Morning all. It’s all go as usual, but just a moment spare to post up this picture of a thumb piano that was brought back from Hawaii by some kind parents! In Africa you might call it an Mbira. It’s a really nice little thing, just a gourd with a flat painted top and metal keys screwed into the top. Quite resonant and elegant in design!
There’ll be more interesting articles showing up on the blog I reckon, since a house move has thrown up all manner of undiscovered small musical instruments that I’ve been collecting since the dawn of time. Anything can be a musical instrument of course….
I strongly recommend this book.. “Music of the Whole Earth” by David Reck. It has some absolutely great stuff in it about different people’s music, and how to make all sorts of instruments out of really basic materials! Experiment, make things… It’s class. I’ve always found pan lids and woks make great instruments if you can hang them successfully from the ceiling… But that’s obvious! Less obvious is the scalextric engine guitar pick, which you’ll see up here soon…..And watch this space for a video masterclass on playing your guitar like a flute from the famous Surrey musician, J. Mitchell.
Why not learn Steppenwolf songs then divvy up the parts between lots of friends with thumb pianos, pan lids, dangerously spelky homemade guitars etc etc, then get a suitcase bass drum and hit Durham Marketplace about 10am on a Saturday Morning. That’s what I would do people.