Homemade percussion - Sticks and Beaters

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The shape, length thickness, weight and other characteristics of the beater are as important as the instrument itself. Whether from drums or common objects a wide range of sounds can be extracted by the use of different beaters and striking areas.

Start with dowels from the hardware store in many thicknesses and several lengths from 8" to 15", with the edges sanded (rounded off). These sticks are instruments unto themselves, and in addition to using them as beaters, they are useful spread out asccording to pitch on a sheet of foam or thick cloth, played with other sticks.

Improvising sticks and beaters is an art. You can use chopsticks, including the larger cooking chopsticks, or pencils, perhaps with "pencil pillow" cushions glued on the end, knitting needles, and even with polycarbonate beverage containers like the one at lower left...

Photos of a few of our favorite beaters are forthcoming. We'll be sharing the way various sticks and beaters are made from dowels, latex tubing, rubber and other tape , felt, leather, etc.. in the meantime..here are a couple of lihks:

Superball mallets

How to make a 2x4 xylophone

How to make Surdo (Brazilian bass drum) mallets



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