Kittle Drums

The traditional instruments in the Tamboo Bamboo band were replaced by zinc plated drums known as Kittle drums. This change was partly to stop bamboo players from using their instruments as weapons when the bands clashed.  

The name kittle came from the military kettle drum or side drum. The band members suspended the drums around their necks or strapped over their shoulders and played them with two sticks.

These instruments were traditionally played marching through the streets in an organised fashion, similar to that of the military when on parade.

When the tenor kittle was replaced by the ping pong, the kittle drums were used mainly to provide harmony. 


Tenor kittle: had five notes and was often played alongside the ping pong.

Bass Kittle: had two pitches and often replaced the cutter in tamboo bamboo bands. A larger and heavier form of this kittle drum was also used called the balay or grumbler. The bass kittle later became known as the Duddup.

Cuff Boom: a large, single note drum made from a biscuit tin and replaced the boom in tamboo bamboo bands.

Tune boom: a later version of the cuff boom that had three or four notes and was made from a caustic soda drum. The tune boom later became the forerunner to the conventional bass pan.