Harmonic Drums from Propane Tank

Percussion instruments are rarely melodic, so I wanted to make a harmonic instrument for drummers.

I'd seen several online examples of DIY "hank drums," which are given that name because they're made from propane tanks, but their hollow resonant structure gives them an ethereal sound that resembles hang drums.

These drums were tuned to pentatonic scales. This means that a player could play any chord or progression of notes, and it would always sound harmonious.




the process

The basic principle of these drums is modeled after the tongue drum, where a tongue-shaped piece is suspended from the rest of the material. The longer the tongue, the longer the wavelength of its resonant frequency when it oscillates. So longer pieces have lower pitches.

I used an angle grinder and jigsaw to cut into the propane tanks, and I used a digital tuner to cut precise lengths for accurate pitches.

Tuning using Processing.
Yes that is a public bathroom in the background. Times were rough.