Making a grass snare drum

Sequimite

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I'm sure some here saw this 4 x 13 5/8" shell on Reverb. It is Black Palm, a South American grass (like bamboo) that typically grows 10 to 12" in diameter and 100' tall. The interior is soft but the outside is hard and dense. I'm not sure what to expect here sound wise, but as the price dropped I found it harder and harder to resist buying this extremely unusual shell and finding out. I checked with the seller to ensure there was no tear out and pulled the trigger. It was turned in 2016 and is finished with teak oil.

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bassanddrum84

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Finish is gorgeous. What you gonna outfit it with? Black chrome tube lugs and hoops would look killer with the shell.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Very cool....I have been kicking around buying that shell. My worry is that it is "undersized" but still works as a snare? I hope so.

I have 8 brass single point lugs and brass (colored) rims that I was kicking around using, but I just didn't have a brass throw/butt.....which also partly stalled the process. I hope it works for you, man....
 

Sequimite

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Well, as I understand it, a standard 14" shell is 13 7/8", but some drum companies use 13 3/4" and they promote the undersized shells as tonally superior. 13 5/8" is unusual, but not by much and I'm interested to see how tone is affected. I have a stave 12" tom that actually has an outside diameter of 11 1/2" and it pretty much sounds normal other than the slightly higher pitch. I was actually more concerned about the depth.

IMO a black throw off and butt would work fine with all that brass. I'm considering Dfd's solid brass triple flange rims. Like the shell I'd really like to hear how they sound. Actually I'd like to try them on several of my snares.
 

TK-421

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This showed up in my Facebook feed a few weeks ago. You could do something similar, with brass lugs/hoops on one side and black nickel lugs/hoops on the other.

Actually, that might look quite amazing on that black palm shell.

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fun2drum

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That’s a wonderfully interesting shell. I think it deserves equally interesting yet not too flashy lugs. My advice is to take your time and look at a lot of options before making a decision. Hoops? Triple flange COB.
 

Sequimite

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This showed up in my Facebook feed a few weeks ago. You could do something similar, with brass lugs/hoops on one side and black nickel lugs/hoops on the other.

Actually, that might look quite amazing on that black palm shell.

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Now you've got me going. How about black strainer / brass tube lug / black tl / brass tl / black tl / brass tl / black butt? Put a solid brass triple flange on top and a black S-Hoop on the bottom.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I played a Tama starclassic birch/bubinga with a deep dark red and the hardware was black nickel. Not my favorite hardware color choice, but it looked pretty sweet. I could see blacking out that shell........
 

JDA

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wait you're going to drill grass? (keep cat away from it) How about just a Pearl Free Floater Cage..

I admit I have no idea how they work...does the Throw and Butt both ride on the frame? so no drilling.. hmm.

Looks to be one right here; rare maybe..

(I know/trust it's strong; I wouldn't permanently deface it with any hardware; it's too good-looking..)
maybe single point Brass Tube lugs then it's just another drum
 
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bassanddrum84

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wait you're going to drill grass? (keep cat away from it) How about just a Pearl Free Floater Cage..

I admit I have no idea how they work...does the Throw and Butt both ride on the frame? so no drilling.. hmm.

Looks to be one right here; rare maybe..

(I know/trust it's strong; I wouldn't permanently deface it with any hardware; it's too good-looking..)
maybe single point Brass Tube lugs then it's just another drum
The plus to the free floater is being able to buy cool shells like the one and swapping them in and out.
 

Sequimite

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I recently bought a Pearl free floater for a similar purpose but I think this is one place where the 13 5/8" diameter may be a problem as the shelf for the shell is narrow. I'll measure to check as it would be a good way to hear the shell in order to help with some hardware choices.

edit: Measured the Pearl FF drum shell base. The shelf extends from 13 1/2" to 14" in diameter. The 1/4" shelf is bigger than I thought. The Black Palm 13 5/8" shell would have 1/16" on the shelf. Might work but I don't know if I want to try it as I'd be afraid of damaging the shell.
 
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Sequimite

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I found a black palm snare, of sorts. A guy in the Netherlands took what he described as a native drum that is 10" in diameter on one end and 9.5" on the other and converted it into a snare. I'm encouraged to know that Black Palm has a history of being used for drums.

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Sequimite

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Here's a snare drum from the guy, Soleh Bazuki, who made my shell, it looks pretty small.

Black Palm grows all over Asia. It is reported that in India the cliche is, if Black Palm isn't strong enough you need to use steel. Saw a few reports of arrow shafts being made with this because they don't break. This all sounds promising.

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And, " Black Palm has a *great* tap-tone!, clear and almost bell-like, a bit like a tonal cross between wenge and granadillo. I used for a type of kalimba/mbira I make."
 
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