Tongue drum

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Project by scrappy52 posted 12-20-2007 02:53 AM 2466 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Tongue drum
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This is an African tongue drum. Each of the { Tongues } are scrolled into the top plate, and each are a different length, and even thickness, to tune them. To play it just hit the tongues with a small rubber headed mallet. It takes forever to get it tuned, because of the different densities of the wood. This one is 16 in long x 6 in wide and 4 in deep, the top is cherry, and the sides are scrap pine.

-- No matter where you are going, once you get there, there you are.

6 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4399 days

#1 posted 12-20-2007 06:56 AM

That is neat. one of the woodworking magazines had one of these last month.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Muzhik's profile


173 posts in 4136 days

#2 posted 12-20-2007 09:32 AM

How do you actually go about tuning the thing? I made one of these several years back with a spider design on the top (with the legs of the spider dividing the tongues). The problem was that there weren’t really 8 distinct notes… not to mention 8 “tuned” notes. I wound up giving it to a friend of mine who is a percussionist. I’m sure it looks pretty wherever he has it displayed, but I seriously doubt he ever actually plays it.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4159 days

#3 posted 12-20-2007 11:55 AM

yah, how do you “tune” it?? just keep cutting the grooves?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4217 days

#4 posted 12-20-2007 04:20 PM

Wouldn’t the tone change depending on where you struck the tongue?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3873 days

#5 posted 12-21-2007 12:27 PM

I saw this in a magazine not too long ago. Seems like a fun project.

View Chardt's profile


169 posts in 3600 days

#6 posted 09-17-2008 10:09 PM

I wonder what would happen if you mounted a Piezo pickup to the Cherry, and ran it into an effects unit like a flanger, or chorus….Hmmmm.

-- When my wife ask's what I have to show for my wood working hobby, I just show her the splinters.

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