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by Djörk


Home-made berimbau jam (for your biscuits)

Uploaded .

The berimbau is a Brazilian instrument associated with Capoeira, which is a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, sports, and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences, probably beginning in the 16th century. The berimbau is made from a wooden bow, strung with a wire taken from a steel belted radial tire. A hollowed gourd is tied to the bow to act as a resonator, amplifier and to generate a waa-waa effect. The bow is held with the left hand while striking the wire with a stick which is held in the right hand along with a small basket shaker (a caxixi).

I made my berimbau. The bow is Osage Orange wood (aka “Hedge Apple Tree”, a wild shrubby tree, with beautiful orange colored wood). I used an old piano wire for my berimbau - that wire is tight: if it pops off it’s going to put somebody’s eye out! I wanted to make the berimbau as loud as I could so I tied 4 hollow gourds to it: I still had to put the power mic actually into the lower gourd, so the recording is noisy with the sound of the mic slapping against the gourd. I play my berimbau with it standing up on the ground, anchored by my foot, sort of like an old “wash-tub bass”. This way I can bend the bow to manipulate the tone - which is not a traditional way of playing it. In this 3 track recording I strum it (right track), bend it (center track) and “fret it” with a metal rod (left track). Accompanied by caxixi and tambourine.

The Old Grey Wolf Ltd Co's avatar
The Old Grey Wolf Ltd Co said

Love the slidy? bass riff.

Guest said

Super cool! Love these sounds.

Guest said

Sharp sound! Really enjoyed this!

Guest said

So intriguing! That's really cool!

Guest said

Wow! :-)))))

Guest said

Now I want jam and biscuits. Tasty beats!

thetworegs's avatar
thetworegs said

Thank you Norm

Wildgeas Music's avatar
Wildgeas Music said

Do these come in a Left Handed model? :) Real cool amigo!!!

richardlaceves's avatar
richardlaceves said

really really cool,, i know a very little about osage orange, it's a cool wood, used for long bows in place of yew,, which is the traditional english wood,, i have a 55 lb osage orange long bow that i built, it is a wood that is a bit soft/stringy, so it needs some form of backing for a bow, i use bamboo,, shoots great and also makes a bit of a twang as i release,, now that i think about it,, anyway,, making ones own tackle is really neat,, wonderful work/demo/story/sound all in one and all around!!

another cultural landslide's avatar
another cultural landslide said

Ok, I want one! Sounds soooo cool! w;-)

Johnny Stone's avatar
Johnny Stone said

Wow great sound Norm really cool mate.

Reefwalker's avatar
Reefwalker said

This has a new sound with all kinds of possibilities. I like the easter egg at the end too. The instrument sounds cool

Movement To Contact's avatar
Movement To Contact said

Very cool. Reminds me of a detuned bass guitar or something. I think I need me one of these as well. :)

kavin.'s avatar
kavin. said

Me too me too! I wants one! I have a berimbau app but it dont sound near this good.

thetworegs's avatar
thetworegs said

Can I order one?

vaisvil's avatar
vaisvil said

finally got to hear this. there is a distinct didgeridoo sound to it, especially when you start. I wonder what would happened if you bowed the string. - and - how did you pull the wire out of a tire - I want to do that.

Rick Phillips's avatar
Rick Phillips said

This is amazing, Norm! Love the ending. I think you should go into the berimbau making business!

Mannequin Races's avatar
Mannequin Races said

Wow! That's freaking awesome! I love instruments like this and the fact that you made your own is killer! Lovely 3 track recording. Nice groove. I would love to hear you expand on this and combine it with some synths or something, but hell either way really really cool!

Djörk's avatar
Djörk said

wow, that's impressive!

thetworegs's avatar
thetworegs said

Excellent norm you really can get a beat out of anything ......we used to play bows and arrows with our Berinbau we just had a bit of string instead of wire and the wood was. Bit of elder kept us occupied for hours in the spiny wood and the only sound we made from it was the loud Fadunk when we let the reed arrows fly at one ofd the cowboys.....