28th Oct 2014

Homemade Drums and Hand Percussion Instruments

Most of us are familiar with the concept of making our own instruments, because at some point in our lives we have pretended to drum on pots and pans or boxes. While it is perfectly fine to give household items more purposes than what they were originally assigned, it is also admirable to take the time to create more conventional looking instruments. Homemade drums and hand percussion instruments can be a fun way to channel any creativity that is not satisfied by simply playing an instrument. With some skill, patience, and perhaps an instructional video or two, you can build what you want and make it look how you want.

The easiest drum to build yourself is likely to be the cajon. Since this drum has yet to stray too far away from its original look, it shouldn’t take too much time or talent to produce a decent cajon. Cajons began as homemade drums and hand percussion instruments, repurposed crates and drawers being the first drums of this type. Cajons are even sold in popular kits that allow the purchaser to put them together at home. It may be cheaper or even more authentic to find a crate and play it. Adding some guitar strings to the inside of the box could supply any desired snare sound, turning what may have been trash into an easy to play treasure.

Other drums require more time and effort. For example, there are plenty of instructions available online for building a djembe, but given the sound and craftsmanship, it would take longer to produce than a cajon. Homemade drums and hand percussion instruments don’t always have to be as complex as carving out a hunk of wood, though. Tube drums are a popular homemade variety and they require little specialized skill. In fact, the most difficult aspects of making tube drums may be finding the cardboard concrete forms used for the bodies and the animal skins used for the heads. Tube drums lend themselves wonderfully to creative decorative expression, giving drummers an opportunity to have a drum that is unique in both sound and look.

Frame drums are another type of drum that may be simple enough to tackle for a homemade drums and hand percussion instruments project. With a wooden ring and a skin, frame drums are some of the easiest wooden drums to produce at home. With a little creativity and an internet connection, percussionists will be able to find all sorts of ways to express creativity through making their own drums and other percussion instruments. Homemade shakers, steel drums, and thumb pianos are all within reach for the musician willing to engage an inner crafter, as well.