A Tubulum or PVC instrument is a pitched percussion instrument made from different lengths of PVC or ABS pipe. It's played with paddles made from old drumsticks and a rubber, foam material. They were popularized by the Blue Man Group. This came about while brainstorming an idea for a summer camp and how I could extend them from one hour or two hours per day to 3 or more hours per day. I had to build a curriculum to keep the kids interested for such a long period of time, and this was the perfect instrument to build a camp around.
Along side the instrument, students will play trash cans and boomwhackers. But what I never expected was that I became deeply focused on the quality of the PVC instrument. I color matched it to the boomwhackers, so that when... well working with kids, it's just easier to yell.. HIT THE BLUE ONE.. THE BLUE ONE... So the multi color was a must. Now that I've begun building them, I can't seem to stop. I have plans to make more.
The first part of the plan is to Build a 3 instrument concept, Contra bass, bass/tenor, and alto/soprano. All in a seated position, one in front, one on your left, and one on your right. The idea was, why build a single linear instrument that forces you to stretch your hands outwards when I could build 3 separate instruments that are placed around your body. And its seated position makes it super easy for kids to play, plus you break them apart into separate instrumentsd! Check out the videos of my first Tubulum below!
Musician Teacher Producer