- Large tin can: I use a recycled restaurant or cafeteria can that is about 7” in height and 6 “ in diameter. Any sized can will do but it needs to be tin, not aluminum.
- Clear packing tape in a dispenser that easily cuts the tape
- Colored duct tape or plastic tape for decoration, enough to cover the can and the sticks.
- Wooden dowels- 3/8 of an inch diameter, 2 pieces that are 12” in length
- Can opener
- Tape measurer
What to Do:
Making the Drum
- Wash the can and remove the label.
- Cut out the top and bottom of the can with a can opener. Be careful of the sharp edges.
- Make the packing tape drum head:
- It’s important to stretch the tape over the can as tight as possible.
- The tighter the stretch, the better the sound.
- Pull the first piece over the “head” and then add the second piece on the other side like an “X”. Stretch it as tightly as possible. Continue to add tape pieces, stretching across the middle, until the head is completely covered. Press down the adhesive of the tape to secure it. Tap on the drum with a finger or small stick. It should “sing “ and have some sustain in the vibration. If you think you could get the packing tape head tighter, try again. It’s easier to start over before the drum is decorated.
- Decorate with colorful plastic tape. When I use colored duct tape, I usually use only half the width. It tears without using scissors.
Making the Sticks
- Measure and saw 2 one-foot lengths of 3/8” wooden dowel. This is a diameter that gets a good sound on the drum but other lengths and diameters would work.
- Using sandpaper, soften the edges on the playing end of the stick (optional)
- Decorate the sticks with colored tape.
How to Play It:
It’s easy to get 3 distinct sounds when you play the can drum.
OPEN – striking with the stick near the middle and letting the vibration “sing”
MUFF – placing one hand on the head to mute the sound and striking with the stick
CLICK – striking the stick on the metal shell to get a click sound.