Tongue Drums and Piano By Number
There are countless products and configurations of the Tongue Drum. I have seen versions with sharps and flats, and numbered all the way to 24.
There are, however, certain aspects that all Tongue Drums have in common, that is, perhaps, behind the recent association of Tongue Drums and Piano By Number by searchers.
Since Tongue Drums are all numbered in one fashion or another, it is only natural that people seek to combine the two, Tongue Drums and Piano By Number..
Piano Is Easy
NUMBERING ON TONGUE DRUMS
You can use our books with any Tongue Drum, but you must be aware that many songs may exceed the number of tones on your drum. For example, if you were to try to play SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW on a 7 note Tongue drum, there would be a problem with the second note (8.) See our online piano below:
SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW
| 1 * * * | 8 * * * | 7 * 5 6 | 7 * 8 * |
| 1 * * * | 6 * * * | 5 * * * |
This is easily solved if you substitute a different, available number (on your drum) for the number your drum seems to be missing. This often produces a pleasing anomaly in the pitches of the song. For example, in the drum we have illustrated above, there are two different versions of 1, so you could try substituting the alternate 1 for 8, since musically 1 and 8 are identical.
Please be aware that our beginning books require 12 tones, although many songs are done with five or six. (Use the piano above.)
TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR
| 1 1 5 5 | 6 6 5 * | 4 4 3 3 | 2 2 1 * |
SCALE ON TONGUE DRUMS
The scale on Tongue Drums usually varies from what we would expect in Western Music. That is, the difference in pitch between 1 and 2 may not be a "major second" as prescribed in classical music theory, but that difference is a part of what gives the Tongue Drum its unique charm: the melody is recognizable, but is mysteriously altered by the differing scale of the drum's notes.
Adapting OUR MORE ADVANCED BOOKS
Not all Piano By Number books use only 1 - 12. The more advanced ones use flats and sharps which are the black keys of the piano (try that on the piano above.)
Once again, simply substitute an available note on your drum for the one indicated in the music (for example, if a song calls for #1, the black key in between 1 and 2) simply substitute 2 (for example, for #1.)
Advantages of the Tongue Drum
It is extremely easy and pleasing to play, and our number system suits it well. As a beginner's instrument it is almost ideal, as almost anyone can make convincing music using one.
Try the songs on our online piano using our ONLINE PIANO PAGE and see if it suits you. Alternatively, search our SONG LISTS and find a song you want to play, then purchase a drum with enough notes to play that song.