Monday, September 30, 2013

Zooming into the future: the NEW Bourne Marimbas website/blog

note: this is just a clumsy metaphor - DO NOT actually try this!

In this age of information overload it's good, once in a while, to hitch up your most important and useful stuff and leave the rest behind. So I am ditching my old web site and re-casting this blog as one-stop-surfing for my products, general info, maintenance advice, news from the school marimba world etc. Blogs are alot easier to update, trim and rearrange than web sites. Who needs both?

So welcome to the NEW This column will continue to run the usual bloggerific bloggifications, while the column of links on the right side of the page provides info on my instruments, prices, maintenance suggestions and especially useful or interesting blog entries.

Now that we are all consolidated, may I point you to one past entry in this blog that I am particularly  proud of. It's that link on the right under "Highly Check-outable" that says "Watch Tom Make a Lowrider". Go ahead, give 'er a click and Zoom into the Future!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Minnie M

Big sound, little box! I designed the Minnie M in response to requests from parents wanting something affordable for home practice. The Minnie M is stackable for improved storage. It can sit upright and has 2 different handles for carrying. Versatile! The current Minnie M is 2 full octaves starting at middle C. $400, add $25 for optional F#/Bb bars.


Mallets are available in 3 hardnesses: soft, medium and hard. The hickory sticks are strong and durable and the mallets heads are cast polyurethane - virtually indestructible. $20 a pair.

Big Bass

A Big Bass generates big time enthusiasm, with 9 low notes beginning 2 octaves below middle C. Casters provide classroom portability. Buzzers are standard on all my basses*. $1600, add $100 for optional F#/Bb bars. 

* I utilize a simple rubber band system allowing you to "dial in" the buzziness, from in-your-face maximum buzz-tone, to no buzz at all. 

Here is a wheel-less bass with 8" wide bars and 8" tubes on the lowest notes, plus my usual 6" tubes on the upper notes. Price on these will vary, depending on what dimensions of the components you opt for.

related links:

Baritone Marimba

The Baritone covers a range of G to G. It is portable, with heavy duty and lockable casters for easy moving. This instrument REALLY fills out the ensemble. $1400, add $100 for F#/Bb bars.

I also offer a low standing box resonator Baritone - moves about quickly and stores upright.

And the design popular with Zimbabwean groups. On this style of instrument in all range, I like to build the frame so the long rails supporting the bars angle outward. This splays the legs outward as well, providing stability. The tubes are removable from below, then the legs fold in for very compact storage.

related links:


Featuring a range of two soprano octaves on wheels!  I don't recommend hitching this unit to the back of your car, but otherwise, it's about as mobile and manageable as you can get. Stores upright. Little malleteers stand to play, big 'uns sit. $1000, $50 for optional F#/Bb bars.

Here it is without wheels. $900.

Tenor Marimba

Here is a tenor 2 octave marimba on casters for easy moving about the classroom.
The range is 2 full octaves starting at an octave below middle C. 
$1200, add $50 for F#/Bb bars.

Also available without casters. This is a common design amongst Zimbabwean groups - with the tubes removed from below, the legs fold in for compact storage and transport.

3 1/2 Octave Box Resonator

This instrument stretches 3½ octaves, beginning at the "C" below middle C. That's enough room for 3 or more young malleteers! If you can only afford one marimba, this one gives you the most bonk for your buck. 

I have modified this popular box resonator design by adding wheels, allowing the teacher to "break down" the instrument, roll it about and store it upright - a real plus since many music classrooms are so small! $1200, add $100 for optional F#/Bb bars.

Here's a great video from South Africa showing this type of instrument (not built by me) in action.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Harvest

A bouquet of the newly designed mallets from Bourne Marimbas - hard, medium and soft. 276 pair of these are destined for Yakima School District.