Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

An inexpensive and secret source of percussion instruments

A few weeks ago I figured out that metal scrapyards (or metal recyclers) are good sources of percussion:  they collect brass and bronze among the other types of metal -- and brass and bronze tend to sound pretty good when struck.

The other neat thing is that they just charge scrap-metal prices if you find anything of interest.  One of the guys there said that they sometimes get actual cymbals -- which they toss in with the rest of the brass and bronze.

Because I work during the week, I'm only able to stop by on Saturdays.

The first time I stopped by, the guy said they had just emptied the "brass and bronze" bin a few days ago -- so it was nearly empty.

I waited a week, and then stopped by the following weekend.  Gah!  Same deal.

So, I resolved to stop by every Saturday.

Thus, two weekends ago -- the first of my "regular visits" -- I scored some flat metal rings (future windchimes?), as well as two sturdy metal pipes with external threads (see video).  And yesterday, I picked up a thin-walled capped pipe, which sounds a bit like an agogo, but also like a cowbell (also in video).

The threaded pipes were about AU$7 each (about US$5.60), and the thing-walled one cost me AU$5 (about US$4).  I may keep 'em; I may mount them on wood to make them part of a drum kit, then sell them.

Anyhow, raiding metal recycling places is a new source of percussion instruments for me.  But:  be sure to wear old clothes; you might get a little greasy or dirty, rummaging around.

And bring a drumstick -- for testing purposes.


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