Tube drum musical percussion instruments from old useless bamboo

Bamboo is an incredibly useful plant! 

 Freshly harvested 3 year old bamboo pole

Freshly harvested 3 year old bamboo pole

The list of uses for bamboo is seemingly endless.   Pretty much since the dawn of humanity, we have found uses for the plant and continue to find new uses all the time!   Even Gucci handbags jumped on the bamboo bandwagon in 1947!  Here’s a fascinating look at bamboo through time.  Bamboo uses through history

Bamboo is used in the production of thousands of modern products.  Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of the 12 industries utilizing this renewable, sustainable resource.  Products made from bamboo

BUT, once a bamboo pole undergoes certain changes, it’s usefulness is quite diminished.  Here at Domestic Bamboo Crafters, we are working on finding crafty uses for the entire pole and extending its useful life.

Bamboo culms shoot from the ground in the spring at the diameter they will be for the rest of their life.  In the first year, they are quite green with thin walls and are reminiscent of what tall thick grass would be like… well because that’s what bamboo is!

 Old cracked bamboo... perfect!

Old cracked bamboo... perfect!

During their 2nd and 3rd year, the color of the culms yellows and dulls somewhat.  They become woodier and develop their legendary strength and flexibility.  If left in the grove for another couple of years or so they begin to deteriorate.  Also, harvested untreated poles if left out in the elements undergo a similar but much more rapid evolution.

One of the things that happen is the poles begin to split.  Typically at that point, it’s more or less run its course of usefulness.  It’s strength and rigidity as a pole is compromised.  Some life might be gained by splitting the pole and using the split pieces.  Depending on the deterioration however, it may just be too late and they become fodder for story time around the fire.



american made bamboo tube drum

Nature made musical percussion instrument

HOWEVER, all is not lost-  We discovered that sections of bamboo in this state have become great little musical percussion chambers all on their own!  In fact, when paired with the right beater stick, these are downright loud!  The digital audio doesn’t do these justice.  You can actually feel the intensity of the percussion, they really cut through!

These sweet little musical oddities can be found at our shop here: Musical instruments

The set you see me working with in the video below can be seen and played, if you hurry,  at The Hungry Buffalo restaurant and gift shop in Hocking Hills Ohio.

Making tube drum instruments out of otherwise useless bamboo

Here is a video of me explaining some of this.  Plus, the set you see me working with in it can be seen and played, if you hurry,  at The Hungry Buffalo restaurant and gift shop in Hocking Hills Ohio.

Bamboo is incredibly useful, and I make percussion instruments, musical drums so to speak out of old bamboo that otherwise is mostly useless.