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

  • Sharp scissors

  • Duct tape

  • Rubber Bands (or you can use duct tape instead)

BALLOON DRUMS

1.

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...)

droppedImage.png

2.

Stretch the “cap” of the balloon over the open end of the tube. 

droppedImage_1.jpg

3.

Pull the balloon as hard as you can down the tube. The tighter you stretch the balloon, the higher the pitch, and vice versa.

BALLOON DRUM

4.

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).  

BALLOON DRUM

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.

Website by Rivertowns Marketing;  Art by TB Ward; Photos on this site thanks to:  Erika Kapin Photography, John Maggiotto Studios, India Lena Gonzalez, Ananda Naima Gonzalez, Shandor Patrick, Lili Fenner, Kim Russell: Courtesy of the Smith Center, Jaye McLaughlin: The Life in Your Years Photography LLC, Risdon Photography, Dariel Sneed: Courtesy of Brookfield Place NY, Tanya Ahmed: the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

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