

A tuned tongue drum would be a lovely thing, rather like the metal pan drums but with a less bell like quality.

Good luck with the construction.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,992
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
Click the links above
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sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
I had never even heard of them and had to Google after listening to Colin's Soundcloud track. Before I listened I thought it might be another expression for tongue slapping... :eek:
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Location
Just north of Munich
I'm assuming the wood will have a big influence on the sound.

The shape of the tongues affects the type of sound they make. The thin togues with a pointed tip seem to ring more.

The thin ones with a round end ring less but have more depth of tone.

The ones with a flower shaped head are more percussive with more bass.

The beaters are important too. My soft rubber ones seem to have perished and gone a little hard.

A tuned tongue drum would be a lovely thing, rather like the metal pan drums but with a less bell like quality.

Good luck with the construction.

Wood - yes, it seems to from what I've researched and heard on youtube. I've got a nice chunk of African Padauk for it. Still need to find some oak for the sides/ends.

Ta for the hints on shapes.

Beaters - he sells sets, but suggests making from 1" superballs and 1/4" dowel. Just drill a hole in the ball and glue. I guess contact adhesive or superglue would work well.
 

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