PVC Slap Organ

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Mark Wybierala
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

PVC Slap Organ

Post by Mark Wybierala »

I’m looking for some pointers to build an instrument from 2” PVC pipe. This is one of those percussive rows of pipes that you simply slap the ends of the pipe with a flipflop and it makes a tone. Really just looking for resources and tips.

What is a good method of measuring pitch since the note duration is so short?

What type or style of mounting provides the greatest level of resonance and richness of tone? I’m thinking that a single rigid mount near the slapping end is best because I’m guessing that if the majority of the length is hanging in open unrestricted space, the pipe can resonate longer. I could mount rigid fixed or I could let the pipes hang via a nylon cord.

This instrument is for a challenged adult skill development center. The abilities of these people are widely varied. It needs to be safe, durable, and washable. I’m also looking for other ideas for musical instruments that enable creativity and the enjoyment of music that are appropriate for a development center so give me a link if you know of something that I should look into.

JC Whitney
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:19 am

Re: PVC Slap Organ

Post by JC Whitney »

This might be helpful, especially the formula for determining pitch down near the end: https://www.instructables.com/id/PVC-Instrument-1/
I think this type of instrument is a “tubulum”...?

Daryl Kosinski
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:14 am
Location: Fultonville, NY

Re: PVC Slap Organ

Post by Daryl Kosinski »

Look into Boom Whackers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boomwhacker

I have a set, they can be a lot of fun. Finale has a Boomwhacker staff that prints the notes in color code.

Mark Wybierala
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Re: PVC Slap Organ

Post by Mark Wybierala »

Excellent and needed links. I'm very grateful for the help. I think I have everything I need now. I'll post when I'm done.

Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1525
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: PVC Slap Organ

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Hi Mark,
I once built a dulcimer for a "challenged " individual. The diatonic scale and tonic, fifth, octave tuning allowed the person to avoid dissonance. The problem they were having with other instruments was because of their desire to twist the tuning keys which led to broken strings. I used zither pins in place of geared tuners and the care giver kept the tuning wrench.

Mark Wybierala
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Re: PVC Slap Organ

Post by Mark Wybierala »

Exactly the type of suggestion I'm looking for.
The beautiful thing about these things is that I get to imagine and build something off the wall and they serve a purpose. Like... there's and endless amount of possibilities.

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