Yes, even YOU can make these exact instruments in a snap with these Step By Step plans and video instructions – and it’s much easier than you might think!
Imagine… You have a whole range of professional mallet instruments… the musicians are fascinated and you STILL have budget to spare!
If any of these apply to you, then read more…..
Then read further to learn about the solutions offered on this page…..
Have you ever looked at Marimbas or Xylophones in the music stores and wondered…
“……How on earth can these instruments cost so much?”
because after all… they are just planks of wood siting on a frame, with resonating tubes to amplify the sound.
and the last time I checked, the best price I could find of a student model three octave marimba was $2750 (USD) – There may of course be cheaper ones, but to get a reasonable concert instrument will cost upwards of $5000.
And of course if you are after a fully professional Five Octave Marimba then be prepared to fork over closer to $20, 000!!
Furthermore, even for a small box resonated xylophone you can pay upwards of $400 for a good quality instrument.. and schools need to buy full class sets of them…
but not all students or parents have this kind of money…
even schools prefer to spend it elsewhere…
That’s why I’ve created this solution for You…
Firstly, let me introduce myself.
My name is Jim McCarthy, and I’ve been a percussionist for over 20 years.
I’ve always had a passion for building things, and over the years I’ve had a LOT to do with building and designng marimbas especially for other people to build. I’d never consider myself a professional at woodworking or trades though – I’ve always been a musician first.
and this means that if I can build these projects… You can easily do it as well. You don’t need to do any of the design, thinking, hard work and making mistakes – I’ve already done all that for you!
When I studied for my masters degree I got really into Acoustics and learned all about how Marimbas were built – I even made some massive, world record bass marimbas to indulge my hobby…
But these days my goals are much more practical… I design instruments especially for people like you. It started years ago when I built a few instruments to assist my wife in her school music program. You may have seen the Project 1 Box resonated Xylophone, or the Project 2 mini-marimba which people all around the world are already building to save money for their schools, as well as being interesting to play and enjoy for children.
I’ve also built many other instruments in my time, from small xylophones to ultra large Bass Marimbas. What I’ve done is refined my building processes into step by step building guides for five instruments, The Simple Glockenspiel, The Box Xylophone, the Two Octave Mini Marimba, Three Octave Concert Marimba, the Three Octave Concert Vibraphone and more recently, the Pro Five Octave Concert Marimba
Frequently Asked Questions about Making Marimbas, Xylophones and Vibraphones…
Do I need special wood or metal for the bars?
The great thing about these projects is that they will work for you, no matter what wood you have available – or in the case of the vibraphone and glockenspiel they will work really well with standard metal stock which is inexpensive and easy to get hold of in most parts of the world.
Concert quality marimbas are usually made from Honduras Rosewood or African padauk, and obviously the better wood you have access to the better instrument you’ll be able to make. However you can make these instruments from just about any hardwood (eg, Durian or Meranti).
How much will the materials Cost?
This depends on which instruments you are building, and also on where you live. All of these instruments though are designed to use nothing but inexpensive materials which are commonly available in your average hardware store.
but here is a rough guide to materials cost for the various instruments.
And if you wish to make a better quality instrument you can of course invest in a better quality wood, such as Rosewood. This will cost you a few hundred dollars, but will still be way less than purchasing a real concert instrument.
Does the plans include both Metric and Imperial Measurements?
YES! All the plans include both imperial (feet and inches) and metric (millimetres) measurements.
Do I need to be good at woodworking to achieve this?
Absolutely not! I’m not a carpenter – I’m a musician. Most of the skills required are fairly basic woodwork – measuring, cutting and sanding.
Even if you’ve hardly ever picked up a hammer or a saw in your life I’m confident that you’ll be able to achieve a workable instrument using these plans. Of course I’ve picked up a few clues over my time designing and building instruments, but I’ve put all the important construction tips in the package for you.
Do I need lots of expensive tools?
Absolutely not! All of the tools you will need are common houshold tools.
Plus a few other bits and pieces commonly found around the garage!
Do I need any special tuning equipment?
Obviously the better your tuning, the better yoiur instrument will sound. It IS possible to tune a marimba purely by ear, but at least a basic electronic tuner is highly recommended. Any chromatic tuner will do the job, and you can get a really basic electronic tuner from any music store for around $50, or simply borrow one from a friend to get the job done! These tuners are incredibly common – nearly all professional musicians or music teachers either own one or have a friend who owns one.
BUT… if you don’t have access to one, don’t worry – as I’ve included a full set of sine waves (clear and clean tones) that you can use to tune the notes by ear. If you have a musical ear it is really easy to do it this way.
If you want to make life even easier, and get a fully professional tuning result, Peterson make tuning software you can buy online for less than $100 USD – which is PERFECT. All these various options are thoroughly discussd in the building guide.
Is my homemade instrument going to sound as good as commercially available instruments?
The short answer: It certainly can do!
Of course if you are saving extra money by using a cheaper timber for the bars then you can’t expect them to sound like one of the traditional timbers used for marimbas. And of course the final sound will also depend on the care and precision with which you make and tune your bars. BUT… particularly with the P524 or PV guide which are designed for fully professional instrumets – ALL the information you need to make your marimba or vibraphone sound exactly like a commercial one, is supplied in your building guides.
Does it matter what the resonators are made out of?
This is definitely one of the biggest areas of misunderstanding for most people.
The fact is that it makes very little difference!
Comercial instrument manufacturers will often TALK about the sounds of different resonator materials – they want to make their instruments seem more special – BUT have you EVER seen anybody publish an actual audio comparison?
and think about it……The resonator’s job is to amplify the sound – and it does this by containing a column of air which is the correct size to resonate when sound waves from the bar enter it.
So… does the column of air really care what is containing it? or does it even know? Remember it’s the column of air that is vibrating.. not the container, so what it’s made from really makes very little difference!
and I’ve heard people argue that certain materials are a little harder and reflect sound better than others – well this is true… but here’s the thing…
Extra hard metals etc only make a difference at quite high frequencies – the frequencies way above the range of the vibraphone. Only the upper harmonics of the vibraphone are in this frequency range – and guess what… these upper harmonics are actually tuned to NOT resonate in the tubes!!!
The plans included for this instrument use PVC pipe for the resonators because:
And you can get PVC pipe at just about any hardware store, as it is usually used for drainpipes around just about any home! Of course – if you really want to use different materials for your resonators, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you. The building guide still tells you how to get the result you are after.
Do I have to wait for anything to be shipped to me?
Absolutely not! You have instant access to the e-books and videos via download, so that you can get started immediately. The plans print out in Adobe Acrobat Reader (which nearly every computer already has installed).
Of course you see the value in getting all of these Instrument Building bluprints, so I have a special offer for you….
The Total Building package contains:
Well Above $300 total value in the package
for Just $173 !!
And remember that you don’t even have to do it yourself…
So… You won’t regret it, and this will be one investment that could save you thousands of dollars!
Order Individually, or get the package here
The Price for ALL SEVEN e-books plus the eight videos plus the four pieces of sheet music – is just $173 US Dollars. You can pay by Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Paypal, and your credit card company will do the currency conversion for you. Check out the exchange rate in your currency at www.xe.com
You would pay $254.85 if you purchased all these e-books individually, so by purchasing as a package you are saving $81.85…
AND you get the Simple Glockenspiel Building Guide AND the Mallet Making guide AND extra sheet music AND Percussion KEYS membership, completely free! That’s over $44 worth of bonuses in addition to your saving!
See you on the next page!
P.S. There’s no gimmicks here – just real information that you won’t find anywhere else!
P.P.S. This is definitely for you if you want a whole range of professional mallet instruments and still have a budget to spare!
P.P.P.S. This is a tiny price to pay for a system that will save you thousands of dollars, so click here to get started.
The informational products available at makeamarimba.com and buildavibraphone.com are designed to give the user all the information required to build the corresponding instruments to the same level and finish as the original prototypes pictured on the websites. The final results produced by the end user are naturally dependent partially on their own abilities and efforts. Some of the skills and techniques described in the building guides may require the end user to practise a little before a high proficiency is achieved. This is an expected part of the building process. Once these skills are sufficiently achieved however, the end user if using due care, should be able to build an instrument for a significantly lower cost than that of any commercially equivalent model.