If you’ve ever gone shopping in a music store for a simple xylophone or marimba, you’ll have discovered how outrageously expensive commercially made instruments can be.
Perhaps you want to buy some instruments for a music class, but simply don't have the budget...
Maybe you want to give the gift of music to a child and thought a musical instrument made with old fashioned quality would be great... but just too expensive right?
Here is your solution!
Have you ever thought about building your own instruments?
Can it really be that complicated?
They are after all, just a few bits of wood on top of a specially shaped resonator box. All you need to know is how to tune the bars and the correct size and shape to make the box and you should be fine.. right?
Well actually there IS a bit more to it than that….
… you do need to know a little bit about acoustics and the way that musical instruments work in order to be able to design a xylophone that is going to sound tuneful.
But… that is where this page will help you. I've already solved all those problems for you! I’ve got all the information you need to complete this professional looking project yourself in just a few hours - and very cheaply!
My name is Jim McCarthy. I’m the owner of numerous websites about percussion and drumming, and I’ve been involved with drums and percussion for many years - In fact I've even got a Masters degree in percussion!
I've always been into building things - I've built many instruments before, infact I've even built enormous bass marimbas!
However, today I’m going to share with you a project that arouse out of a problem with a school budget.
You see, my wife is a general music teacher. At her first school she had a very small budget for instruments, and needed to complete a class set of xylophones for her junior music classes. She had a few instruments, but needed at least 10 more to complete the set.
At the time, the best quote she could get was $220 per instrument, and she needed ten of them, so it was going to cost her $2,200 just for these xylophones.
There was absolutely no way the school could pay more than $500 – so we decided to make them as a project for the school.
I discovered that it really wasn’t that difficult – as I’d experimented with making my own instruments before, and we set about making a set of ten of these instruments
The results were far better than even I expected! The materials cost less than $300 for all ten instruments, and they sounded just as good as the commercial instruments she would have purchased.
Lets have a listen to this instrument – I’ve recorded myself performing “When the saints go marching in” as a duet:
Step by step instructions for building the 11 note box-resonated xylophone
Exact size templates to use for cutting out the more difficult shaped pieces of the resonating box
61 photos and diagrams detailing every step
MP3 files of “sine waves” – (clean and clear tones) of the exact pitches that you need to tune the bars to.
Here are some sample pages that you’ll find in the e-book building guide:
And some of the template files included:
Don’t waste another minute surfing the internet, when the information you need is right here
All the Hard work is done for you!
The exact measurements of the bars that work every time, no matter the wood you are using
The method of building a resonating box that will make each bar sing sweetly
The measurements of where to place each bars mounting hole in the exact “nodal point” (the point where the sound will not be affected)
The most important trick to make sure that the box resonates correctly as it should
How to raise or lower the pitch of the bar by sanding in the correct places
Your comprehensive building guide comes as a 26 page printable pdf file, along with the templates and mp3 files. Its all packaged up in a zip file, which you have instant access to on the next page.
Plus you get this cool BONUS #1!
Once you have your instrument finished you will want to play something on it. Sheet music is usually only a few dollars to buy, but it can cost you HEAPS of time finding something suitable for your instrument which is easy to learn and sounds cool. That's why I've written loads of music especially for this instrument - and I'm giving you your first piece completely free!
Having an instrument without music is like having a toy without batteries....
Well when you build THIS instrument, the music is included!
AND Cool BONUS #2!
Free One Month's subscription to Percussion Keys Website!
This is Definitely for You if you want to learn more about playing & building marimbas, xylophones and other percussion instruments.
You have FULL access to:
The entire "KEYS" video tutorial series, teaching YOU to play marimba & vibes.
Member's forum and Q&A Section.
Monthly Lessons and Videos asked for by YOU, the user.
A Unique library of useful downloads & FAQ for instrument builders and percussionists.
Free sheet music and exercise sheets.
"Cool Videos" of the month.
The retail price of "Percussion Keys" membership is normally $4.95 to set up and just $13.95 per month. BUT... for this one time only as a bonus for purchasing this building guide - you have the option to get that first month's $13.95 free! And of course you have absolutely no obligation to continue your membership past the first month, so you have nothing to lose. Even the tiny $4.95 set up cost is no risk, because it is covered by my 100% money back guarantee. You decide it's not for you...? Then just tell me and I'll give you a full refund.
Do I need to be good at woodworking to achieve this?
Absolutely not! I’m not a carpenter - I’m a musician. And I have made loads of these instruments in the past, and they really are quite easy. These days I can make one easily within one afternoon.
Even if you’ve hardly ever picked up a hammer or a saw in your life I’m confident that you’ll be able to achieve a workable instrument using these plans. Of course I've picked up a few clues over my time designing and building instruments, but I've put all the important construction tips in the package for you.
It will take you a few hours work, and you’ll have nice and workable instrument. If you’d like to make a class set you’ll also be able to save time by making the instruments in bulk.
The great thing about this project is that it will work for you, no matter what wood you have available
Concert quality instruments are usually made from Honduras Rosewood or African padouk, and obviously the better wood you have access to the better instrument you’ll be able to make. However you can make this instrument from just about any hardwood (eg, Oak, Durian or Meranti).
A basic electronic tuner is highly recommended. Any chromatic tuner will do the job, and you can get a really basic electronic tuner from any music store for around $50, or simply borrow one from a friend to get the job done! These tuners are incredibly common – nearly all professional musicians or music teachers either own one or have a friend who owns one.
BUT... if you don’t have access to one, don’t worry – as I’ve included a full set of sine waves (clear and clean tones) that you can use to tune the notes by ear. If you have a musical ear it is really easy to do it this way.
Is my homemade instrument going to sound as good as the commercially available instrument?
I'm not going to suggest that you can build an instrument which will sound identical to the commercially available instrument, not with basic wood that you can get from the hardware store. However - have a listen to these samples, and you'll see that there is very little difference between them!
Commercially Made Instrument
(This particular one costs over $300 to buy new)
Home Made Version, the instrument pictured in this e-book
Can you hear the difference? Most people can hear a slight difference in favour of the professional instrument, but its hardly even worth considering, especially when you factor in the extra cost of the professional instrument!
Do I have to wait for anything to be shipped to me?
Absolutely Not! you can instantly download the plans in pdf format (which prints out in the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which nearly all computers already have installed). Then you can start building immediately!
Does the plans have both Metric and Imperial Measurements?
YES! Wherever measurements are included they have both metric (millimetres), and Imperial (feet and inches).
You have 56 Days to test out my plans….
Your 100% Money Back Guarantee You have 56 days so that you can fully try out the product!
It took me nearly ten years to build up the skills to effectively tune bars and design resonating boxes that worked, and that’s why I know my plans work.
Obviously I can’t build the instrument for you, and your success is going to be determined by a little bit of your own efforts.
If however, you feel that my plans are at fault and they don’t work for you then simply contact clickbank within 56 days for a full refund of the purchase price of this building guide – no questions asked. In fact I insist! I don't want your money if you can't successfully use them to make your own instruments.
You get instant access to the plans for just $27 US Dollars, so you can start building immediately!
You can look up the equivalent in your currency by checking on www.xe.com.
At the time that I’m writing this webpage the cheapest available equivalent commercial instrument I can find listed anywhere is $220. This is certainly not the best, or even recommended! Look for yourself and you’ll find that these instruments often cost upwards of $300 each.
Lets have a look at the following table to see what you can save if you are considering making a class set for your school:
Number of Xylophones you wish to build or buy
Cheapest Available Commercial Instrument
This is real money that can be put to good use elsewhere in your school music program, just like my wife did in her school.
You don't have to do it all yourself - you can even give the plans to your woodworking classes or parent club to make as a project – so it doesn’t need to cost the earth in materials or in your precious labour!
Even if you just wish to build one xylophone for a gift for a child these plans make it really affordable and achievable, as well as being an interesting project for you to complete.
P.S. There's no tricks here - just real quality information that you won't find anywhere else!
P.P.S. Want to get this together with the plans for other marimbas? Check out my package deal.
The informational products available at makeamarimba.com and buildavibraphone.com are designed to give the user all the information required to build the corresponding instruments to the same level and finish as the original prototypes pictured on the websites. The final results produced by the end user are naturally dependent partially on their own abilities and efforts. Some of the skills and techniques described in the building guides may require the end user to practise a little before a high proficiency is achieved. This is an expected part of the building process. Once these skills are sufficiently achieved however, the end user if using due care, should be able to build an instrument for a significantly lower cost than that of any commercially equivalent model.