interactive, original, grounding
Melody, rhythm, vibration - since 1982 our founder Ingo Böhme has been making slit drums of a special kind. They are mostly made of Padouk wood, by far the best sound wood. Alternatively, we also use regional ash. Our bestsellers are the large tenor and bass slit drums as the archetype of feeltone's sound furniture -... feel the sound!
Lovingly made by hand: Slotted drums from feeltone
The production of every single slotted drum involves a great deal of manual work: from the selection of the appropriate wood and its preparation to the elaboration of the refined interior and the milling of the individual reeds - which are precisely pre-tuned and fine-tuned.
Since the quality of the wood and its processing significantly determine the sound, we air-dry the selected woods outdoors for up to four years. This is still essential for high-quality musical instruments of this size. This is because industrially dried wood is very susceptible to cracking, especially in dry heating air. With the gentle and sustainable drying we guarantee a high longevity of your slotted drum from feeltone.
In particularly cold winters, when there is a lot of heating, you should still keep a few things in mind when handling your wooden instruments:
- Underfloor heating: Always place a rug or runner under the musical instrument against direct heating heat.
- Avoid airing when temperatures are below freezing, as this will make it even drier indoors when it freezes.
- Move your musical instruments temporarily to another room when airing them, as the cold air will cause large temperature differences in the wood for a short time.
- Hang a water container on radiators and change filters regularly to increase humidity in the room and prevent mold.
- Place mainly plants with a high water demand in your rooms and water them regularly - this way a lot of water will evaporate and the wood of your instruments will be protected from drying out by the higher humidity.
A phenomenon with ancient roots - the idea of the slit drum
Slit drums exist in different forms all over the world. For many variants, hollow tree trunks are used: Here, the player strikes the edge of the drum with a mallet to produce a sound. Thanks to the large resonance chamber, a rather loud sound is produced that can be heard from far away. In Africa, the slit drum - also called a kring - was considered a bush telephone that villages used to communicate with each other over long distances. Originally, it was always made of wood. The Aztecs also used stone for their teponaztli. It was only with the emerging hype for the hang, an upside-down steel drum, that the metal slotted drum was developed.
Fascination slit drum - this is how you can play it
What's so fascinating about these ancient and globally popular instruments? You can drum a simple rhythm with it as well as create versatile melodies - the many sound reeds make it possible. The pentatonic tuning means that all the notes always fit together, so rhythmically intuitive melodies and minimalist rhythm patterns emerge as if by themselves.
There are a variety of striking techniques that you can try out at will:
- with different soft mallets in different sizes
- with the hands, played like a djembe or conga
- with the bass slit drums also with the heels of the hands in the back area of the reeds (complementary to hand playing)
In addition to our large tenor and bass slit drums, you will also find in the feeltone assortmenttinka tongs with a bright, high-pitched sound - especially designed for quiet finger playing. But you can also play them very fast with rubber mallets. The springing of the rubber mallets on the reeds leads to swirls and tremolos that create a very unique sound.
OurBaba Tongs were designed to be played with the hands on the lap. This is the best way to hear the wide range of notes. However, you can also play this type of slotted drum combined with your hand and a mallet.
If you put together a whole ensemble of small, medium and large slit drums, the result is a fascinating, gamelan-like drum sound that encompasses all sound levels.
Buying a slit drum - for therapeutic purposes
Similar to our monochords, feeltone's slit drums show a special phenomenon: you can feel the vibration throughout your body, while your bone system acts as a resonating chamber. Our instruments are therefore especially popular in areas where the focus is on experiencing with all the senses - for example, in preschool and in the most diverse forms of therapy.
Two people can sit on the large slotted drums - one on each side - and drum together. This is a wonderful experience that brings joy and, as a therapeutic instrument, dissolves any potential for conflict in the blink of an eye. You can also tilt the bass and tenor drums on their sides to create a lying surface. The head should rest on a pillow. The whole body receives pleasantly deep vibrations when played gently and evenly - it relaxes and becomes grounded. If the player and the played change positions afterwards, a deep feeling of connection is created. Looking for another creative way to play? Then stand the drum upright, tilt it on one edge and strike it like a double bass.
The special thing about feeltone's instruments: Our slit drums can be used specifically for communication where language cannot. Non-verbal communication with sound can open doors to an exchange without misunderstandings or inhibitions. It is thus possible to work out alternative forms of communication - for example for people with disabilities or in the course of recovery processes or in the case of conflicts.