Strange Sounds: Odd Instruments Used In Popular Music
- Artist: David Wax Museum.
- Usually has eight strings, but can have four, five or six depending on the size.
- Carved out of a single piece of wood.
- Comes in four sizes.
- Artist: David Wax Museum.
- Used as a percussion instrument. The lower jawbone of a horse, zebra or donkey is taken and dried, and the teeth are loosened. It is played by striking the large end with the palm of your hand, or by pulling a beater through the teeth.
- Artist: Futureman.
- Bass group triggers keys.
- Treble group trigger keys.
- Master trigger key.
- The buttons on the neck sample different drum sounds.
- Individual trigger keys.
- Left hand trigger enable.
- Assignable whammy bar.
- Artist: Arcade Fire.
- Sometimes called a wheel fiddle.
- Crank-operated wheel that rubs against strings and acts like a bow.
- Drone strings that produce a sustained pitch.
- Small keybox presses targets against the strings and changes their pitch.
Instrument: 35mm Film Synchronizer
- Artist: Holy F**k.
- Film is threaded through a synchronizer and scratched. It functions like a turntable.
Instrument: Human Skull
- Artist: Black Lips.
- Used as a reverb chamber, mic-ing one one, putting a speaker tube into one of the eye sockets.
- Another mic in the skull so it can pick up the natural reverb.
- Artist: Les Claypool.
- Pulley wheel.
- Tuning peg.
- Mahogany fingerboards.
- Tail clamp.
- Jack socket.
- Has a single string that is manipulated by a pulley-and-lever system. It is played by hitting the string with a drum stick.
- Artist: Lord Huron.
- Uses metal antennae that can sense the position of the musician's hands, which move in between the rods.
- The distance from one controls frequency/pitch, and the other controls volume.
- Artist: Vampire Weekend,
- Functions similarly to a piano except strings are plucked instead of hammered when a key is pressed.
- Artist: Carolina Chocolate Drops.
- 5 to 7 inches.
- Usually large animal ribs or bones from the lower leg.
- Played in the same manner as spoons.
- Artist: Jamiroquai, Xavier Rudd.
- A wind instrument that dates back 1.500 years to indigenous Australians.
- Modern didgeridoos are often four-feet long and cylindrical or conical.
- Artist: State Radio.
- Castrol can.
- Bottle tops.
- Given to State Radio's frontman by a friend who bought it in Capetown, South Africa.
- Artist: Neutral Milk hotel.
- A handsaw played by drawing a bow against the back edge as it is twisted in various ways.
- Artist: Jon Brion.
- Typically has 8 strings.
- Constructed like the mandolin.
- Artist: The Presidents of the United States of America.
- A typical, six-string guitar with only two bass strings.
Instrument: Chapman Stick
- Artist: Greg Howard.
- Typically played by fretting the strings with both hands rather than plucking them.
- 10 or strings.