Monday, 5 December 2016

The Thump Piano

The last three steps in this instructable show you how to make some slightly different Mbiras to the one the instructable is about.
As a person living in Southern Africa, I have seen many of these over the years but never personally owned one, so I thought I would give it a try to make my own.

The type of Mbira in this instructable has a resonator box, a chamber that does the same thing a guitar's resonator box does; it allows the sound to "bounce around" inside and there is only one hole in the front of the instrument for it to escape from. The effect this has is the pitch of the instrument will be lower and the vibrations (and sound) will last longer for more pleasing notes.

These are quite fun to make and you have quite a bit of freedom in the design, the shape of the box will be the main thing to change to make the instrument look more appealing. You may also add a coat of your choice to it to make it look better and more personalized.

I am afraid I cannot really play these yet, only make them so I cannot tell you how to do that, but you will have loads of fun just playing random notes!
Experiment with a few designs. The purpose if this guide is not for you to follow specific things like the size of the Mbira or the number of Tines (the things you pluck); but rather to look at the important rules of making one that ensure that it will function, then doing your own project with the details up to you.

The Mbira is a basic instrument, but be prepared to spend a long time making yours! To make a decent one you will need about 5 hours. To make a really good one you will need more than 12.
The real beauty of this instrument is that I did not need to leave my house to find the materials I needed for it. You can make one out of anything!
culled from

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