Shooting Star Bones
Hand-made, easily played...since 1983
Examine the World's Largest Selection of Shooting Star Bones...
Shooting Star Bones are made only from non-endangered, sustainably harvested woods specially selected for beauty and tone quality.
Narrow Widths for Smaller Hands
Check out our growing collection of Shooting Star Bones in narrow widths. They are great for women, kids and players with smaller hands (and regular hands too). But the only way to find out for sure which you like best is to try a pair of each.
We do our best to ship you matched pairs. We cannot guarantee that a pair will match. But we do make an effort to match them. No other shop does that. What's more, if you order a full set of four bones (two pairs), then we try to match both pairs. Again, there's no guarantee (because this is a teeny-tiny specialty market so our inventory, although the largest on the planet, is not large enough). Still, if you want the best chance to get a matched pair or set, then Bone Dry Music is your absolute best shot.
Why So Many Choices?
Even if you can find a shop that sells musical bones, there's no telling what you will see when you open the box. That's what sets Bone Dry Music apart from the rest. We do our best to avoid surprises when you open the box. That's why we offer you so many choices...so you have more control over what you get.
Here's what we want you to say when you open the box, "Yep, that's pretty much what I was expecting."
Can't Decide Which Bones to Choose?
Check out this handy guide: Bone FAQs
Hand-made, easily played...since 1983
I discovered Shooting Star bones in 2003. The place was Bones Fest VII, which was held in Louisville, Kentucky that year. Since then, Shooting Star bones have held a special place among my very favorite instruments.
I vividly recall the first time I tried a pair of Shooting Star bones. Fellow Rhythm Bones Society member Mike Ballard (of San Diego, California) and I were talking about bones in the jam session room when he handed me a pair of Shooting Star bones and said, "Try these." Not only did those bones play extraordinarily well, but the wide width was different from so many other bones I have seen. Fact is, this difference is what distinguishes Shooting Star bones from their competition.
Eventually I bought a few sets. The main reason I favor wide Shooting Stars is because they can produce an amazing dynamic tonal range. This helped me win the 2004 bones contest sponsored by the National Traditional Country Music Association. (The contest is regarded by leading players as the world championship.)
Get the Exact Width You Want
No other store lets you order Shooting Star bones by width. Width varies from batch to batch, but if you are looking to match that old pair of bones, or if you simply want to know what width you are getting, then you have come to the right place.
Every now and then you will hear a Shooting Star owner grumble, "Gosh-darn it, you never know what size Shooting Star bones a music store will send you." Fact is, sometimes a store will send you one-inch Shooting Stars. Or sometimes it's one-inch-and-a-quarter. Order two pairs and they might send you two (or even three) different sizes. I know, because I've been there. So I feel your pain. So what is a bone player supposed to do? The answer is easy. Just get your Shooting Star bones here. We are the only store that meets your match. Yes, we sell Shooting Star bones by exact width size.
Narrow (7/8", 1")
Narrow Shooting Star bones deliver a remarkable tonal range for their size. These bones are perfect for kids, people with small hands, and anyone who enjoys the traditional American (aka minstrel one-finger) style of playing.
Wide (1-1/8", 1-3/16, 1-1/4", 1-5/16", 1-3/8")
These are my favorite Shooting Star bones. If you prefer the Irish (aka European two-finger) style of playing (as I do), then you will love these wide classic bones because they enable you to produce a remarkable tonal range. Not sure which size to get? For me, wider is better.
World's Largest Selection of Wide Shooting Star Bones
Shooting Star no longer makes wide bones on a regular basis. They only produce wide bones by special order - and we strive to keep them all in stock. So congratulations, you have found the only store that offers the entire line of wide Shooting Star bones.
Natural Nontoxic Finish
Shooting Star bones are finished with a wholesome nut-based oil that's safe for you, the dog and your kids. The elastic bands that keep pairs together sometimes absorb the oil and might leave a mark. To replenish the color, simply remove the band and rub the spot to spread the oil, or just dab with a drop or two of vegetable oil.
How Shooting Star Bones Were Born
The idea for Shooting Star bones was conceived in the early 1980s. The place was an English Country dance troupe where Mardeen and Randy Gordon performed at the annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California. (Ren faire aficionados will note that this is the original renaissance faire.)
"I made myself a pair," recalls Mardeen, "and promptly sold them to another faire participant." Happily, folks loved the bones and sales were brisk. "Every pair I made for myself was soon snapped up, so I decided to start making them and bringing them every weekend...before I knew it, a new business was born."
Like many of us, Mardeen and Randy enjoy passing along the art of bone playing. Through the years this "star-gazed" couple have helped untold numbers of folks learn to play the bones. "We operated our own booth at the Faire," says Mardeen, "and taught hundreds of people to rattle their bones between dancing performances."
But that was 25 years ago. Now Mardeen and Randy are out of the ren faire circuit. They have sold thousands of Shooting Star bones and still fill orders for your favorite traditional music stores - like Bone Dry Musical Instrument Company - all across the U.S.