Marimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone - Difference between these Music Mallet Instruments

A Marimba is a larger version of a Xylophone, though both are made out of wood (marimbas can be made out of synthetic material as well). Apart from the size factor, marimbas are usually used as mallet instruments for ensemble or solo musical compositions.

In contrast, xylophones are used in orchestra, band music and early jazz music.

Xylophones built out of metal alloy are called Vibraphones. They are smaller than marimbas but unlike xylophones, find wide use in pop music.

Homemade Xylophone - 5 Simple Tools To Build a Wooden Xylophone at Home

A box-resonated wooden xylophone is one of the most simplest kinds of xylophones you can build at home.

The reason why I recommend a xylophone is because, unlike guitars that have strings or musical instruments that require precise fabrication, a simple xylophone can be built out of hardwood and a few simple tools, over the weekend.

There are the 5 tools you need:
  1. Electric drill with sanding attachment
  2. Screwdriver
  3. Wood saw
  4. Small hammer
  5. Sand paper

You should be able to get most of these from your own garage or workshop, except the electric drill, which you can borrow from a friend or buy at the hardware store.

If you need more ideas, check out the videos at How to Build a Homemade Xylophone

You can also find detailed guides with full-color pictures showing you how to build your own xylophone

Wood, the Most Popular, Durable Material for Building a Xylophone

Honduran Rosewood is a popular species of wood for making the xylophone bars. But because it is expensive, we also used hardwoods like cardinal wood or purpleheart hardwood.

Since the ancient rituals in Hawaii and the tropical islands, forest wood has been a vast source of material to build xylophones. Some of these used to hang from trees and be larger than life.

These days, wood xylophones are a constant feature in orchestras and concerts, both as pit instruments and on-stage ensembles.

Deagan Xylophone - Save Money by Buying a Used Deagan Xylophone from Ebay or Craigslist

deagan xylophoneI saw an ad up on Ebay late December, for a Deagan Xylophone model 844. The BIN price (buy-it-now) according to the seller was $1500 and the auction itself had received about 30 bids.

I watched it for a couple days and noticed the bid prices as well. Most were willing to pay $700-750 for that xylophone. Eventually, it was sold for $730 (great price for a Deagan!)

A quick Google search revealed that a new Deagan costs around $3,250 while a used one can be snagged for less than $800 at Ebay or Craigslist.

So, if you're planning to buy a Deagan Xylophone, there are some great deals online in the used instruments market. You can easily buy a model #830 or 844 for around $750 (plus shipping)

Xylophones, Marimbas, Glockenspiels - Build Your Own Xylophone at Home
(c) 2010-2011 How To Build a Xylophone at Home