Originally Posted by defunkt
What exactly is a talking drum?
It's a traditional African drum with hourglass-shaped body, usually one to two feet long and diameter of four to eight inches. The heads aren't attached to the shell, but are lashed to each other (the original floating heads). The drum is held under one arm and squeezed while the other arm hits it with a stick or fingers. This raises and lowers the pitch. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talking_drum
. It's believed the sound of the drum mimics the tonalities of some African languages, whence the name "talking drum."
The drum I have from www.b-radpercussion.com
is a modern version. A foot pedal - much like a bass drum pedal but designed to produce much more power and leverage - controls the action of the drum through a bike cable, leaving both hands free. So far, no one has accused me of cheating, but I DO have a Duallist ...
I actually made my own foot-operated talking drum from an LP Nada drum, a foot pedal, bike cable and a custom metal basket, and played that for about 10 years. But the b-rad design works much better and is ingeniously engineered - the whole thing breaks down quickly for transport. The drum came with one tom mounting bracket at the top, but I flipped it over and added another two brackets, fabricated some legs and now it sits like a floor tom, not a suspended tom.