Any luthier knows that different wood species deliver different sounds to the instruments they build. I may have stumbled upon a graphic way to demonstrate that, I hated to waste the beautiful small scraps of wood left over from my uke builds. I have saved many of the larger pieces and finally came up with an idea to use them. Shakers, rhythmn instruments. I bent some strips cut from maple veneer around an oval form seen in the back of the photo. Cut oval pieces of wood scraps, put a few dried berries of the Madrona tree inside and glued them all together.
They fit in the hand nicely, and make a nice rattling sound, but what I did not expect was the differences in sound. The four shakers shown are made of Koa, East Indian Rosewood, Sitka Spruce, and Bubinga. They are approximately identical in size, thickness and number of Madrona berries inside. The difference in sound is remarkable. I think I am beginning to understand why my recent Bubinga baritones sound so rich and warm, why the East indian tenors sound so powerful and why spruce instruments are bright. I plan on making more of these shakers using Australian Blackwood, Big leaf maple, Englemann Spruce and any other scraps I have-to learn and predict what I can expect in sound from a particular wood. I may have stumbled on a great idea.