Jim McCarthy Make a Marimba Review focuses on a unique online course that helps you build Marimbas, Xylophones and Vibraphones at home. It is an easy and fun filled way.
You also manage to save a lot of your hard earned money in the act, as this online course is cost effective and a money savior for all.
Jim McCarthyis a professional instrumentalist who has been practicing this art professionally for the past 20 years. He has developed several programs that help students to develop professional instruments at home and without burning a hole in their pocket.
This is a DIY course that enables you to create a marimbaxylophone, vibraphone at warp speed and without any outside interference. Simply sit at home and ensure that you bring these musical instruments to life – much to the surprise of your friends and family.
Jim McCarthy Make a Marimba Review
Name of the Product: Make a Marimba
Name of the Creator: Jim McCarthy
Type of Product: Digital Guide
Nature of Use: Helps You Build a Marimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone and More
Unique Selling Point: DIY Guide
Bonus Offers: Yes, 2 Included
Price of the Product: $173
User Feedback: Very Positive
Reviewer Rating: 4.78 Out of 5 Stars
For Whom are these DIY Plans Meant for?
@ For those individual who do not have a huge budget for purchasing a commercial instrument and they still want to have a good instrument.
@ You want to practice percussion at home but you do not have the budget to purchase an expensive percussion instrument from the market.
@ You seek an instrument that you can use when you are studying at school and which could come in handy for you till you are done with college and earning. Only when you are in a job would you be able to purchase a professional instrument.
@ You like working at building instruments and would like to develop a percussion instrument (not a toy model) at home, which is professional and cost effective in nature.
@ You play an instrument and would like to own a percussion instrument that you can also take to the school for practice.
@ If you cannot pay $2750 for a 3 Octave Marimba, a concert instrument that costs $5000 or a five Octave marimba that costs $20,000. Ironically, even a small xylophone costs $400, which apparently is not in the reach of most instrumentalists.
Highlights of Jim McCarthy Make a Marimba Program
A quick look at what makes this digital product click with the masses:
Minimal Material Requirement
First and foremost, you need minimalist material to build expensive instruments. In order to build a marimba yourself, you would not require any hardwood, such as Durian or Meranti.
You do not necessarily have to make use of African Padouk or Honduras Rosewood. In order to build a xylophone, a marimba, or a vibraphone, you need an electric drill that has a sanding attachment, a rivet gun, a basic screwdriver, a hacksaw, a wooden saw, sandpaper, a hammer and sanding discs.
Minimal Manufacturing Cost
The cost of purchasing the instruments talked about in the previous paragraphs runs into tens of thousands of dollars. Nonetheless, when you build these at home using Jim’s unusual yet flawless method, the cost is reduced to a few hundred dollars.
Using Jim’s method, a Glockenspiel shall cost you $20, a PV Vibraphone shall cost you $600, a P1 Xylophone shall cost you $33, a P524 Marimba shall cost you $1700 (this is a five octave instrument that makes use of the African Padouk wood), a P2-Mini Marimba shall cost you $250 and a P3 Mrimba shall cost you a meager amount of $400.
In case you want to improve the overall quality of the wood, such as opting for Rosewood, then the cost shall increase but only by a few hundred dollars. Nonetheless, you would still be spending few thousand dollars lesser than what you shall be paying when you purchase the same instrument from the market.
No Prior Experience Required
In order to build these instruments at home, you do not require serious skills. The only skill that you would require is basic woodworking skill. Ideally, most individuals (regardless of which category they belong to) are able to use the saw for cutting, use sandpaper, or take measurements, which in turn are termed as basic woodworking skills.
Even if you have never done woodworking before, a little bit of practice would be able to help you become an expert at this at warp speed. Besides, the tools that you shall be making use off, are home based tools. The plans provided within this guide book contain measurements in both centimeters as well as feet/inches.
Professional Vs Home Made Equipment
There is definitely a difference in using professionally made instruments versus homemade ones, especially when you are making use of wood that is of lower quality.
When you make use of cheap timber for making bars for marimba then, the sound shall differ from a professional marimba that uses high quality timber.
Nonetheless, if you use the guidebook present in the tutorial and fine tune your instruments accordingly then, your home made instrument would sound exactly like the expensive one you get at the market.
The Tuning Strategy
In order to tune your instrument, you can simply tune your instrument using your ear, or by using a basic tuning instrument. A chromatic tuner worth $50 should ideally be sufficient to get the job done.
This guidebook also contains an entire chapter on Sinewaves, which you can use to tune your homemade instrument by the ear. The Peterson tuning software worth $100 is also supposed highly recommended by Jim McCarthy.
Difference Between Homemade and Commercial Instruments
There is absolutely no difference in homemade instruments, when compared with the expensive ones you get at the local market.
If you are careful and precise in your actions, the final homemade instrument shall sound just like a professional one.
The building guides present in this downloadable guide are sufficient to help you construct a homemade instrument that costs fractions of what a professional one does. The PV as well as the P524 guides are especially meant for developing professional instruments from scratch.
Facts on Resonators
It is important to make note of the fact that professionally developed resonators are not any different when compared to homemade ones. The amplification of sound is achieved via the mechanism of a resonator.
Jim has made use of a unique strategy to make resonators that are equivalent in terms of their quality of sound as compared to homemade ones.
For this, he makes use of PVC pipes as they are lightweight, inexpensive, easy to work with, and they do not need any heavy duty hardware to hold them in place. These pipes are cheap and they can easily be had at any hardware store with utmost ease.
Official Website Overview
Make a Marimba official website is an ordinary one. It has been made years ago with no cosmetic changes having taken place over the years. While this does not diminish its importance, it does undermine its cosmetic appearance. After all, everyone loves to be associated with a website that is good to look at and interactive in nature.
The Product Description:
It needs to be noted that Jim has done a wonderful job in describing the product in great detail. He has listed the numerous reasons why you should build a marimba at home. The advantages of doing so and the reason why you need to avoid purchasing one is also listed. The list of eBooks that are covered in this DIY course are also listed aptly.
The Cosmetic Makeover:
Apart from pleasing color combinations, there is nothing much to credit the cosmetic capability of this product. The design and layout is aged and there is no reflection of modernity. Lack of high resolution images does little to compensate for the lack of a new-age design.
The Eye-Catchy Factor:
The only eye catchy factor in Jim’s landing page is the presence of a video tutorial. I find that to be really easy to understand. You manage to comprehend what Jim’s DIY Marimba course is all about. The white background and diverse colored text too helps me understand the true nature of Jim’s eBook.
The Call to Action:
This has been well looked after by Jim and his team. The call to action text is backed by GIF images that helps the customer to understand that he needs to make a purchase. There is no way a reader could miss this.
Overall, the website does justice for the purpose it was meant for. It educates a marimba lover to stop wasting thousands of dollars purchasing a marimba or a xylophone from a brick and mortar store. Instead, spend some time and build one at home at a fraction of the cost.
Contents of Jim McCarthy’s DIY Course
There are six guide books available in this courseware. Let us discuss each guide book in brief –
1) Guidebook 1: How to Make a Simple Glockenspiel
This is the first guide book that shall teach you how to build a simple 2 Octave simple Glockenspiel in a simple-to-understand manner. You shall also be taught how to fine tune the metal notes by making use of a drill machine that runs on electric power.
You shall also be given a list of home based equipment that you can use to create this instrument from scratch at home and make it as good as a professional instrument. The cost of this guide book is $9.95 only.
Highlights of this Guidebook –
@ Stepwise instructions for building a two octave glockenspiel.
@ Mp3 files for establishing the correct pitches to your instrument (these are also termed as sine waves).
@ Detailed information on the bars and frames including their dimension and size – they are accurate and always successful.
@ Detailed diagrams as well as photographs that help in the development process. There are 72 illustrations in total.
@ Technique of measuring as well as suspending the metal correctly. You would also be taught the correct technique of identifying the nodal points for mounting holes of each individual bar.
@ You are also told how to increase or decrease the pitch of each bar by using a tried and tested technique that works each and every time.
@ A PDF file that can be printed and it is 23 pages in length.
2) Guidebook 2: How to Build a Two Octave Mini Marimba at Home
This is the second lesson and it teaches you how to build a 2 Octave mini marimba at home. The cost of this guide is $39.95.
Highlights of this Guidebook –
@ You shall be taught to build a 2 octave mini marimba that appears to be as professional as the ones available in the market.
@ You shall build this instrument using tools that are usually available in your household.
@ The project details are specified in a simple manner and you are able to enjoy the entire project.
@ You shall be taught how you can develop this musical instrument and fine tune it like any professionally available Mini Marimba at one tenth the cost.
@ You are also given 3 bonus offers along with this package.
3) Guidebook 3: How to Develop a Classroom Style Xylophone from Scratch
In this guide, you would be taught to create how to make a xylophone that you can use for your classroom practice.
You would be provided with stepwise instructions on how to build this instrument from scratch and then, you would be provided with detailed instructions on how to fine tune it in order to extract the correct intonations and establish the correct pitch.
You shall also be taught how you can create this instrument from scratch using just your electric drill and a sanding disc.
Highlights of this Guidebook –
@ Instructions for building an 11 note xylophone together with the exact cutting procedures. There are 61 diagrams illustrating this process and an MP3 file that contains “sine waves” that you shall use for tuning this instrument.
@ You shall also be provided with detailed sheet music for this very instrument, which costs a few dollars in the market but in this course, it is provided free of any cost.
4) Guidebook 4: How to Build a Three Octave Concert Marimba at Home
This is a guide book that shall teach you how to build a 3 octave concert Marimba that usually costs anywhere in between $4000 to $10,000 in the open market but you shall be building one at home for under $500. So, you end up developing a professional instrument without spending a bomb in return. The cost of this guide book is $49.95.
Highlights of this Guidebook –
@ This guidebook contains 115 diagrams that are self explanatory in nature. They help you develop this instrument without any glitch by using simple household instruments.
@ There is also a video that is 45 minutes in length and it helps you master the techniques of fine tuning the bar as well as the harmonica.
@ There are 3 bonus offers included in the package – the first one is a guide that helps you build a simple Glockenspiel. The second bonus is sheet music that is compatible with the Three Octave Concert Marimba. The third and final bonus is a free membership for a month to the Percussions Keys website.
5) Guidebook 5: How to Build a Vibraphone at Home
Commercial Vibraphones cost thousands of dollars and they are not within the budget of most musicians, which is why developing one at home for less than $700 sounds like a great deal for most aspiring musicians.
You would require aluminum, plumbing equipment, Gold spraypaint, timber, duskmasks, sandpaper, rubber supplies, rivets, screws, motor parts, bolts and electrical parts, to build these instruments at home. The cost of this guidebook is $64.95 and if you follow the instructions properly, you can build a Vibraphone is as little as 6 days.
Highlights of this Guidebook –
@ You shall be taught to cut the bars and then fine tune them to get the desired pitch each and every time you play this instrument.
@ You shall be taught the correct way to cut the resonator tubes and then fine tune them to match the pitch of the bars.
@ You shall be taught to build a frame using timber to hold the resonator tubes and bars together.
@ How to make use of the aluminum bars to make the pedals and then making proper adjustments to hold them in proper places.
@ In order to get the vibrato effect, you shall be taught to make the rotating fans and you shall also be taught the correct technique to rotate them.
@ You shall be provided with 320 photo illustrations and diagrams for this very purpose. This is an 87 page eBook.
@ This lesson shall also contain a 38 minute video tutorial that shall explain how you need to fine tune the bars and harmonics and how to cut the vibraphone bar.
@ You shall get 3 bonus offers as well. The first bonus is a guide book that teaches you to develop a simple glockenspiel. The second bonus is free sheet music that you can use along with this instrument. The third and final bonus is a month’s free membership to the author’s percussion website.
6) Guidebook 6: How to Build a 4 to 5 Octave Concert Marimba at Home
In this tutorial, you shall be taught to build a 4-5 octave concert marimba at home. If you purchase a professional instrument, it shall cost you anywhere in between $11,000 to $21,000.
Nonetheless, when you build it at home, you shall pay just $2000 or less. This simply means you save a hell of a lot of money, while managing to own a professional instrument. The cost of this guide book is $73.
Highlights of this Guidebook –
@ Over 800 photo images as well as diagrams as well as 179 A-4 sized sheets explaining the entire procedure.
@ A 2 hour video tutorial that shall teach you how to fine tune the bars.
@ There is no other online tutorial that can teach you how to build a 4 to 5 octave marimba at home.
@ You shall be taught how to develop professional instruments at home.
@ You require minimalistic equipment, most of which is readily available at home.
@ You save thousands of dollars.
@ You are able to learn how to develop instruments worth thousands of dollars without moving an inch from your easy chair.
@ There is no other known course available anywhere in the world that can teach you how to build these instruments at home.
@ You can seek a complete refund within 56 days of placing the order, in case you are not fully satisfied with the program.
@ This course is only meant for serious musicians only. If you are a casual musician, then it is in your best interest to avoid this course.
@ If you are wondering how to make a marimba at home despite using Jim’s method then, It is best you buy it from a local musician shop.
FAQ on Make a Marimba Project
Q-1: How Can I Make a Marimba at Home? I have No Experience.
A-1: Jim McCarthy and his highly skilled team have prepared DIY video tutorials for you to follow. Illustrated text is also provided. This in turn enables even a newbie to fully comprehend how to make a marimba at home.
Q-2: How is Jim Capable of Teaching Me the art of Making a Marimba At Home?
A-2: He has over 20 years of experience building marimbas. He is therefore well equipped to help you out.
Q-3: How Much does it Cost?
A-3: It is pegged at $173.
Q-4: Can I Purchase Individual Books?
A-4: Yes, you can do so. You can purchase individual DIY books or buy the entire package for $173.
Q-5: Do You Offer a Refund?
A-5: Yes, full refund is available if you decide to return the product within 60 days of placing the order.
Q-6: How soon Can I Build a Marimba?
A-6: Within a few days you would be able to build a marimba at home. If you are a quick learner, you may complete it sooner.
The Final Verdict
If you are an articulate musician with a passion for making instruments that are highly priced, at a fraction of their original cost without leaving the save confines of your home, then this program is well suited for you.
On the other hand, if you are just a casual music lover with no special interest in musical instruments, then you should avoid this course.