The barriles, also known as the barriles de bomba, are Puerto Rican instruments, drums that are central to the island’s bomba music. Traditional barriles are made of rum barrels with drumheads made of goat skin. You must have at least two drums to perform bomba: a Primo bomba, which follows the dancer closely–and the buleador, which maintains the beat.
If you want to play bomba and you don’t have barriles of your own…well why don’t you make them? This video will show you how. (As in the video, I strongly recommend you listen to salsa muusic as you’re building your drum.)
The basic steps:
1) Take apart a wooden barrel; remove the metal bands that hold the slats together and separate the slats
2) Glue the sides of the slats
3) Put the slats back together, now held together with glue instead of metal
4) Sand everything, especially the top where the drum head will be
5) Paint or wood-stain your sanded drum to make it pretty
6) Craft an iron circle to pull down around the drum to stretch and hold the drumhead when you have it
7) Get an animal to donate its skin to the cause
8) Pull down a circle of the skin over the top of the drum using the iron.
9) Stretch it tight very tight!
10) Take lots of pictures of yourself and your friends standing near the drums.
This is easy, right? Of course if you’re a kid without access to a barrel, iron and a willing animal, you can still have a close-enough barril de Bomba, just turnn over an empty wastebasket and drum!