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Tone by Specific Gravity
Mild Tone (.60-.69 SG)

The bones on this page produce Mild tones.

Specific gravity tells you how buoyant one substance is from another. It compares the weight of a material with an equal volume of water. As a rule, the greater the specific gravity, the heavier and denser the material. Since water has a specific gravity of 1.0, materials measuring less than 1.0 will float. Materials measuring more than 1.0 will sink. So if you want mild tones, then get bones that float. If you want the strongest most solid tones, then get bones that sink.


How to Find Bones with the Tone Quality You Want
What is the difference between a mild tone and a strong tone? It's just the difference in tone relative to specific gravity. Scroll down to view musical bones grouped by similar tone quality.

Tone Variables
  • Higher moister content produces lower tone. Lower moister content produces higher tone.
  • Smooth textured bones produce sharper tone. Rough textured bones produce duller tone.
  • Wide bones produce a greater tonal range than narrow bones composed of the same material.
  • Thick bones produce lower tones than thin bones composed of the same material.
Tips
Choose less buoyant bones when you want mild tones that won't overpower other instruments. Choose bones that sink in water when you want the strongest most solid tones possible to help you stand out from the rest of the band. Heavy dense bones carry additional mass which provides the kinetic energy you need to make a pair of bones rattle easier. But if you want milder tones, then choose bones that like to float.


Geeky Facts
Specific gravity is also called relative density. In French, density is "masse volumique." Specific gravity is "densite."


How can this tone guide be improved? Send comments and suggestions.

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Pea Patch Flat Padauk Bones Pea Patch Flat Padauk Bones

Slim easy-grip "soft-tone" design fits comfortably between fingers. Nice quality bones...budget price.

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Percy Danforth Virgin Maple Bones Percy Danforth Virgin Maple Bones

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Only $33.97 pair
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Percy Danforth White Oak Bones Percy Danforth White Oak Bones

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
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Percy Danforth White Oak Bones, reclaimed Percy Danforth White Oak Bones, reclaimed

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
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Vintage Wooden Minstrel Style Bones Vintage Wooden Minstrel Style Bones, matched set of 4

Matched Set of Vintage Black-stained Wooden Minstrel Style Bones.

Only $119.97 matched set of 4
1 in stock!
Whamdiddle Unfinished Minstrel-style Maple Bones Whamdiddle Minstrel-style Maple Bones, Unfinished

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Only $11.97 pair
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Whamdiddle Bird's-Eye Maple Bones Whamdiddle Bird's-Eye Maple Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Canary Bones Whamdiddle Canary Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Unfinished Canary Bones Whamdiddle Canary Bones, Unfinished

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Whamdiddle Maple Bones Whamdiddle Maple Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Maple Bones w/floral inlay Whamdiddle Maple Bones w/Swiss Style Floral Inlay

Handcrafted bones with traditional chip carved Chrysocolla floral inlay.

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Whamdiddle Unfinished Maple Bones Whamdiddle Maple Bones, Unfinished

Do-it-yourself Whamdiddle bones.

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Minstrel-style Hickory Bones Whamdiddle Minstrel-style Hickory Bones

Historically Accurate Reproduction Minstrel-style Bones.

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Minstrel-style Maple Bones Whamdiddle Minstrel-style Maple Bones

Historically Accurate Reproduction Minstrel-style Bones.

Only $19.97 pair
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Minstrel-style Oak Bones Whamdiddle Minstrel-style Oak Bones

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Only $19.97 pair
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Whamdiddle Oak Bones Whamdiddle Oak Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Unfinished Oak Bones Whamdiddle Oak Bones, Unfinished

Do-it-yourself Whamdiddle bones.

   
 
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Specific Gravity Guide
SG (specific gravity)
Figures are approximate (but pretty darn close)

Tone Quality/SG
Mildest Tone 0-.49 SG
Milder Tone .50-.59 SG
Mild Tone .60-.69 SG
Medium Tone .70-.79 SG
Strong Tone .80-.89 SG
Stronger Tone .90-.99 SG
Strongest Tone 1.0+ SG (sinks in water)


SG/Substance