How to Make an Ocean Drum

By Phillip Ginn

Making a drum that emulates the sounds of the ocean is an easy task. All you need is a few basic materials and a little time. You can use your drum by itself to create oceanic sound effects for a play or story time, or to accompany music that can be enhanced with the sound of waves. If you’re feeling adventurous, try using different materials to create ocean drums of different sizes.

Cheap and Easy

Fill the pie pan or plastic food container with the small round objects. Don’t fill it up too much, otherwise the round objects won’t have any space to move around.

Seal the lid onto the container. If you’re using a food container, it will just snap on. If using a foil pie pan, crimp the sides over a cardboard lid. If you’re using a pie pan that doesn’t crimp, you’ll want to use durable paper and glue it to the frame.

Play your new ocean drum: in a horizontal position, slowly swirl the drum around its circumference. The rolling objects inside should emulate the sounds of the ocean.

The Bamboo Steamer Experiment

Glue durable paper to the bottom of the inside of your bamboo steamer to cover up the spaces between the slats. You don’t want any of the small round objects falling out of your drum. If you want, you can also cut out the plies of a used drum head and glue them to the latticework instead of using paper. Wait for the glue to dry.

Fill the steamer with the small round objects.

Glue the drum head to the open side of the steamer to close in the round objects. Wait for the glue to dry.

Play your new ocean drum, both to see how it sounds and to make sure the drum holds together.

Tip

Experiment with different frames. If you’re a woodworking hobbyist, you might want to consider using scraps of wood to build your own drum frame.

If making the drum with kids, decorate the drum with stickers or drawings on the paper seal (if applicable). If you have a clear lid, you can glue a drawing to the inside of the drum before adding the small round objects and sealing them inside.

If using a pie tin or plastic food container, make sure it’s clean. You don’t want food bits inside your ocean drum.

About the Author

Phillip Ginn is a writer, artist and musician. He has written about comics, music, food, the news, and other interesting things. He is also the writer, and sometimes artist, of several fiction pieces. Ginn plays several instruments and can be found working as a drum instructor and private teacher in the Sacramento, Calif. area.