|The vibra-slap is a relatively new instrument that is a modernized version of the jawbone. Due to the fragile nature of the jawbone, the vibra-slap was created to provid a sturdy alternative with a similar sound. It has been used primarily in popular music with several rock bands using this sound for the last several decades of the 20th century and into the 21st century. It is also popular in latin music as a substitute for the jawbone.|
The vibra-slap consists of a cowbell-shaped hollow box (acting as a resonator) and a wooden ball connected by a steel rod. The steel rod is bent in a an "L" shape that allows the performer to hold the rod in one hand and strike the ball with the palm of their other hand. The steel rod acts as a sort of spring that vibrates the box on the other end. The box acts as a resonating body for a metal mechanism placed inside with a number of loosely fastened pins or rivets that vibrate and rattle against the box, much like the teeth of the jawbone.
The vibraslap is produced in a number of sizes using different materials such as wood, metal or composite materials.
The sound is produced by small metal pins or rivets that can move on a metal frame and, when caused to vibrate (by shaking or striking), will rattle against the hollow box in which it resides, creating a chattering or rattling sound. The sound of the vibrations can be changed by rotating the box containing the pins.