According to references [Groves dictionary of musical instruments I think] the number of instruments in the percussion family exceed six hundred. In reality most of the instruments will be closely related and very rare. Furthermore the standard orchestral range of instruments is smaller still. Even so, I work on a broad variety of instruments, and yet I am still asked if I repair guitars or whatever. My brain can hardly cope with all the knowledge associated with my own specialism without taking on other sections of instruments, I will leave those instruments for those instrument makers!
So to demonstrate the diversity of what I do do [hehe], below are all the posts I have written, in chronological, order starting with the two latest (which are featured on the home page) and going backwards into the depths of time.
This post are the fitting instructions for the replacement motor systems that I produce for Premier 701 or 751 vibraphones. I have designed the system so it is easy to fit to your instrument. The result is that I have done pretty much all the work for you, so all you need to do is drill a few holes and use a screwdriver.
Everything you need, plus a extras, are in the kit. Even the correct sized drill bits (to avoid any mistakes) and a small allen key are included. Three different sized belts so that you can determine the best fit and a long kettle lead.
In the immortal words of Axl Rose, “All we need is just a little patience (Patience)
Changing the damper felt on a vibe is something that anyone can do; this post shows how I do it
Do I have spare parts? What do you think?
This post explains the process
An expensive and time consuming repair that cost me more to do than I charged, but the decision to take on the job was for reasons of my sanity; I was beginning to be lethargic due to inaction and that was making me feel apathetic and in that direction lies depression and other mental health issues; so I took action and created something of which I am proud and I sincerely hope that it continues to give joy to future generations of little percussionists.
The Scrapheap Orchestra was a television documentary for the BBC and was shown on BBC Four. I did learned a lot during the whole project and I do look back on it with fond memories. The laughter and then roaring cheer that greeted my clash cymbals is clearly audible in the video and watching it took me instantly back to the roller coaster of emotions that I experienced that night and seeing again the instantaneous and exuberant standing ovation that the performance received (nearly) brought a tear to my eye even after all these years. I am left wondering if those instruments that I made still exist or whether they have been returned to the scrapheap.
I often get emails asking for detailed advice on how to make percussion instruments. In this video I share my opinion on hanging tubular bells.
The legs from the top cone continue down to the ground and are tied together with the rails that in turn supports the cityscape. The biggest problem was fitting it in my workshop!
FOR SALE £3500
Made from 1928 to 1951 the Premier De Luxe Tympani was the lagship instrument for Premier Drums. These drums that are for sale are an early example which makes them around 80 years old. In that time they have had only two owners and are therefore in exceptional condition for drums of this age. Currently situated in the South of England, but will be moved to my workshop for viewing by arrangement.
Everything that is recyclable is recycled in my workshop wherever possible. This includes Musser vibraphone frames, which are made from tin foil. Although not suitable for cooking food there are lots of other uses for old tin foil, imagination is the only limiting factor. But then I am a product of my generation who grew up watching a very limited selection of kids TV including Blue Peter which failed to transform my then wayward life unlike Tony Hart who was a genius.