Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, I shined shoes as a kid on the streets and in the bars and it was there that I would see spoon and rhythm bones players. I lived in an Irish neighborhood and the playing of Irish traditional music could be heard. Solo playing on the spoons or rhythm bones was so impressive to me that I practiced. Shoe shine long handle wooden round brushes for bones and metal spoons did the trick and playing against my wooden shoe shine box gave me invitations to lay and pick up shoe shines on the streets and bars. I was was 13 years old and a shine was 10 cents.
In answer to the RBS quest to develop a low cost, mass produced pair of rhythm bones to either give away to kids (and adults) or make available to them to encourage rhythm bones playing, I have submitted the following design. Pictured to the right are my Dutch Penny Bones that are the most robust design, easy to make, inexpensive, and have all the features of ease to hold and play for children and adults. I have tried many designs and even given away and sold real bones including wooden rhythm bones that cost a thousand percent more and this design has the psychological pulling power to interest kids and adults alike.
As of this writing and the publication of this article in the Rhythm Bones Player newsletter, I give up all my rights to this simple proven design which includes copyright and any patent rights. Dutch Penny Bones are now in the public domain for anyone to copy, use, make or sell for any use. I give the RBS all rights and any information in my files that contain first use of Dutch Penny Bones so the design cannot be contested. I only ask that any reference to these rhythm bones be referred to as Dutch Penny Bones.
What I have proposed is: two tongue depressors (sticks) with a penny glued on one end of each stick whereby the penny side are clicked against each other playing the bones in normal bones playing position. Using knock outs from an electrical box in place of the pennies was the idea of Echoing Heart Productions band who only uses recyclables. I use the tongue depressors from any craft store called Forster Jumbo Sticks 300 count 6”x 3/4” x 1/16” and glue one penny on each stick at the end using Gorilla Glue available from Home Depot.