Make your own Boom Whackers

My cousins recently attended a concert by the Blue Man Group and loved it. I am jealous! You can add their widget here.


Trying to capture some of that excitement back here at home, the kids and I experimented with a variety of percussion instruments ourselves, accompanying Shania Twain no less!

It also reminded me that I have been wanting to make my own boomwhacker-type instruments which are probably similar to one of the many instruments used by The Blue Man Group.

Thank you Dr. Dan Bruton, Dr. Walter Trikosko and Stephen F. of Austin State University for these great instructions for DIY boomwhackers and gravity chimes!!

They also include a powerpoint presentation to help you use the musical tubes for discussion of both music and science.

DIY "Boom Whackers"

You can get sheet music for boom whackers and you can see lots of different groups using boom whackers in action.

You can also buy the original Boom Whackers (about $25) if you don't want to make them. 

3 comments:

Michelle L said...

I'm trying to find the insturctions on how to do this, but am being unsuccessful. Could you give me a materials list? I'm sure I could figured everything else out on my own.
Thanks!

Quon_mom said...

Thank you for letting me know the link no longer works Michelle!

I've emailed the professors in hopes of finding an updated link or the original document to post here.

Here is an old cached copy of their instructions. The text is no longer aligned in tables but maybe you can still figure out the lengths of the fluorescent lighting protectors.

Best of luck to you!!!

B O O M W H A C K E R S by Dr. Dan Bruton and Dr. Walter Trikosko Stephen F. Austin State University Email: astro@sfasu.edu Boom Whackers are eight plastic tubes with different lengths use for eight notes. These can be purchased for about $25 online or you can make your own. It is possible to construct these yourself using clear polycarbonate fluorescent tube lamp guards. These tube are designed to protect florescent tubes from shattering and can be found at Lowe s or other hardware stores. TUBE COLOR Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Magenta None NOTE C D E F G A B C LENGTH (inches) 24 1/2 21 3/4 19 1/4 18 1/8 16 14 1/8 12 1/2 11 3/4 . The tubes normally come in 46.25 and 92.25 in length with a diameter of about 1.625 . Note that the end-caps provided with the tubes can be used on each tube to create other notes. We put black duct tape over the opening in these caps. This can demonstrate the difference in natural frequencies between open end and closed end organ pipes of the same length. We taped pieces of colored paper in each tube to make it easy to sort the tubes by note. These colors are used on our PowerPoint music sheets below. The tubes can be cut with scissors or a sharp knife. The following cutting procedure can results in a complete set of tubes for the table above. 46.25 Lamp Guard: 24 1/2" + 21 3/4" 46.25 92.25 Lamp Guard: 19 1/4 + 18 1/8 + 16" + 14 1/8 + 12 1/2 + 11 3/4 91.75 HOW TO USE: Have students hit their head (or palm) with the tube with appropriate timing. PowerPoint Slides with Music: http://www.tsaapt.org/demos.html Inspire groups to work together by challenging them to make music together. Give each team member a different sized Boom Whackers have them come up with a rhythmic creation in 10 minutes then listen in awe to their live performances. Aside from the energy and fun this creates you'll enjoy a rich discussion about the challenges of leadership and teaming. Close Encounters: D E C C G

Quon_mom said...

@Michelle L
I just heard back from Dr. Bruton! He gave me the new links for the instructions. I hope you enjoy making them :-)

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