How To Make A Talking Drum


Learn how to make talking drum and be amazed at the tones this unique instrument can create. Traditionally, African talking drums were used to communicate. When used by experienced musicians the drums can actually imitate speech patterns. Make a simple talking drum with items that can be found around the house.

To make a talking drum, you will need:

  • 2 plastic flower pots, or urns
  • Polyester fabric
  • Newspaper
  • White paper
  • Hole punch
  • Twine
  • Bowl
  • Glue
  • Water
  • Twist ties
  • Duct tape
  1. Place one of the flower pots upside down on a piece of fabric. Trace around the pot leaving a 2-inch border. Cut out two pieces of fabric in this size.
  2. Punch holes around the edge of the fabric. Punch a hole every inch around the circle. Line the fabric with the holes over the second piece of fabric and make a mark with the pencil through each hole. Punch holes through all the pencil marks.  This is so that the holes match up on each piece of fabric.
  3. Use the twist ties to attach the bottoms of the pots together. Securely connect the two pots, using duct tape to make it more secure.
  4. Spray paint the pots with special effect paint. Try a paint with a metal, granite or sandstone finish.
  5. Set the drum up like an hourglass with one of the fabric circles under and one on the top. Use the twine to connect the two pieces of fabric. Lace the fabric together. Pull the string evenly tight, be careful not to tear the fabric.
  6. Mix equal amounts of glue and water together. Paint the mixture on the drum heads. This glaze makes the fabric tighter in order to produce a better sound.
  7. Crumble a piece of paper. Dip in brown paint and dab on the drum head to make it look like authentic animal skin.
  8. Use a plastic kitchen utensil like a large kitchen fork, wooden spoon or punch ladle for the drum stick. If you are using a fork, cover the ends of the tines with duct tape to prevent the sharp edges from puncturing the drum head.
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