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Assorted Instruments Portfolio



This page contains pictures of a few of the instruments, other than basses, that I’ve built over the years.


Taken from an idea of Bart Hopkin, the Boos is a take on a tuned tongue drum. For me, this design has some decided advantages to a traditional multi-note tongue drum in that it can be made quickly and easily in my workshop, and second, I can tune each note quickly and accurately, without lots of complicated interactions from other notes.

Anyhow, I thought I’d start with a four note sequence to see if I could build these to design (rather than guess). The answer is yes, though there is quite a lot of fine tuning still to do, particularly in working out a good mounting system. Here is what they look like:

For those playing along at home, the body is 9mm ply, and the top is 12mm narra, all joined with hide glue. The beaters are what they seem, superballs on sticks. The frame is a work in progress, but nearly as important as the boos themselves to getting a good sound. The tuning is F3-G3-A3-B3, set up mbira-style.

And here is what it sounds like (caveat: I am a horrible percussionist, especially when I am winging it…)

  • 4 note boos first time experiment in making these puppies…

And then this happened…

It grew and became colourful. Now it is an 11-note instrument, tuned in F Lydian. Here’s how it sounds