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Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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Sometimes referred to as a Log Drum, which is historically a very different instrument, this Slit Drum or Tongue Drum uses 3/4 inch boards all the way around. The top should be made of a hardwood. Padouk wood seems to work the best, but Mahogany or Rosewood may be substituted. The box of the drum can be made from almost any other wood (ie. Pine, etc.). It is suggested that you use glue and wood dowel pins to secure the joints in the box ... only using the glue to secure the top panel onto the box. The ratio of the 2 tongues should be 3:4, 2:3, or 4:5 to give the most pleasing intervals.

Slit Drum

Here's the measurements for the various points on a two tongue drum (see above graphic for reference; NOT TO SCALE).

Small Drum: 13 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 3 1/4" (L x W x D)
A = 2 1/2"
B = 3 3/8"
C = 1"
D = 5/8"
E = 3/16"

Medium Drum: 23" x 5" x 3 5/8" (L x W x D)
A = 4 3/8"
B = 3 1/4"
C = 1 3/4"
D = 3/4"
E = 1/4"

Large Drum: 26 1/8" x 5 1/2" x 5 1/8" (L x W x D)
A = 3 5/8"
B = 5 5/8"
C = 1 1/2"
D = 2 1/8"
E = 1/8"


If you are really interested in building your own instruments and learning more about the history of the instruments you build, here are some great books to add to your library.


Bart Elliott Bart Elliott is a degreed professional musician and founder of the Drummer Cafe. His 35+ years in the music industry, over 100 albums to his credit, as well as his understanding of contemporary and classical music, makes him a complete and skilled master musician. A highly sought after drummer and percussionist, both live and in the studio, Bart is widely known as a top music educator and gifted teacher, appearing as a guest artist and clinician throughout the USA.