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About Me

Hello, my name is Dmitrii Gubarev, I am sole creator and founder of the musical instrument GUDA® drum and Gubarev drum. Gubarev drum is unique musical instrument invented in Ukraine in 2013. I am developer and maker of steel tongue drums and handpans.

Garage experiments

Seven years ago Dmitrii saw the musical instruments made by Felix from Switzerland on the Internet  and he was fascinated by their sound. He already was engaged in music for a long time playing in local bands. Having engineering education, Dmitrii decided that he would be able to produce such instrument. Though, the task was much more complicated than it seemed, as practice showed.

“There are so much of ​​nuances and technological aspects, which none of the masters said. For several years I had to knock on iron, experiment, pick up different grades of steel and technologies of their heat treatment, in order to achieve normal results and individual sound “ – shares Dmitrii.

Hobby grew into a real peace of work at some point.

“I did not even notice when that happened. Just in one day I realized that there is a large number of acquaintances who want to buy the musical instruments that I make. Before that the results of my experiments were simply bought by friends. They visit me, asked to try playing or just to give the drum as a present”. All works were done in Dmitrii’s garage.

“I liked sitting in a garage while bending metal, giving it a new shape, reaching a certain sound.”

This procedure was so pleasing to him that at some point he decided to give up work and devote all time to the production of drums.

A combination of technology and creativity

Dmitrii has been making instruments for seven years already. He took the workshop from the garage to the factory premises. A man constantly experiments in the work and improves the production technology:

“I’m still learning, by mistakes and attempts. I’ve accumulated so much of personal experience and different solutions for seven years.”

Initially, the master used carbon steel, but it had a significant problem – rust. In search of Dmitrii stopped on an alloy used for the development of surgical instruments:

“This steel is absolutely inert to humans and does not rust even in marine climates. It is harder to work with it than with iron, but all the advantages of this material overlap with the disadvantages of the work. Also it has a good timbre of sound – quite soft comparing to iron.”

One of the main tools in Dmitrii’s arsenal is hammer and he owes a lot of them:

“One forms the metal, the other shapes it. One of my colleagues, who produces similar drums, calls them musical sculptures. This is because the whole instrument is made of a flat sheet of metal – it is bent and knocked out.”

In addition to the hammer, the master uses sanding machines, drills, presses. His experience now formed the eight musical instrument models. Dmitry uses his graphic design education in creating of decoration.

“The patterns I use,” says Dmitrii, “is usually a mixture of mehendi with the symbolism of Sanskrit, Hinduism, Celtic or Slavic motives, Ukrainian ornaments. Sometimes, I’m getting orders for something specific. And always trying to create a good image with a symbolic foundation and spiritual meaning.”

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Get inspired and inspire others

When asked what motivates him to do this, Dmitrii answers:

“First of all, it’s a desire for creativity and realization of feelings in the material. When you finish making a musical instrument, when you get good sound from it, you get an aesthetic pleasure from the work done. It brings joy to me. And I also have the pleasure of communicating with the creative people who order musical instruments. “

The craftsman is often visited by street musicians – to chat or to join the process of creating musical instruments for themselves. “This is very stimulating for me to further development,” Dmitrii shares.

Dmitrii’s drums are ordered in different countries, most of all in Japan. Musician Danilo Tsuyoshi, recorded his album using Gubarev drums, and rides around the country, giving concerts with them. He also sales the instruments in Japan. Many instruments come to the music stores of Switzerland and the United States, sometimes orders come from island states, where limited mail is forwarded.

Due to the large number of people who want to buy drums Gubarev Dmitrii has to spend days and nights in the workshop:

“I would not deal with this amount of work by myself. I already got a team of assistants and creative people. We work together. The guys loading off me the simple preparatory stages of work. But the final tuning I can’t trust to anyone, cos this is the most responsible stage. Engraving is also my own, often my wife helps – she is also has artistic education. I am fortunate enough to have good and creative friends, with whom we have been familiar for many years or been studying together. They help me in my work and inspire me. “

When asked about plans for the future, the craftsman answers that the main objective is to improve and experiment:

“I try to receive feedback constantly from the musicians-clients, listening to their preferences, so my plans are half dependent on their needs and wishes.”

Dmitrii also works on the complexity of musical instruments and improving their sound.