Featuring Tuned to Scale Tongue Drums
Handcrafted by Steve Roberts
A Step by Step Guide to Making and Tuning
(The Beans, Totally Spilled)
Download Tongue Drum Audio
Plans are now available to make the 10 Key Bass size tongue drum. This is the largest tongue drum now available for the woodworking enthusiast to build. Not only will you be able to build this size drum, but you'll be able use the concepts to help build tongue drums of many sizes, styles, and tunings.
I've listed and hand illustrated the steps it will take to turn hardwood boards into finely tuned tongue drums, a most amazing instrument. The steps are easy to follow, but skill in woodworking is required. I want people to succeed with their drums, and I will list answers to any frequent questions on this page.
Commonly asked question: Why are these handwritten and hand illustrated?
Answer: These are handwritten and hand illustrated to convey the information needed to build my versions of the tongue drum while trying to protect the information from being uploaded illegally.
Many people now have successfully built large Bass sized tongue drums using these plans, and Traceable Template. Most people on the first try. When you figure what good quality exotic hardwoods cost, this is important.
The template will give you the exact key design and you can use the info in the materials to then alter the keys to a design of your liking, while understanding what it takes to make the instrument function with harmonic sounds.
There are now a few woodworking forums where people have posted partial instructions on the drums, even using illustrations similar to these designs. They will get you a drum with sounds, but not
extraordinary harmonic sounds.
All I can say to that is there are a lot of steps to get the drums to have the warm harmonic qualities my drums are known for. If you want your tongue drum to sound great and work on the first build, it is very important that these seemingly simple instrument be built correctly. Anyone who suggests these are just a wood box with tongues cut on the top is simply wrong.
My expertise is in building tuned-to-scale tongue drums. A decade of refining each instrument one by one. The problems of the first drums were buzzing keys, dead notes, booming notes, lack of sustained ring on notes, and the instruments then being correctly in tune but just not sounding good.
These drums are so basically simple that the small changes over time are what refines the sound. It literally took years of trial and error to arrive at the instruments heard on the website.
These plans and templates are an attempt to satisfy the many woodworkers who have written asking how to build the drums, and sincerely seem to want
drums that they made for themselves or as gifts to others, without giving away everything to people who may want to make them in competition to a business I've spent many years building.
For a harmonic quality tongue drum to sound warmly primitive and ring correctly the instrument relies entirely of the wood tongues vibrating a specific frequency, and flexing at certain points. These flexing points are known as nodes and anti-nodes. These instruments can be made very simply if you're not too worried about the sounds you get, or made into finely tuned musical instruments. It depends on what's important in your woodworking and your music.
If you're interested in making your own tongue drums, here are the plans and instructive materials to build them.
Material and Tools Needed List
Traceable Pattern for the top.
Carbon Paper to transfer the pattern.
Exploded View of the tongue drum.
Step by Step Guide to building the tongue drum, including Hand Illustrations of important parts and steps.
Tuning Guide to tune the tongue drum to musical scale(s)
Alternate Key Designs and Basic Theory
This material represents hundreds of hours refining the design of the tongue drums to get the beautiful sounds heard on the clips. From start to finish practical guide to building a tongue drum.
Apply the information about harmonic tongue drum building with your imagination, and create truly personal works of art.
$39. Plus Shipping
By ordering these plans, you agree not to reproduce them or distribute them without written permission of Steve Roberts/tonguedrum.com. While the exact steps are described to building a tongue drum, the results aren't guaranteed. No refunds on purchase of plans. Any production of the drums in numbers beyond 5 requires written permission. By ordering plans purchaser agrees to not use materials contained within to compete against tonguedrum.com. Purchaser agrees to not sell tongue drums or copyrighted materials or distribute these materials without written permission.
Steve Roberts Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved