BUILDING, PERFORMING & EDUCATING WITH MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS MADE FROM TRASH SINCE 1991
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS > PERCUSSIONS > BALLOON DRUMS
Drums can be difficult to make because it can be hard to stretch the membrane (drum head) tight enough. Typically around the world people make their drums by using animal skin which tends to tighten as it dries.
Luckily our industrial world provides us with a perfect alternative material to use - balloons! (You can also use surgical gloves if you happen to live near a surgical supply store...)
WARNING - Don’t build this instrument if you have latex allergies!
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT BUILDING - THE PROCEDURE!
YOU WILL NEED
Two sturdy cardboard tubes apx 2.5 – 4” across the top. The tubes should be longer than 6”; different lengths are best
Two 10-12” balloons
Rubber Bands (or you can use duct tape instead)
Cut the balloons as shown and discard the valve. (You can also make a supremely annoying wind instrument by blowing through the cut valve, but you didn’t hear it from me...)
Stretch the “cap” of the balloon over the open end of the tube.
Pull the balloon as hard as you can down the tube. The tighter you stretch the balloon, the higher the pitch, and vice versa.
Wrap a rubber band tightly around the balloon to prevent it from slipping (you can use duct tape instead). Wrap duct tape around the tubes to hold them together as shown in the first illustration (two lengths of duct tape ensures better stability).
When playing the tube drums, don’t close off the bottom by putting them on a flat surface, but rather, hold them between your legs for better sound. Lightly tap on the balloons with your fingers (don’t use a pencil or stick). For a louder sound you can pinch a bit of balloon and pluck it.