Bones made his Acoustic Marimba by cutting the Marimba keys to the approximate
size and shape from African Padouk but Rose Wood, Cherry or Mahogany
are often used depending on the instrument to be made.
The keys are then tuned by removing wood from the center and/or the
outside of the key until the fundamental note and overtones are correctly
pitched. The tubes underneath the keys are made from aluminum and tuned
by placing plexiglass stoppers into the bottom at a specific lengths.
Gourds or PVC pipe are often used and small holes can then drilled in
the stoppers and covered with cellophane. When a mallet strikes a key,
air pressure is sent down the tube causing the cellophane membrane to
According to some Shona speaking people, this buzz effect is referred
to as 'jaka' (hence, the name of that group.) The mallets used to play
the marimbas are made from hickory dowels of various diameters with
extruded rubber heads attached after being drilled hollow.
frame of Bones' Marimba is made from Ultimate Support System aluminum
tubing and hardware so that it can be adjusted to the angles needed
for multiple applications.