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Odd percussion instruments

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GUEST,Walking Eagle 01 Dec 02 - 04:57 PM
Jeanie 01 Dec 02 - 05:46 PM
Mr Red 01 Dec 02 - 05:49 PM
open mike 01 Dec 02 - 06:25 PM
CraigS 01 Dec 02 - 06:52 PM
NH Dave 01 Dec 02 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Dec 02 - 10:42 PM
Boab 02 Dec 02 - 02:40 AM
PeteBoom 02 Dec 02 - 09:00 AM
greg stephens 02 Dec 02 - 09:51 AM
wysiwyg 02 Dec 02 - 10:02 AM
Mooh 02 Dec 02 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,Claymore 02 Dec 02 - 02:22 PM
Kim C 02 Dec 02 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Walking Eagle 02 Dec 02 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,Claymore 02 Dec 02 - 06:06 PM
wysiwyg 02 Dec 02 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Claymore 02 Dec 02 - 06:44 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 02 Dec 02 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,JennyO 02 Dec 02 - 08:03 PM
wysiwyg 02 Dec 02 - 08:30 PM
Tattie Bogle 02 Dec 02 - 09:20 PM
wysiwyg 02 Dec 02 - 09:25 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 02 Dec 02 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Richard H 02 Dec 02 - 09:41 PM
michaelr 02 Dec 02 - 09:55 PM
Paul G. 02 Dec 02 - 10:27 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 02 Dec 02 - 10:45 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 02 Dec 02 - 11:28 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 02 Dec 02 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 02 Dec 02 - 11:38 PM
harpgirl 02 Dec 02 - 11:45 PM
harpgirl 02 Dec 02 - 11:52 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 03 Dec 02 - 12:24 AM
InOBU 03 Dec 02 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,JohnB 03 Dec 02 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Claymore 03 Dec 02 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Dec 02 - 12:14 AM
Wilfried Schaum 04 Dec 02 - 02:53 AM
GUEST,Rex on the work 'puter 05 Dec 02 - 12:04 PM
Wilfried Schaum 09 Dec 02 - 10:52 AM
PageOfCups 09 Dec 02 - 03:43 PM
Jack Campin 09 Jun 08 - 07:05 PM
Suegorgeous 09 Jun 08 - 08:13 PM
Leadfingers 09 Jun 08 - 08:41 PM
Leadfingers 10 Jun 08 - 07:46 AM
Grab 10 Jun 08 - 09:30 AM
Leadfingers 10 Jun 08 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Trev 10 Jun 08 - 12:58 PM
reggie miles 10 Jun 08 - 03:01 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 10 Jun 08 - 03:16 PM
Dead Horse 10 Jun 08 - 03:37 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jun 08 - 06:18 PM
The Fooles Troupe 10 Jun 08 - 06:58 PM
azfiddle 10 Jun 08 - 10:16 PM
Rowan 10 Jun 08 - 11:44 PM
katlaughing 10 Jun 08 - 11:54 PM
Rowan 11 Jun 08 - 01:37 AM
Jack Campin 11 Jun 08 - 04:49 AM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Jun 08 - 09:38 AM
trevek 12 Jun 08 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,JB 12 Jun 08 - 11:10 AM
Ross Campbell 12 Jun 08 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,erinmaidin 13 Jun 08 - 05:49 AM
Ross Campbell 13 Jun 08 - 08:37 PM
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trevek 14 Jun 08 - 01:42 PM
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Jack Campin 14 Jun 08 - 06:57 PM
RangerSteve 15 Jun 08 - 08:40 AM
VirginiaTam 05 Mar 10 - 02:05 PM
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Subject: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,Walking Eagle
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 04:57 PM

Jack Ashford, one time percussionist for Motown, once played a hotel bed sheet by snapping it on some Motown tunes.

What's the oddest percussion instrument that you have played? I once played a paperbag containing marbles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: Jeanie
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 05:46 PM

My dad, sadly no longer with us, used to regularly play the stem of his pipe against his teeth and his metal pipe-cleaner on his tobacco tin. His favourite was "Bye Bye Blues" - and a very good job he made of it, too !

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: Mr Red
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 05:49 PM

I remember a session where someone played a morris tune and somehow all the non-players where asked to get out their keys (no ash-trays were hurt in the making of this music). The keys were held up and jingled in time to the music. And everyone fell about in inebriated laughing. Very realistic it was too.
I have yet to find any red spoon BUT I found some plastic salad servers and they do make a pleasant enough sound.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: open mike
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 06:25 PM

if making music in the kitchen,
a wide mouthed canning jar is a
good rhythm maker--add some water
for interesting sound effects...
also i have made a great train sound
by playing my bodhran with a Kush toy-
which is like a bunch of rubber bands
bundled together. kush toys look like pom-
poms...


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: CraigS
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 06:52 PM

Will Hall uses a bodhran tipper on his concertina case - says it's easier than carrying a bodhran.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: NH Dave
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 07:36 PM

I believe Blue Man Crew plays on sections of PVC drain pipe, many with one end blocked to make them sound lower, and often with a slider over the open end, like a trombone. This makes an interesting, tunable, instrument.


Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 10:42 PM

NH Dave is right. The Blue Man Group does play a xylophone made from PVC pipes. I've seen a library book which tells how to make it. I have a feeling this book is widely available.

2. One year I wanted to get the sound of a snare drum for a song at the Highland games. I experimented and decided the best effect comes from laying uncooked linguine inside a shallow drum such as a bodhran. You hold it horizontally and upside down, of course.

3. Cottonwood branches often produce a sonorous tone when struck. I made a drum by supporting good branches on lengths of 1-by and hitting them with spoons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: Boab
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 02:40 AM

Ten inch square three quarter inch thick laminate board a la bodhran rim. Twelve inch wooden school ruler on the bottom teeth [I used to drive my language teacher crazy with "Sur le Pont D'Avignon".]Kitchen knives on any damn' thing. Two empty beer bottles rattling off each other. The bowl of my old briar pipe on the table top. Two beer mats [very effective!]


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: PeteBoom
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:00 AM

Ahem... including but not limited to:

3 sizes of paper bags, opened, closed, struck with fingers, pencils, ball-point pens (biros), flicked with water, wrinkled and unwrinkled;

A stack of folding chairs (pushed down a stair-well);

Music stands (the big heavy, black types used by orchestras, etc.,), played with drum sticks, rattans, marimba mallets, nails (of varying sizes), screws (of varying sizes) and car keys;

A brake drum.

Cheers -

Pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:51 AM

Two matchboxes (sandpaper to sandpaper) make a nice effect at sessions. And you can use the contents for setting fire to bodhrans and piano-accordions as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 10:02 AM

Plastic cassette-tape case filled with dry beans and covered with contact paper.

Gold-foil cardboard tube with metal top (empty liturgical incense container), filled with rice I think... it's been awhile since I made a bunch of these with oatmeal, rice, beans, and so forth, using Pringle's cans and anything else available.

Oh yeah, and wooden ice cream spoons (remmber those?), some with rows of tiny sleighbells wired on and some drilled and put together in 3's with elastic to make a clacking/snapping thingie on a little handle.

Cheap and not TOO loud fun for kids at singalongs.

More seriously, a wooden cooking spoon and iced tea spoons, with which I hammer my autoharp. Dulcimer hammers are just not heavy enough.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 10:09 AM

Jeanie...My Dad did the same thing with his pipe against his teeth, I think subconsciously. I wonder if it's common among pipe smokers.

Recording sessions sometimes turn up some weird percussion things. Drum sounds can be hard to fine tune, so we once ended up with a piano stool covered in (I think) a cloth instead of a snare drum. Trouble was the drummer had to reposition the cloth throughout the recording while he played, without loosing the beat. He was brilliant.

We once had trouble getting the right bodhran sound so I ended up playing it between my knees with my hands, bongo style. Muting with alternate hands took some otherworldly concentration, but the sound was there.

We used to play Shule-a-roo (please forgive the spelling) with shaker, drum, guitar scratches, and best of all a tamborine rigged to the end of a stick the other end of which was beat on the floor. Two sounds in one from the stick rig.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 02:22 PM

Actually you are all in for a treat; introducing the Bottlehran. It is the current rage in the Cultural Hub of the Western World, (Shepherdstown, WV, natch!).

Get a plastic water bottle, the type that are now used to service your standard water cooler. Bring your chromatic tuner, and strike the side of the empty water bottle with a well padded tipper (more on this later). You will find that with the right water bottle, they will give off a low note (I now have E, F, and C# bottles, but the Holy Grail is an A bottle, or failing that, a D or G). The right bottle has a wonderful drone note, which will remind you of the wet rim of a large bowel or a very clear diggerydo.

You hold the neck of the bottle in your left hand (they are quite light) and strike the side in bodhran fashion. You cannot really do the two headed tipper bit and most regulr tippers sound like s--- anyway. Get a regular drum stick (or dowel) and cut the thumb out of a cotton (not leather) glove. Cut a strip of sponge about 3/4 of an inch wide and 3 inches long. Fold it over the top of the drum stick and cover it with the glove thumb. Tie off the loose end of the glove thumb by winding it with heavy tread or light wire. You now have a soft end with which to stike the bottle in bodhran fashion. It helps to use plain spray household furniture wax on the side of the bottle, and the drum stick tip, to reduce the friction. This increases the hum as well as the deep bell-like tone.

I'm now using the F bottle on the Xmas tune "Little Drummer Boy" as well as the "Campbells are Coming", and the E on "Morrisons Jig" and "Swallowtail". I have also used it with a Tabor pipe in some French Renaissance music.

I have a friend of mine who is a private pilot. He is now holding a tuner, and tapping empty water bottles in every small airport he lands at...


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: Kim C
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 02:59 PM

Too Slim from Riders in the Sky plays his face.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,Walking Eagle
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 05:23 PM

Interesting bit about using PVC pipe. I've seen some didgeridoos (sp?)made out of PVC.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 06:06 PM

Having reread my post, please change the word "bowel" to "bowl".

I'm sure there are percussion instruments which may sound like the "wet rim of a large bowel", but I'm not sure I would want to hear it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 06:27 PM

But bowel read so much better, as I read Hardi your post! Esxpecially since he's got the poopy flu right now!

Add water for pitch variety then?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 06:44 PM

No, I tried water but it reduces the resonance. The sound does not come from the difference in the volumn of air, but from the resonance of the side of the bottle. The three bottles I do have, difer only in the thickness of the walls, and the number of rings on the sides. I know this sounds crazy, but you actually have to hear it to understand... Think of something that goes OMMMMMM as you strike it, but again, only with a rather soft tipper.

And it sounds like Hardi is on the Claymore 12 Step Program... you must stay within 12 steps of the toilet at all times... Good Luck!


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 07:04 PM

My bodhrani friend Carol has a bodhran-sized piece of Masonite that's primary function is to protect her bodhran's head while in its case. If more than a couple of bodhrans show up for a session she'll put her drum up and just play the piece of Masonite instead.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,JennyO
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 08:03 PM

There's a guy here in Sydney called Mick Griffin who makes tunable didges by putting a piece of PVC pipe inside another slightly larger piece and sliding it up and down like a trombone. Personally, I like to play my tummy with my fingers - it makes a very satisfying slapping sound, rather like hitting two fish together. It's also quite close to the bowel, and there might be some variation in sound, depending on how much I have eaten (or drunk).You can add beer or wine, or Jameson's for pitch variety, too. Organ recitals are another matter entirely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 08:30 PM

Claymore, Hardi also taught munitions in ROTC, and "Claymore" as a program title seems, to him, raucously appropriate....

We thought he simply took too much of that fine over-the-counter preparation, VaVoomm, but the thermometeer tells a different story!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:20 PM

From Santiago de Compostela: two scallop shells ( the symbol of St James -Sant Iago -) Hold one in left hand and run the rim of the other against it plus chink-chink in between: very effective, but when you use new shells expect bits to come flying off like dandruff everywhere!
I also remember doing Britten's "Noye's Fludde" at school: we all had to take teacups in which were then tested for pitch, and the suitable ones strung up in a line and gently struck to represent raindrops.
WYSIWYG: I have the Scottish version of your shaker: a tube which originally housed shortbreads. I hit it too hard in a session last summer and the sellotape holding the top on popped off and everyone got showered with rice!
Tattie B


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:25 PM

TB-- TAPE, always use TAPE.

*G*

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:28 PM

A friend tells of a musician he met in Mexico who bills himself as "Sir Rocksalot". He plays, you guessed it, rocks. Apparently makes a pretty decent living at it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,Richard H
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:41 PM

Mooh mentioned a "shule-a -roo". A musicologist from Maine gave me a weird percussion device of similar description. It's a tallish stick with symbols at the top, wood block, cow-bell and streamers attached. There's a spring at the bottom where you bang it on the ground - it probably could double as a pogo stick if you were caught in traffic and late for a gig.

There is also a wire running down one side where you're supposed to put an inflated pig's bladder.

I mentioned it on another site and someone did know the name but I forget what it was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: michaelr
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 09:55 PM

I've recorded an empty sheetmetal chassis with hardware that's sort of loose in it; it makes a long-decaying metallic buzz/rattle sound.

I've also recorded myself rhythmically rubbing the threads of two long machine screws together. Very cool!

Both these sounds can be heard on Greenhouse's CD "I lie Awake". The song is "April Morning".

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: Paul G.
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 10:27 PM

Well, the percussionist for my band is really quite inventive. My favorites are his making the sound of flames by crunching dried leaves inside and orange and red hankerchief for the song "Jacksonville Is Burning", and thumping on tin coffee cans for "All You Need (is a good cup of joe)". He also uses an assortment of kitchenware (pots,pans, and dish racks). He's really quite a strange fellow now that I think about it...

Paul


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 10:45 PM

There's a fellow who does the art show circuit who makes and sells what is essentially a "prepared hammer dulcimer". I'm sure he borrowed the idea from avant garde composer John Cage who "prepared" pianos by inserting bits of wood, metal etc. between the strings. He intertwines various metal objects such as washers, car keys, bolts etc. between the strings of the dulcimer. You can play the strings or you can tap on the metal objects themselves.

I remember one festival where he was set up just a few booths away from Jerry Read Smith, noted maker of real hammer dulcimers. Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous....

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 11:28 PM

Nothing "odd" about them...but I like spoons.

Available anywhere food is served...and what folk-type gathering does not include spoons?

While most are drawn to metal ones.
I can endure the plastic ones.
But, for most queer old folky tunes
I prefer wooden spoons.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 11:34 PM

Given a lacking of spoons,
I just as soons
Prefer the crackin, knackin, clacking of bones, Ham bones, soup bones, chicken bones, good ol' buffalo bones.
Rhythem soft and rhythem deep,
In a pinch give me a sheep.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 11:38 PM

Given the spelling and context of your original posting...Staggering Eagle....

Your bladder was gladder than mine....when you began this thread... fine?

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Somewhere in the distant MC past...and the past of polite society....it was and embarassing discrace to be DRUNK in PUBLIC.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: harpgirl
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 11:45 PM

I like the bones and I'm gettin' a pretty good sound out of them since I have been paracticin'... gee, garg...you must have liked my poem about you. You've been talking in rhyme alot!!! hg


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: harpgirl
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 11:52 PM

you know...this one:

Subject: RE: BS: Love on the internet?
From: GUEST,Songmeister's secret admirer - PM
Date: 11 Nov 02 - 10:51 PM

                              Ode To a gargoyle

             The gargoyle guards my sullen heart
          I'm safe to dwell beneath his impish grin
         I watch the nighthawks dodge his winged alert
         Tannins bruise his lips and secrets stay within
      But lo' I hear the whippoorwill when he has banished care
         A trilling waterfall and laughter fill the air


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 03 Dec 02 - 12:24 AM

Glad you like a good solid bone - Harpy
Most women do.

Thanks for the poem...its nice to know we are not alone.
The verse's not perverse, and yet, its tone alone,
Says, Sale will Sail in a full winded gale.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: InOBU
Date: 03 Dec 02 - 10:59 AM

Hi Garg... I have an old set of horse bones, I found as part of a whole horse, or his whole skeliton, on a beach in Kerry... nicely dried and a tad green from the sea... lovely look lovely sound... As to odd percussion instruments, Gene Shepard used to play his head with small hammers, I think he called it the Cuffinspeal, cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 03 Dec 02 - 12:30 PM

When I do Blacksmith demonstrations at folk concerts, I always end up hitting Red Hot Metal on the Anvil in time with the music. Even get a round of applause now and again for a particularly interesting syncopation.
The other strange percussion thing I have at home is a bean pod. Not sure where it originates from, it's about 2 1/2 inches wide by 14 inches long and has the dried seeds inside, which are loose and rattle.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 03 Dec 02 - 12:35 PM

John, In West Virginia those seed pods are called "Noisy Children" and come from a form of the Locust tree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd percussion indtruments
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 12:14 AM

We certainly march to the beat of a different (if not distant) drummer around here.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 02:53 AM

Richard H - the instrument you describe is known in German folk musik as Teufelsgeige = Devil's violin.

The oddest percussion instruments I played are in our local Volunteer Fire Department. I told my fellow firefighters that our fire house is full of music, and proved it by banging tow bars with a hatchet, coupling keys with the metal tipper of my triangle, and empty fire extinguishers with keys. We formed a rhythm group and banged happily away, sometimes shouting "cha-cha-cha".
At this occasion I added a big "whoof" blowing a B-nozzle with an euphonium mouthpiece (this is no percussion instrument, but it fitted very well).

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: GUEST,Rex on the work 'puter
Date: 05 Dec 02 - 12:04 PM

There's a friend of mine that has, yep, the jawbone of an ass. Like in the old minstrel shows. He has a piece of hardwood and runs it across the teeth. Sort of a rattle. It tends to scare folks in the audience. A percussion instrument I sometimes play to music is perhaps more like concussion. Artillery.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 10:52 AM

In Lortzing's opera Zar und Zimmermann (Czar and carpenter) there is a wonderful clog dance. Here the clogs are simulated by a woodblock.
Instead of that I used to clap two clogs over my head which made a good impression upon (or to, or on? Choose the right prep.) the audience.
The best however is the story how I bought them on the market. I choose the size fitting my wife's beautiful feet, and then I tested every pair for the sound. The saleswoman was flabbergasted. She had experienced a lot in her long life, she told me, but never before a customer choosing her clogs for their sound.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: PageOfCups
Date: 09 Dec 02 - 03:43 PM

I've got something I picked up at an art fair in Phoenix (antibiotics haven't helped ;-) ), and for the life of me I don't know what it's made of. It's a bunch of what look like itty bitty cow hoofs on a decorative cord. It makes a nice rattle-y sound. I like it. But I'd like to know what the heck I'm playing when I play it. Help?

PoC


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 07:05 PM

The Till Family Rock Band


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 08:13 PM

Went to see Rachel Unthank and the Winterset in Bristol this week. Becky plays percussion with her high heels on one track (Felton Lonnin, also on latest album).


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 08:41 PM

Jack - That looks more 'Melody' than straight percussion .


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 07:46 AM

Incidentally , reading back through , I see someone plays 'Head' with small hammers ! An old mate of mine , Steve Darrington , when he was playing keyboards and silly buggers in a band called Brewers Droop used to put an SM58 in his mouth and rap on his skull with his knuckles - by opening and closing his mouth he got a surpringly wide variety of sounds !!


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Grab
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 09:30 AM

LF, did he get it out again?! I can't help thinking of those stories about people who put a pool ball in their mouth for a bet and then find out about the phenomenon that your mouth will briefly open that wide but won't do it twice in a row, so they have to go to casualty and have someone take a crowbar to their jaw... :-)


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 10:42 AM

The Mic was on a stand , and not really INSIDE Steve's mouth ,but close enough to 'Pick Up' the varying sounds from Steves Skull ,
amplified by his open mouth !


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: GUEST,Trev
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 12:58 PM

I've seen two beer bottles used like a bodhran and tipper, also as bones. There's an interesting sound as they vibrate/rub together.

Also seen Gypsies using a wooden box/tea chest for a drum, sitting on it and drumming the cormers with hands.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: reggie miles
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 03:01 PM

Perhaps not so very odd in the traditional sense but an image of what I most often use can be found at the following link. my 1929 Maytag Custom Special Dixie Delta Deluxe Eldorado Rhythm Board.

I've been threatening to debut my urinal bongo set but I'm not sure the general public is quite ready for that yet.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 03:16 PM

An axe and a wrench.
I would hit the axe with the wrench to simulate a stardrill to back up a friend singing Sixteen Tons.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Dead Horse
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 03:37 PM

I use one of these
but not the plastic version, rather a home made wooden article done up to look like piano keys.
Its a simple way to create that Zydeco rub-board sound without having a corrugated iron vest round ya neck :-)
Lark in the Morning have a huge selection of weird and wunnerful instruments.
I also carry around a cajun triangle, two coconut halves, a shaky corn-cob, a wee tambourine, a shaky banana and some plastic knuckle dusters with bells on.
A true artist, thats wot I is, mate.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 06:18 PM

There is a group from somewhere on the eastern US seaboard who do tracklaying work songs. These are accompanied by the sound of hammers bashing rails into place. They toured the UK last year, bringing a set of sledgehammers and yards of steel rail with them. (I missed hearing them).

The most industrial thing I've ever heard was a performance by the Glasgow experimental-arts group Test Department in the early 90s. It was held in an abandoned locomotive factory that still had much of the original equipment in place. At one point there was a group of about a dozen people doing Stalinist-style callisthenics on a moving locomotive transporter (just visible through the smoke and flares) with a percussion ensemble of assorted metallophones, with the equivalent of the large gong in a gamelan ensemble being a suspended mixer bucket from a full-size premixed-concrete truck, whacked with six feet of railway line suspended from a chain. There was so much going on you could hardly hear it. There were several megalomanic shows like that in Glasgow around that time, I miss that stuff.

Nobody's mentioned the lagerphone yet.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 06:58 PM

I've been thinking about converting my two spun steel SCA helmet blanks into a bongo set...

Jack, we Aussies have drunk the lager phone under the table... it's easy to play, but a bugger to get the parts... :-)


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: azfiddle
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 10:16 PM

How about a slinky? The plastic ones don't work- you have to use the metal ones, but they come in several sizes which give somewhat different tonal qualities....


My bandmate introduced these at the Walnut Valley Festival in Kansas (Winfield) - sound sample on the "Contra dance set" on the myspace page or web page for Round the House.

Sharon


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Rowan
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 11:44 PM

Jack, we Aussies have drunk the lager phone under the table... it's easy to play, but a bugger to get the parts... :-)

Plastic seals are trickier to remove than the old cork seals and any platic left in the crown will deaden the tone. But if you collect the steel thingies that stop the wires on champagne corks from cutting through the cork, you can make a champerphone.

Linsey Pollak does a fine line in unusual instruments, some of which are percussion. Satay sticks tuned by varying their length while tapped might not be everyone's idea of "percussion" and the sound of gaffer tape coming off the roll (used in Kev the roadie) even less so but his most recent use of a bicycle (spokes, tyres, pump, saddle stem and chain) is seriously percussive.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 11:54 PM

Anyone mention push brooms? There's a wonderful stomp video on youtube with metal garbage cans and lid, plus push brooms used for percussion along with the dancers' shoes, hands, bodies, etc.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Rowan
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 01:37 AM

In the mid 70s there was a melodeon player in East Gippsland whose false teeth were not quite a perfect fit. The local ladies would queue to have him as a partner at the Saturday night dances because, while he danced, he'd keep them in his mouth but click away on them to the rhythm of the music; in their ear, while dancing!

Better than castanets.

And he'd do it occasionally while playing dance tunes, as well.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 04:49 AM

One of the Goon Shows had a plotline about a Spanish dancer who needed a large collection of false teeth to use as castanets, so she ambushed people to steal them.

The BBC came up with the most inspired sound effect I'ev ever heard - somebody being whacked on the back of the head with a mallet, followed by the clang of their false teeth falling into a bucket.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 09:38 AM

A bunch of Aussie steel workers achieved international fame as "The Tap Dogs" - percussive tap dancing.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: trevek
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 07:49 AM

A singer in Poland once told me of meeting an Estonian blacksmith who played 'tunes' by banging his anvil with his hammer.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 11:10 AM

On the Bristol Beeb Points West programme last night they had an Arab playing trad instruments plus a WW2 jerrycan, which in fact sounded pretty good.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 08:48 PM

Black bin-liner - about five minutes into this from Newfoundlanders Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers on YouTube.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: GUEST,erinmaidin
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 05:49 AM

Saw a duo in Indiana about 25 years ago (yes...I'm THAT old!). Two fellas, one on guitar and the other on various and sundry instruments of persecution....er...percussion. Anyway, the fella had a large square of old kitchen linoleum...about 18inch square...that he held on either side and "waffled" on....called it..actually...a "waffle board". Made a great "woompa woompa" sound and was particularly effective on that old gem "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport".


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 08:37 PM

That's a "wobble" board, introduced to UK audiences in the sixties asnd seventies (along with the Stylophone and didgeridoo) by Australian artist/entertainer/singer/songwriter Rolf Harris. "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" was one of numerous songs from his pen. He's still around, appeared at the Sidmouth Folk Festival some years back, and was more recently honoured? by being permitted to paint a portrait of HM the Queen.

I don't think linoleum would work - at least, not the stuff we used to get over here - too stiff and "dead". The sheet material used by Rolf Harris is known as hardboard, reconstituted wood fibre, smooth one side and textured the other. I think wobble-boards were even sold in music shops for a while.

Damn! Wikipedia says all that and more - should have looked first.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Dead Horse
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 04:17 AM

I guess the ultimate in "Shaky Things" would be a Quality Street tin loaded with nuts n bolts or marbles.
You might even be welcomed into a song circle until ya started shakin it :-)


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: trevek
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 01:42 PM

Talking of digeridoos, a firned of mine used one as a persussion instrument of a different time.

He got into a fight with someone at a party. The person pulled a knife, whereupon Rab grabbed the nearest thing... a didge... and percussed the knifeman's head with it... In Rab's words, "I didgeri-done him".

Mentioning trays, Spider Stacey of the Pogues used to batter his head with a beer tray.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Kaleea
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 06:29 PM

Years ago when I was teaching Music, I had some special ed students who had limited use of their limbs, & required very lightweight & easy to hold & play items which could be shaken, tapped, etc. I also used some long seed pods as shakers, which I picked right up off the ground in front of a school building in addition to various sticks, which have long been some of my favorite percussion instruments.
I like to use an oriental fan--not the type which unfolds, but one which might be shaped as an oval (or whatever) in which silk is stretched over a wire frame & is held by a handle. This is terrific for kids to tap gently & they sound quietly drumlike, each having a different pitch.
I suspended from a string a very long bolt (@ 11") used in making jet planes, then held it for the child to tap with any metal implement (spoon, triangle beater, etc., or if nothing else, a stick). This makes a wonderful long ringing tone! If you wiggle it as it rings it creates a vibratolike tone. I once rang it & held it near the ear of one child from behind & found out that he was not deaf as his parents & Dr.'s had believed! I showed the aircraft bolts (& other stuff) to the the head of percussion at my alma mater, & he was intringued. Since the aircraft industry was the main industry in that small city, he wrote a musical work for orchestra & suspended aircraft bolts of various lengths.
I also have fun playing percussively on my little Celtic Harp. There are a great many sounds you can coax out of a Harp, & other instruments for that matter, & you don't need to be Tommy Emmanuel to do it. The famous 20th century composer John Cage wrote & performed piano works playing the insides of a grand piano.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 06:57 PM

I have a Tibetan ringing bowl beside this computer. I haven't figured out a performance use for it but I like to bong it every so often, it makes the same sort of long ringing tone leeneia described.

An even more private percussion instrument is the lid of a large wok. Balance it on your head and hit the rim. You get an amazing stereophonic gong sound.

Laurence Picken's book on Turkish folk instruments tries to apply the Sachs-Hornbostel classification to this sort of thing - most of the taxonomic space is taken up with children's toys. My favourite was popping a just-turned wet clay pot by smacking it flat with your hand.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: RangerSteve
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:40 AM

Don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but bottle caps, the kind that pop up when you first open the bottle - Snapple caps are the best, you put the cap over your mouth and push the middle in and out with your finger, moving your tongue back and forth to get different notes. Snapple ran a radio ad with a professional rock drummer playing one. It's a great way to annoy your co-workers.


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 02:05 PM

What about claves clah vays (what my kindergarten teacher called rhythm sticks)?

Thinking about getting a pair, because they would do well with some blues songs and even Poverty Knocks to replicate sound of loom.

Would they be considered too latin?


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: John P
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:30 PM

As someone who started driving my parents out of their minds at age 5 by drumming on everything in sight, I can confidently say that ANYTHING can be a percussion instrument.

legs
stomach
butt
cereal boxes
light bulbs (don't try this at home . . .)
water bottle
any type of pipe
telephone
adding machine
clothing
mattress
garden hose
kelp
any kind of food
paper
garden shears
spouse
cats and dogs
fish tank
bicycle (lots of different drums there)

My ex-wife actually has an album credit for playing "scrap lumber". The bodran was being too boomy, and the studio was undergoing a remodeling project.

John


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 07:25 PM

Just reminiscing last night as a friend was showing off his latest birthday present of a proper cajon "complete with pre-amp" to boot, that a few years ago guys were just sitting on cardboard boxes and slapping them with snare drum brushes!
And like John P, if you're caught napping without your bodhran, djembe, shaky eggs, triangle or full set of timpani, then anything goes!


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Subject: RE: Odd percussion instruments
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 02:29 PM

When the Electropathics recorded Martin Graebe's "Stonecracker John" we wanted some appropriate percussion. Our percussionist Pierce Butler had an impressive selection of bangy things, but nothing made the right sound. We ended up using metal extension tubes taken from the studio's vacuum cleaner, which we banged on the floor.

Sadly, the vacuum cleaner never made it to the live performances.


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