LEGO Drum Set: My Inspiration & Back Story ~
Above I put together a short video highlighting an amazing drum kit that I have built out of LEGO's. Yes LEGO's. Why? Why not?
As a percussionist I am inspired by all sounds, colors and textures. Since I was a kid I have always LOVED the sound that is created when one rakes their hands through a pile of LEGO's. Nothing sounds quite like it that I have found anyway. When my children were little it even became more intense of a sound and texture for me since so much had changed with the size and options of LEGOs.
While attending the International Brickfair in Chantilly, Virginia with my son in 2011, I was blown away immediately by the level of incredible people that I met there creating some absolutely remarkable designs, models, structures, art etc. etc. Projectile Scientists, Navel Architects, Structural and Mechanical Engineers, Mathematicians, Software Programmers on and on and this doesn't even touch on the amazing creative minds of the youth builders. I also love the fact that all of these individuals that I had met and spoke with all follow a very strict credo to honor the original LEGO designed brick and not to alter it in any way. Therefore "No cutting, drilling or gluing". What I respect about that is what I respect of the music world that I am blessed to be a part of. it's that deep respect for tradition and then the desire to create your own place within it. I sat in on incredible in depth seminars, learned about the manufacturing processes and the amazing tight tolerances that they function under and met historians. Like I said - "Mind Blowing".
I returned home with a collection of bricks and plates that I purchased from some venders at Brickfair and was successful in creating a few different rattles and shakers
In 2013 at Brickfair, VA I watched two children and their parents building a very flexible creation and I was amazed. I had never thought for a moment that you could do such a thing with LEGO bricks. I was directed by my son how to achieve this feat and found myself most intrigued. During that same weekend we ventured to an area shopping mall "Tyson's Corners" which features a very well stocked LEGO Store which highlights the "Pick - A - Brick" wall which offered on the day of our visit two other incredible finds; the 1 x 1 slope and the 1 x 1 round plate. These two finds blew my mind as well. It was after discovering these two different LEGO bricks that it occurred to me that I can create a fully operational drum shell since these two bricks would allow me to create the most critical element of the drum shell - it's bearing edges. Using the combination of 1 x 3 standard brick and the 1 x 1 cylinder made it possible for me to create the straight walled cylinder shape of the drum shell but the 1 x 1 slope would allow me to create the all important bearing edge along the top edge while using the 1 x 1 round plate as the all important bearing edge for the bottom of the drum shell. When I returned home I outfitted my drum with the necessary conventional drum components to complete a fully operational drum with shells made completely out of LEGO Bricks. I tuned the drum heads and when I struck the drum for the first time I was absolutely blown away. I had never really fully expected it to work. (please watch video below highlighting My First Lego Drum = The Snare)
I honestly continue to use this first LEGO Drum (a snare drum) in all of my professional musical situations - performing , recording and education. As of today's date have clocked at least 1000 performances with my LEGO Snare Drum. Shortly after creating my snare drum - I then started building a Bass Drum (16" x 16"), A Ride Tom (10" x 10") and a small diameter floor tom (12" x 12") all equally successful projects. By 2015 I had successfully created a beautiful 4 piece drum set that I have continued to use since in both my LIVE and Studio situations. I am currently planing on building 2 additional LEGO Drums, one smaller (8" x 8") and a slightly larger floor tom (14" x 14"). All of these sizes were selected on purpose since I work along side many other drummers which use typically larger drum sizes - my LEGO Drums always find their sonic space and never get in the way. (please watch the full video below highlighting the Lego Drum Set)
I am continuing my adventure by exploring other ways to create other sounds and textures using the amazingly diverse LEGO Bricks!!!
Please take a minute or two to checkout and enjoy the video that documents the World Premier of the very First LEGO Drum Set. Performance was on July, 15th, 2015.
Thank you for taking your time to read on and watch, Brian