Woodblocks are simply blocks of wood that are hit together. Originally, they would have been any block of wood sitting around. Eventually, people learned that different types of wood made different sounds. Also, people love to have beauty, so woodblocks came to be carved and polished and given the look that was desired. Some woodblocks make a better sound if they are hollow. Some woodblocks are made of two different kinds of wood, producing two different sounds on the same instrument. Some can use many different blocks that are tuned. Some woodblocks are two of the same looking block hit together. Some are one block hit with a hard wood mallet or a rubber mallet. Sounds can change depending on material, thickness, hollowness, and a combination of all of the above.

Official instruments that are woodblocks are many. A few of these are woodblocks, castinetes, temple blocks, marimba, claves, crow sounder (which is a wooden handle on a wooden tube that has corregated sides, a wooden mallet is scraped on the corregation to make a crow sound or the tube is hit with the mallet) and even instruments like sand blocks (blocks of wood with sand paper glued to them that are rubbed together), maracas, and rain sticks.

Firewood Band has used a variety of woodblocks, most which have been almost lovingly beat to death by exuberant children that were having a very good time.