Greg’s Zen drums are inspired by combining his passion for music and his love of woodworking. The result is a form of hardwood drum also known as a tongue drum. The name is in reference to the vibrating “tongues” cut in the sound board. They are a modern incarnation of an ancient Aztec tribal and ceremonial drum known as the Taponaxtli. The Taponaxtli was basically a hollowed-out log with two tongues carved out to create a non-specific high and low pitch.
The Zen drums are hand crafted entirely out of fine hardwoods and finished with Shellac and Lacquer. The sounds are made by the vibrations of the wooden tongues echoing off the bottom and sides of the sound-chamber box. By varying the length, width and shape, as well as removing material from the underside of each tongue, Greg is able to control and specify the exact pitches for each instrument. The design of the drums is an extension of his Zen box design, and he went through many iterations to optimize the visual with the harmonic design.
Greg’s Zen drums are tuned and keyed to specific musical notes and scale patterns. He chose open pentatonic scales to make it easy for anyone to play melodious phrases. Since every note in a given drum is in the same key as all the others, there are no "wrong" notes to play. Simply alternate hands, gently bouncing the rubber mallets across the wooden tongues to create your own musical improvisation. Click on any drum to get detailed look at the wood and also hear the drum.
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