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Blowdrum

The body was a water tank from a boat. The 10 head is heavy black leather, the grade used for chaps or tool belt pouches. Two hoops of 3/8 round rod beneath the rim instead of the standard single hoop. The rim is 1/2 x 1/4 flatstock and the tuners are 3/8 bolts that run through 1/4 ears on the rim and pieces of angle bar welded to the body of the drum. A 1/2 black pipe connects to a nipple welded to the bottom of the tank and a copper faucet connector into which the player may blow, raising the pitch of the drum. The range is normally about an octave, but, depending on tuning, can reach higher. The cymbal is two short sections of steel flatstock bolted together with neoprene washers and nylon stopnuts to allow limited movement. The beaters are short 3/4 inch dowels with automobile heater hose glued to the ends. The softness and lightness of the sticks prevents the leather from tearing.

The soft leather is not very loud on a small drum and the drum is miked. With a rawhide head the tonal range was only about a third and the hard ring tended to overpower the variable tone of the fundamental.

Click to hear a sound sample of the instrument: Blow Drums.


Full view of blowdrum

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