Being able to make rhythms is something no one should be deprived of, no matter who or where you are. That being said, it’s no wonder people have gotten creative with drum kit materials. The modern-day rock and jazz style drum kit is usually what pops into people’s minds when thinking about drums.
But we’re here to assure you that, the world is a giant place, full of thousands of cultures with their own histories and percussions. The importance of creating a beat is so universally important that each time period and place has it’s own creation. And, percussion instruments happen to be the oldest type of music makers on the planet.
1. Obilab ObiLab Portable Cardboard Drum kit
Obilab ObiLab has created a full drum kit made using only cardboard and fiberglass. The entire set folds up into an extremely light, easy to travel as a with backpack. The innovative set solves some of the biggest hurdles of playing drums: it’s space efficient, easy on the pocket-change, so simple to travel with, and doesn’t create too much noise-- making it possible jam in even the tiniest of shoebox, paper thin-walled apartments. Not to mention they’re a blast to play.
Discovered in Antarctica and preserved thanks to the icy temperatures, behold the oldest discovered drum known to be created by a human. Made from stretching the hide of an elephant to create sound, this drum is over 37,000 years old. It’s believed the hide was stretched over various solid objects to create different pitches.
From food to artificial limbs, people are pushing the 3D printing technology to the limits. These two sets were designed to be printed anywhere there’s a 3D printer and made using durable Nylon. The drums take about 16 hours to print but the printing plans are available for free online, creating a totally new take on open-sourced music making.
4. The Trixon Speedfire Set (pictured at top)
Believe it or not, there’s method to this madness (and it has nothing to do with melting instruments). Created for a very limited time in 1955 Germany, the funny shaping of the Trixon Speedfire bass drum makes it possible to have two different sounding chambers in one kick-drum. Played with a double-bass pedal, you can alternate between or combine the two distinct bass sounds for some serious drumming depth.
5. Jan Žižka z Trocnova a Kalicha’s Skin Drum
And you thought you were a die-hard drum fan… Jan Žižka z Trocnova a Kalicha, born in 1360, was a Czech general and Hussite leader and quite the warrior. Considered to be one of the greatest military leaders of all time, Jan never lost a single battle. Including in 1421, during the Battle of Kutná Hora in which he conquered the army of the Holy Roman Empire and Hungary. Jan died of the plague on October 11, 1424 on the Moravian frontier but had one dying wish: to have his skin cured and used to make drums to continue to terrify and lead his troops in battle even after death.