Musical Instruments

Musical instruments for use in the lesson by teachers and students or on stage.
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  • Cowboy Shaker™ ()
    I've often wondered when seeing a cooler full of beer caps after a party, what I could do with them. When I saw an similar instrument in an import store, I decided to tweak the design and came up with my own version.  
    - Made from green hardwood harvested sustainably in Appalachian Ohio and 
    beer bottle caps collected surreptitiously from Appalachian Ohioans.
    - Loud enough to be heard over other acoustic instruments such as a fiddle or guitar.
    - Not a rattle, it makes a crisp "chick" rather than a swooshy rattle sound so that you can play exact rhythms.
    - Some people play two at once varying the hands for high-speed licks.
    Caution: Includes small parts and wire that is potentially hazardous for small children.
    There is no known connection between this instrument and the traditions of the Old West but I named it the Cowboy Shaker™ anyway because I like cowboys and I bet if they could've, they would've enjoyed jamming with it over coffee and harmonica music around the campfire by the light of the moon.

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  • Rhythm Board & Toebourine
    Rhythm Board™ & Toebourine™ ()
    1. Rhythm Board™ 
    Easily demonstrate hard-to-understand rhythms with tokens and notched wood by relating the location of individual notes to the beat. Includes an eight-page manual packed with ideas about how to use rhythm boards. Note that product color may vary and tokens are not included. You can use marbles, wooden beads, candy (Skittles, M&Ms), or gum balls.
    Download the Rhythm Board manual (free).

    2. The tambourine you play with your foot!

    Note: Colors may vary. Buckeyes not included.
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  • Toebourine™ ()
    The tambourine you play with your foot!

    music teachers * singer-songwriters * percussionists * music therapists * buskers * a cappella * accompanists * jazzers * fiddlers * jam sessions * practice * soloists
    I made the first Toebourine™ for myself so I could provide a beat while teaching music. When my colleagues asked about it, I decided to make up a bunch in my workshop and offer them for sale at conferences where I speak about musical creativity. They have become quite popular, in part, because they are handmade and wooden, which is just cooler than mass-manufactured cheap plastic.

    Read more: The Story of Toebourines™

    colors may vary

    - Small - fits in your case.
    - Non-slip – stays with you as you tap.
    - One size – fits any adult shoe (except big boots or little sandals).
    - Eco-friendly – made from reclaimed yellow pine.
    - Unique – handcrafted in Appalachian Ohio so no two exactly alike.
    - Great sound – six professional quality nickel-plated jingles create a precise "snap."
    - Light or dark flat stain depending on availability.

    If your Toebourine™ becomes damaged for any reason within one year of date of purchase, we’ll replace your instrument for free. Simply return the broken instrument (especially all six jingles) along with $5.95 by check or PayPal to cover shipping and we’ll take care of the rest.

    Simply slide a Toebourine™ onto either foot and start jamming. Go easy. Keep your heel on the floor and slightly raise your toe. Then allow your foot to drop back to the floor. The resonant, high-quality jingles make it unnecessary to raise your foot high or stomp down hard. If your leg gets tired, you are probably overdoing it.

    Playing Tips:
    You can wear a Toebourine™ on either (or both) feet but most players prefer to tap the backbeats on 2 and 4 with their Toebourine™ on their left foot. Try varying your rhythms such as playing backbeats for the verses and quarter notes on choruses. Play them on a board or hardwood floor for a clear, accented sound or on carpet for a quieter blending sound. You can also play them with your hands like a traditional tambourine including shaking for a tremolo effect. Be ready to answer questions as fans ask about this unique instrument.

    Put a little backbeat in your case.

    The Toebourine™ name and design © 2014.
    All Rights Reserved.
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