WHAT IS A BOOMBA STICK?
The Boomba stick is a home-made instrument with a variety of percussion instruments attached to a wooden pole. The exact designs of a Boomba vary, with much emphasis being put on the personalization of the Boomba. The word Boomba most likely has German origins, but you can find similar instruments with names like Stumpf Fiddle, Devil’s Fiddle, Stomp Stick ,or Teufelsgeige with other cultural origins.
WHY MAKE A BOOMBA STICK?
Because you can! There aren't many instruments you can make yourself! Learning to play along with music and/or make your own music is a great treasure and a really fun way to connect with other people. (Though, you might not be the most popular person in your house, while you’re practicing your Boomba stick!)
Part of the fun of making a Boomba stick is that it will be made out of the weird things only you can find around your house! This is a list of some of the things I could think of, but I'm sure there are more!
MAKING PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS
Containers/Drums: Aluminum can, plastic container, jars, wooden box, cardboard box, take out container, bucket, soda can, blocks of wood,
Shaker Contents: dried beans, rice, pebbles, dirt, sand, beads, paper clips, acorns
Scraper: Aluminum can ridges, sandpaper, beads wrapped around metal
Bells/ Cymbals: metal pie plate, hub cap, large washers, can lids, bike bell, jingle bell
Handles: Broomstick, shovel handle, table leg, chair leg, large branch
Sticks: Wooden spoon, pencil/pen, small branch
Other: Acorns, carpet, metal pole, bike horn,
*What other percussion instruments could you mimic using found materials?
BUILDING & ATTACHING YOUR INSTRUMENTS
Adhesives: tape, wire, zip-ties, string, nails, screws
Tools: scissors, drill, screwdriver, pliers, wire cutter, hammer
SAFETY FIRST, PLEASE!
If you don’t use tools often, or if it would be safer for you to use them with assistance, please find someone who can help! Or find a way to use tape! :)
THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT THE VIDEO
Please know that there were TONS of mis-steps, trial and errors, experiments, moments of thinking, reconfiguring, and re-attempting that were edited out of this video! This project is way more fun if you allow for these moments to happen - BELIEVE ME! (Even though they didn't lend themselves to instructional-movie-magic.)
CONTINUE THE FUN
I like the home-made aesthetic of the Boomba stick with a weird mish-mash of objects and materials. However, I might take some time to polish up my Boomba stick - perfect my tape job, use paint or permanent marker to customize my bucket, paint my cymbals, decorate my handle, bejewel it, who knows!
If you don’t have a handle or all the supplies you need to create a Boomba stick - can you make a percussion instrument out of simple things from around your house?
Can you make your Boomba stick completely out of things you find outside!?
Nick Cave is an amazing artist who creates “sound suits” out of discarded objects. The suits work as both body armor and adornment - they are protective but also beautiful. His art is not to look at but it is made to be worn and performed in - and when it moves - it makes sound. The sound, dance, and performance are just as elegant as the objects he makes.