Download Plans to Make or build a marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, glockenspiel, metalophone

Download these blueprints for building a professional marimba, Vibraphone, Xylophone, metalophone and Glockenspiel - all without special materials or tools.

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You are looking for a serious concert instrument, not a toy, but you simply can’t afford a commercial instrument

You are a percussion student or a parent of a percussion student, and you are looking for an inexpensive practice instrument for the home

You are looking for a really fun project to build which will be a real talking pont and source of joy for years to come.

Are looking for an inexpensive way to get Instruments for Schools for classroom percussion ensembles

You are you looking for an instrument that will suit a student right through their high school years, even for music exams

because after all… they are just planks of wood siting on a frame, with resonating tubes to amplify the sound.

And of course if you are after a fully professional Five Octave Marimba then be prepared to fork over closer to $20, 000!!

Furthermore, even for a small box resonated xylophone you can pay upwards of $400 for a good quality instrument.. and schools need to buy full class sets of them…

I’ve also built many other instruments in my time, from small xylophones to ultra large Bass Marimbas. What I’ve done is refined my building processes into step by step building guides for five instruments, The Simple Glockenspiel, The Box Xylophone, the Two Octave Mini Marimba, Three Octave Concert Marimba, the Three Octave Concert Vibraphone and more recently, the Pro Five Octave Concert Marimba

Concert quality marimbas 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 these instruments from just about any hardwood (eg, Durian or Meranti).

Absolutely not! I’m not a carpenter – I’m a musician. Most of the skills required are fairly basic woodwork – measuring, cutting and sanding.

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.

Obviously the better your tuning, the better yoiur instrument will sound. It IS possible to tune a marimba purely by ear, but at least 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.

If you want to make life even easier, and get a fully professional tuning result, Peterson make tuning software you can buy online for less than $100 USD – which is PERFECT. All these various options are thoroughly discussd in the building guide.

Of course if you are saving extra money by using a cheaper timber for the bars then you can’t expect them to sound like one of the traditional timbers used for marimbas. And of course the final sound will also depend on the care and precision with which you make and tune your bars. BUT… particularly with the P524 or PV guide which are designed for fully professional instrumets – ALL the information you need to make your marimba or vibraphone sound exactly like a commercial one, is supplied in your building guides.

And you can get PVC pipe at just about any hardware store, as it is usually used for drainpipes around just about any home! Of course – if you really want to use different materials for your resonators, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you. The building guide… Read more…

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