Level of Difficulty: intermediate

Age levels: 12 and up.

amateur to pro

It is always amazing the variety of materials that can be used for drum shells. The main prerequisite is that the rim be able to handle enough tension to allow for the shrinking of the skin when it dries.. I this case, the threads on the rim of the pork rind jar gave it plenty of rigidity for the task..






Pork Rind Jar drum

A guitar player friend of mine thought of me one day as his associates at work were tossing out the trash, and rescued this superlight pork rind jar for my collection. Good eye, Guy Minervini! Way to watch..

it sounded pretty good as an ideophone, but what the heck, we decided to slap a head on it. The bottom thread came out ewnough to make a good lip to work with.

We took a 10" goatskin and soaked it for about 15 minutes. Holding it over the rim, we fashioned a slip knot, like you would use on the end of a yoyo string for a finger loop. We put it around the lip on the mouth of the jar, pulled it tight, making sure to pull the skin evenly and remove all the wrinkles from beneath the twine.

Normally a drop of superglue would have secured the line, but we had none on hand. We had only Elmers wood glue, which would not be enough to hold the twine. hmm..

Len thought a minute, then tied a piece of thin leather that had been laying around onto the end of the twine. Two more times around the rim, then the Elmer's, which soaked into the leather a little better than it would have done with the twine. it worked like a charm.

It dried, and sounded good, but needed to breathe more. We began to experiment with the idea of a sound hole. With a hot punch, heated on a gas stove, we made, then enlarged a hole in the side. This helped a lot, although the plastic was so thin that it became hard to keep the hole in round as we enlarged it. It retrospect, we might have decided beforehand on the size of the hole and heated some other metal item that would have made the hole more cleanly at the desired size.

Please send feedback. Thanks for looking..



Sound Sample!

Listen to the pork rind jar drum. This is about three passes of pork rind jar at various tunings, achieved by rubbing a wet hand over the drum to bring it down. The bass which kicks in after 8 bars is water bottle loop take down 5 half steps in pitch..


This drum is very similar to the coffee can drum.

The simplicity of the design requires that one tune the old way: with heat to tune up , and water to tune down.

There are certain advantages in playing with the skin tight, and certain advantages in having it somewhat loose.

Click for detail.


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