A steel tongue drum is made from an empty propane tank. The tank is flipped over, the base cut/knocked off; and seven to eleven tongues are cut radially into the bottom of the tank, forming the top of the instrument.The tongues can be tuned by the player by varying the length of the cuts.The steel tongue drum is often tuned to pentatonic scales but can be tuned to the diatonic scale, the chromatic scale,or any set of notes the maker chooses.The instrument is played with the fingers or with mallets.
Beginning with rough, raw steel every Oscar drum is transformed by dedicated hands here in Ontario through a meticulous process to become this unique and cherished instrument of heirloom quality.
The Process (in short): Form the steel, precision cut it, weld, treat, grind (leaving no seams),tune,sand,paint the inside, dry, paint the outside,dry, and the inside and the outside (silky smooth), paint with custom design,dry (yes,there is a lot of waiting for paint to dry, which is when we make the drum mallets and ring cushions), paint with clear protective finishing, dry, final tuning, and then the sticker of approval!
A little bit more about our tuning: The drums are tuned inaudibly sharp and will come into perfect tuning after a few weeks of playing. They will sustain their tuning for many years after which they may drop slightly from metal fatigue. Our drums are primarily built in small batches to ensure high quality and care in every step of the process and every drum is tuned by hand.
Once packaged in its carrying case,the Oscar Steel Drum is ready for eager eyes and ears.The whole process can take up to two to three months,with every step being carefully double and triple checked along the way. It is for this very reason we guarantee the Oscar Steel Drum for life.
A tongue drum is a musical drum that has parts of the exterior cut, or slit, to provide for a certain sound when the user strikes a portion of the drum. Our drum is made of a metal steel. Its design features a round metal surface with C shaped cuts, providing for a variety of tones.Usually,the way a tongue drum is set up, striking various parts of the drum will provide different tones for the percussion.