Download Marimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone & Glockenspiel Building Guides. Detailed blueprints & Video Instructions
make a simple glockenspiel or metalophone Making orff xylophones DIY diatonic Making Marimbas DIY Mini Marimba Chromatic Making Marimbas three octave DIY concert marimba chromatic DIY vibraphone building plans Making Marimbas five octave DIY professional concert marimba
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DIY 5 octave professional concert marimba

Building Your Own Marimbas, Xylophones & Vibraphones is Easy & Fun - and You are Saving Heaps of Cash!

P3 diy marimba - build it using the plans and video instructions
Making Vibes - PV diy vibraphone - build it using the plans and video instructions
Building these xylophones, marimbas and metalophones using the  plans and blueprints

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Yes, even YOU can make these exact instruments in a snap with these Step By Step plans and video instructions - and it's much easier than you might think!

Imagine... You have a whole range of professional mallet instruments... the musicians are fascinated and you STILL have budget to spare!

If any of these apply to you, then read more.....

You are looking for a serious concert instrument, not a toy, but you simply can't afford a commercial instrument

You are a percussion student or a parent of a percussion student, and you are looking for an inexpensive practice instrument for the home

You are looking for a really fun project to build which will be a real talking pont and source of joy for years to come.

Are looking for an inexpensive way to get Instruments for Schools for classroom percussion ensembles

You are you looking for an instrument that will suit a student right through their high school years, even for music exams

Then read further to learn about the solutions offered on this page.....

P3 marimba home built by an 8 year old
So easy an 8 year old boy can build one!
This photo right here is of the actual instrument that 8 year old Greg built.

Dear Friend,

Have you ever looked at Marimbas or Xylophones in the music stores and wondered…

"……How on earth can these instruments cost so much?"

because after all… they are just planks of wood siting on a frame, with resonating tubes to amplify the sound.

and the last time I checked, the best price I could find of a student model three octave marimba was $2750 (USD) - There may of course be cheaper ones, but to get a reasonable concert instrument will cost upwards of $5000.

And of course if you are after a fully professional Five Octave Marimba then be prepared to fork over closer to $20, 000!!

Furthermore, even for a small box resonated xylophone you can pay upwards of $400 for a good quality instrument.. and schools need to buy full class sets of them...

but not all students or parents have this kind of money...

even schools prefer to spend it elsewhere...

That's why I’ve created this solution for You...

Firstly, Check Out my Super Fast "Making a Marimba Video"

by the way....
The background music for this video was played on the Project 3 prototype instrument built in this video.

make a simple glockenspiel or metalophone
Making orff xylophones DIY diatonic
Making Marimbas DIY Mini Marimba Chromatic
Making Marimbas three octave DIY concert marimba chromatic
DIY vibraphone building plans
Making Marimbas five octave DIY professional concert marimba
Jim mcCarthy, Author, percussionist and instrument builder
Jim McCarthy, Author, percussionist and instrument builder shown with one of his marimba designs

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Firstly, let me introduce myself.

My name is Jim McCarthy, and I’ve been a percussionist for over 20 years.

I’ve always had a passion for building things, and over the years I've had a LOT to do with building and designng marimbas especially for other people to build. I’d never consider myself a professional at woodworking or trades though - I’ve always been a musician first.

and this means that if I can build these projects... You can easily do it as well. You don't need to do any of the design, thinking, hard work and making mistakes - I've already done all that for you!

When I studied for my masters degree I got really into Acoustics and learned all about how Marimbas were built – I even made some massive, world record bass marimbas to indulge my hobby...

But these days my goals are much more practical... I design instruments especially for people like you. It started years ago when I built a few instruments to assist my wife in her school music program. You may have seen the Project 1 Box resonated Xylophone, or the Project 2 mini-marimba which people all around the world are already building to save money for their schools, as well as being interesting to play and enjoy for children.

I've also built many other instruments in my time, from small xylophones to ultra large Bass Marimbas. What I've done is refined my building processes into step by step building guides for five instruments, The Simple Glockenspiel, The Box Xylophone, the Two Octave Mini Marimba, Three Octave Concert Marimba, the Three Octave Concert Vibraphone and more recently, the Pro Five Octave Concert Marimba

Frequently Asked Questions about Making Marimbas, Xylophones and Vibraphones…

Do I need special wood or metal for the bars?

Generic hardwood used to build the prototype P3 marimba Bar material for a making a vibraphone bar

The great thing about these projects is that they will work for you, no matter what wood you have available - or in the case of the vibraphone and glockenspiel they will work really well with standard metal stock which is inexpensive and easy to get hold of in most parts of the world.

Concert quality marimbas are usually made from Honduras Rosewood or African padauk, and obviously the better wood you have access to the better instrument you’ll be able to make. However you can make these instruments from just about any hardwood (eg, Durian or Meranti).

How much will the materials Cost?

This depends on which instruments you are building, and also on where you live. All of these instruments though are designed to use nothing but inexpensive materials which are commonly available in your average hardware store.

but here is a rough guide to materials cost for the various instruments.

  • Simple Glockenspiel - $20
  • P1 Xylophone - $33
  • P2 Mini-Marimba - $250
  • P3 Marimba - $400
  • P524 Marimba - $1700 (for full five octave version using African Padauk bars)
  • PV Vibraphone - $600

    And if you wish to make a better quality instrument you can of course invest in a better quality wood, such as Rosewood. This will cost you a few hundred dollars, but will still be way less than purchasing a real concert instrument.

    Does the plans include both Metric and Imperial Measurements?

    YES! All the plans include both imperial (feet and inches) and metric (millimetres) measurements.

    Do I need to be good at woodworking to achieve this?

    building a DIY marimba at home with the making marimba plans

    Absolutely not! I’m not a carpenter - I’m a musician. Most of the skills required are fairly basic woodwork – measuring, cutting and sanding.

    Even if you’ve hardly ever picked up a hammer or a saw in your life I’m confident that you’ll be able to achieve a workable instrument using these plans. Of course I've picked up a few clues over my time designing and building instruments, but I've put all the important construction tips in the package for you.

    Do I need lots of expensive tools?

    Absolutely not! All of the tools you will need are common houshold tools.

    Things like:

    • An electric drill with a sanding attachment
    • A screwdriver
    • A wood saw
    • A small hammer
    • Sandpaper and sanding discs
    • Hacksaw
    • Rivet Gun

    Plus a few other bits and pieces commonly found around the garage!

    Do I need any special tuning equipment?

    tuning a xylophone bar

    Obviously the better your tuning, the better yoiur instrument will sound. It IS possible to tune a marimba purely by ear, but at least a basic electronic tuner is highly recommended. Any chromatic tuner will do the job, and you can get a really basic electronic tuner from any music store for around $50, or simply borrow one from a friend to get the job done! These tuners are incredibly common – nearly all professional musicians or music teachers either own one or have a friend who owns one.

    BUT... if you don’t have access to one, don’t worry – as I’ve included a full set of sine waves (clear and clean tones) that you can use to tune the notes by ear. If you have a musical ear it is really easy to do it this way.

    If you want to make life even easier, and get a fully professional tuning result, Peterson make tuning software you can buy online for less than $100 USD - which is PERFECT. All these various options are thoroughly discussd in the building guide.

    Is my homemade instrument going to sound as good as commercially available instruments?

    The short answer: It certainly can do!

    Of course if you are saving extra money by using a cheaper timber for the bars then you can't expect them to sound like one of the traditional timbers used for marimbas. And of course the final sound will also depend on the care and precision with which you make and tune your bars. BUT... particularly with the P524 or PV guide which are designed for fully professional instrumets - ALL the information you need to make your marimba or vibraphone sound exactly like a commercial one, is supplied in your building guides.

    Does it matter what the resonators are made out of?

    This is definitely one of the biggest areas of misunderstanding for most people. making the vibraphone resonators and tuning the resonators

    The fact is that it makes very little difference!

    Comercial instrument manufacturers will often TALK about the sounds of different resonator materials - they want to make their instruments seem more special - BUT have you EVER seen anybody publish an actual audio comparison?

    and think about it......The resonator's job is to amplify the sound – and it does this by containing a column of air which is the correct size to resonate when sound waves from the bar enter it.

    So... does the column of air really care what is containing it? or does it even know? Remember it’s the column of air that is vibrating.. not the container, so what it's made from really makes very little difference!

    and I've heard people argue that certain materials are a little harder and reflect sound better than others - well this is true... but here's the thing...

    Extra hard metals etc only make a difference at quite high frequencies - the frequencies way above the range of the vibraphone. Only the upper harmonics of the vibraphone are in this frequency range - and guess what... these upper harmonics are actually tuned to NOT resonate in the tubes!!!

    The plans included for this instrument use PVC pipe for the resonators because:

    • They are lightweight
    • They are inexpensive
    • They are easy to work with
    • They don’t require heavy duty hardware to hold them in place

    And you can get PVC pipe at just about any hardware store, as it is usually used for drainpipes around just about any home! Of course - if you really want to use different materials for your resonators, there's absolutely nothing stopping you. The building guide still tells you how to get the result you are after.

    Do I have to wait for anything to be shipped to me?

    Absolutely not! You have instant access to the e-books and videos via download, so that you can get started immediately. The plans print out in Adobe Acrobat Reader (which nearly every computer already has installed).

  •         Click on the image to learn more about each building guide.....

    make a simple glockenspiel or metalophone
    Making orff xylophones DIY diatonic
    Making Marimbas DIY Mini Marimba Chromatic
    Making Marimbas three octave DIY concert marimba chromatic
    DIY vibraphone building plans
    Making Marimbas five octave DIY professional concert marimba

    The TOTAL Instrument Building Package

    Of course you see the value in getting all of these Instrument Building bluprints, so I have a special offer for you....

    Package deal for marimba, vibraphone, metalophone and xylophone construction

    The Total Building package contains:

    • The Simple Glockenspiel building guide
    make a simple glockenspiel or metalophone
    • The Box Resonated Xylophone E-Book Plans
    Building orff xylophones DIY diatonic
    • The Two Octave Mini Marimba Plans
    Building Marimbas DIY Mini Marimba Chromatic
    • The P3 Three Octave Marimba Plans
    Building Marimbas three octave DIY concert marimba chromatic
    • The P524 Pro Concert Marimba Plans
    DIY pro concert marimba building plans
    • The Three Octave Pro Vibraphone Plans
    DIY vibraphone building plans
    Over three hours of video included with these guides!


    sheet music for glockenspiel, xylophone, marimba and vibraphone
  • You get the three bonus sheet music pieces which come bundled with the building guides
    AND EXTRA BONUS piece of sheet music in this package deal only - "Evening by the Fire"
  • PLUS.....

    FREE Super Bonus #1
    Mallet Making Guide E-Book & Video

    Value: $17.00

    Guide to making your own diy mallets for marimba, vibraphone, xylophone and glockenspielvideo instructions for winding mallets for marimba, vibraphone, xylophone and glockenspiel

    NOW available also as an independent item - GET IT HERE!

    The mallet making e-book guide contains step by step instructions on how to make your own mallets for mallet percussion instruments.

    It includes:

    • How to pick the right materials for the core of the mallet head to give a good full sound on the instrument
    • A guide on the right sort of Timber and Rattan to choose for the shafts
    • What length shaft to use for best results on most instruments
    • Detailed description of how to wind the yarn for soft yarn covered mallets.
    • 20 minute video SHOWing you how to wind mallets in detail.

    This e-book is valued at $17.00, and the information it contains can save you hundreds of dollars in making your own mallets.


    Plus Super BONUS #2!
    Free One Month's subscription to Percussion Keys Website!
    video lessons for tuned percussion and mallet percussion and percussion keyboards
    This is Definitely for You if you want to learn more about playing & building marimbas, xylophones and other percussion instruments.

    You have FULL access to:

    • The entire "KEYS" video tutorial series, teaching YOU to play marimba & vibes.
    • Member's forum and Q&A Section.
    • Monthly Lessons and Videos asked for by YOU, the user.
    • A Unique library of useful downloads & FAQ for instrument builders and percussionists.
    • Free sheet music and exercise sheets.
    • "Cool Videos" of the month.

    The retail price of "Percussion Keys" membership is normally $4.95 to set up and just $13.95 per month. BUT... for this one time only as a bonus for purchasing this building guide - you have the option to get that first month's $13.95 free! And of course you have absolutely no obligation to continue your membership past the first month, so you have nothing to lose. Even the tiny $4.95 set up cost is no risk, because it is covered by my 100% money back guarantee. You decide it's not for you...? Then just tell me and I'll give you a full refund.

    Well Above $300 total value in the package
    for Just $173 !!
    (represents a saving of 41.5%)

    Click here to get the Full Package


    Your 100% Money Back Guarantee
    You have 56 days so that you can fully try out the product!

    marimba building guarantee

    It took me nearly ten years to build up the skills to effectively tune bars and design instruments that worked, and this prototype is now actually my personal concert instrument. That’s how I know these plans work.

    Obviously I can’t build the instrument for you, and your success is going to be determined by a little bit of your own efforts.

    If however, you feel that my plans are at fault and they don’t work for you then simply contact clickbank within 56 days for a full refund of the purchase price of these building guides – no questions asked. In fact I insist! I don't want your money if you can't successfully use them to make your own instruments.

    So go ahead and click here to get started

    And remember that you don't even have to do it yourself... can easily give the plans to an enthusiastic wood-worker to do as a project, or you can even use it as a school class project!

    So... You won't regret it, and this will be one investment that could save you thousands of dollars!

    Order Individually, or get the package here

    make simple metalophones or glockenspiels with this building guide Project Glock - Simple Glockenspiel
    Price: $9.95
    P1 orff style diatonic diy xylophone - make it with these plans Project One - Box Resonated Xylophone
    Price: $27
    P2 mini marimba - these blueprints make building it easy Project Two - Two Octave Mini Marimba
    Price: $39.95
    P3 chromatic concert marimba - making marimbas is easy with this building guide Project Three - Three Octave Concert Marimba
    Price: $49.95
    P524 professional concert marimba - making marimbas is easy with this building guide Project 524 - Variable range Professional Concert Marimba (5 Octave model shown)
    Price: $73
    PV Pro Vibraphone - build your own vibraphone easily with this comprehensive building guide Project V - Concert Vibraphone
    Price: $64.95
    make diy mallets for marimba, xylophone vibraphone and metalophones or glockenspiels Mallet Making E-Book Guide
    Price: $17
    Easily make marimbas, vibraphones, xylophones and glockenspiels with these building guides and video instructions Best value package for marimba, vibraphone, metalophone and xylophone construction
    The TOTAL building Package

    Price: $173

    The Price for ALL SEVEN e-books plus the eight videos plus the four pieces of sheet music - is just $173 US Dollars. You can pay by Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Paypal, and your credit card company will do the currency conversion for you. Check out the exchange rate in your currency at

    You would pay $254.85 if you purchased all these e-books individually, so by purchasing as a package you are saving $81.85...

    AND you get the Simple Glockenspiel Building Guide AND the Mallet Making guide AND extra sheet music AND Percussion KEYS membership, completely free! That's over $44 worth of bonuses in addition to your saving!

    Got Questions?
    Want to speak to me LIVE?
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    Start Chat
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    See you on the next page!
    Jim McCarthy - author of the marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel and vibraphone building guides

    Jim McCarthy

    P.S. There's no gimmicks here - just real information that you won't find anywhere else!

    P.P.S. This is definitely for you if you want a whole range of professional mallet instruments and still have a budget to spare!

    P.P.P.S. This is a tiny price to pay for a system that will save you thousands of dollars, so click here to get started.


    The informational products available at and are designed to give the user all the information required to build the corresponding instruments to the same level and finish as the original prototypes pictured on the websites. The final results produced by the end user are naturally dependent partially on their own abilities and efforts. Some of the skills and techniques described in the building guides may require the end user to practise a little before a high proficiency is achieved. This is an expected part of the building process. Once these skills are sufficiently achieved however, the end user if using due care, should be able to build an instrument for a significantly lower cost than that of any commercially equivalent model.

    Read the FULL disclaimer here.

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