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  • Drume Music

How to Make a Steel Tongue Drum

Updated: Aug 31

In recent years, many musicians have begun to incorporate steel tongue drums into their compositions. Steel tongue drums are unusual instruments in that they resonate from the player's drum sticks hitting either the top or the bottom of the drum, rather than just on the head like most percussion instruments.

What is a Steel Tongue Drum?

A steel tongue drum is a percussion instrument with a unique, soothing sound. The instrument is played by holding it in your lap and using your hands or mallets to strike the tongues, which are tuned to different notes. Steel tongue drums can be used for relaxation, meditation, or simply to enjoy the calming sounds they produce.

Where to start?

If you're interested in making your own steel tongue drum, there are a few things you'll need to get started. First, you'll need a piece of steel sheet metal. You can find this at most hardware stores. Next, you'll need a hammer and chisel to cut out the circles for the top and bottom of the drum. Once you have those two pieces cut out, you'll need to use a jigsaw to cut out the slots for the tongues. Finally, you'll need to drill holes for the lugs that will hold the drum together.

What do I need to make a steel tongue drum?

In order to make a steel tongue drum, you will need the following: -A piece of steel plate (you can find this at your local hardware store) -A welder -A jigsaw or bandsaw -A grinder -A drill -A set of files -A hammer -An anvil -A set of chisels -A set of tongs - A torch (optional)

Step by Step of how to make a steel tongue drum

A steel tongue drum is a type of percussion instrument that consists of a steel shell with tongues (metal plates) of different lengths and thicknesses attached to the top. The tongues are struck with mallets to produce sound. The first step in making a steel tongue drum is to choose the right material for the shell. The most common choices are stainless steel, carbon steel, or aluminum. Each option has its own set of pros and cons, so it's important to do some research before making a decision. Once you've chosen the material for your shell, the next step is to cut out the desired shape. This can be done with a saw or laser cutter. If you're not experienced in working with these tools, it's best to have someone else do this step for you. After the shell has been cut out, the next step is to attach the tongues. This is typically done by welding them onto the shell, but rivets or bolts can also be used. Once again, if you're not experienced in working with these materials, it's best to have someone else do this step for you. Once the tongues are attached, the final step is to tune them to create the desired sound. This can be done by striking each tongue with a hammer and listening to the pitch that is produced. The pitches can then be adjusted by lengthening or shortenening each tongue.


Steel tongue drums are a great way to relax and unwind. They are also a great tool for meditation and can be used to create a variety of sounds. If you're interested in making your own steel tongue drum, follow the steps outlined in this article and you'll be on your way to creating beautiful music in no time.


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