How to Build a Drumbone

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How to Build a Drumbone
Build a Drumbone

The drumbone is one variety of PVC pipe instruments made popular by the performance group Blue Man Group. If you're a fan of the Blue Man Group music or just like to play around with musical instruments, a drumbone is an easy way for you to build your own pipe instrument. While there are many varieties, the basic parts are just 2 PVC pipes.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 5 feet of 4-inch PVC pipe
  • 6 feet of 3-inch PVC pipe
  • 5 3-inch elbow couplers
  • 1 4-3 inch reducer elbow coupler
  • PVC glue

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  1. 1

    Cut the 4-inch tube into equal pieces of 2-1/2 feet each. Cut 1 foot off of the 3-inch tube, and cut this piece into four 3-inch long pieces. Cut the rest of the 3-inch tube in half into 2 equal pieces of 2-1/2 feet each.

  2. 2

    Use the short PVC pipe pieces to construct 2 "U"s with the elbows. These are basically just for show to create the well-known look of the drumbone, so you can have them pointing in any direction when you connect them to the large pieces but may want to consult a picture to make it look like the original drumbone model.

  3. 3

    Use the reducer coupler to affix one of the "U"s to one 4-inch piece of tube. This tube will have a 3-inch diameter piece fitted inside of it for the "slide" of the drumbone. On the other end of the same U-segment, affix a large section of the 3-inch pipe and fit another large section of the 4-inch pipe over it. This can either be screwed or taped in place, or left to serve as another "slide."

  4. 4

    Build the other half of the drumbone by affixing the other "U" segment to a large piece of the 3-inch diameter pipe. You can add more pipe with couplers to the end of the "U" segment for show or to drum on.

  5. 5

    Fit the horizontal 3-inch diameter pipe into the horizontal 4-inch diameter pipe. Slide them in and out and drum various places on the pipe to produce different pitches. You can tune your drumbone or just experiment.

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