How to Make Musical Instruments

The creation of both music and musical instruments, traces its roots to the basic human need of bringing rhythm in life. There’s music all around us…leaves rustle to the tune of the whistling wind; birds chirp in tune with the swaying trees; clouds announce the arrival of rain through their thunder; rain drops perform a tap dance on roofs and window sills; waves dash with the seashore, in perfect harmony and seashells reproduce the sound of sea waves. All of these gestures of nature are melodious musical expressions. Probably, these forms of music must have inspired man to design instruments that could produce sound and create music. Nature must have been his inspiration behind making musical instruments.

What are musical instruments? Well, they are defined as objects constructed or used for making sounds of music, but they are not just that. Musical instruments are the means to express the universal language of music. How about being able to reproduce this language through homemade musical instruments? Sounds interesting? Then keep reading on how to make a musical instrument. Let us see one example each of some of the different types of musical instruments and understand how to make them.

How to Make a Drum?
All you need to make a homemade drum is a cylindrical container, construction paper, a masking tape and glue. For the drum sticks, you will require two pencils and tissue paper. All of these materials are readily available. As the first step to making a homemade drum, get a cylindrical container like an empty popcorn tin or an aluminum can. Then cover the top of the container with strips of masking tape and wrap the container with construction paper. And your drum is ready! For the drumsticks, tie a bunch of tissue to the end of the pencil with a masking tape that spirals around the pencil, right up to the top of the tissue ball. Repeat the same procedure for the other pencil, and you have your drumsticks ready. I am sure you will not wait to ‘beat the drum’ for your accomplishment of having made one yourself!

How to Make a Flute?
Flute music and melody are synonyms. It’s a wonderful idea to create this melody from a homemade flute. Here’s how to make it. The materials required for making a flute include, a steel rod, a propane torch to heat the rod, an oven mitt to hold the heated rod, a 1/4″ drill bit, sandpaper, a hacksaw, a grease pencil, linseed oil and a bamboo (that’s what the flute will be made of!) How to go about making the flute? First, cut out an 18-20″ long piece of bamboo that is around 3/4″ in diameter. Make sure one end of this piece is blocked by the fibrous material in between the sections of the bamboo. Mark a spot at a distance of 1″ from the blocked end of the bamboo. Mark the next spot at a distance of 6″ from the first one, and five more, spaced at intervals of 1″ from each other. Next, use the steel rod to burn the fibrous material, by heating one end of the rod and inserting it into the open end of the bamboo. Then heat the drill bit and drill out the holes at the previously marked locations. With the help of a sandpaper, remove the charcoaled bamboo from around the holes, smoothen the surface and your flute is ready. Coat linseed oil on the finished flute. The process of making this musical instrument looks quite complex, but the melody in its music is worth the effort!

How to Make a Guitar?
This is more of a craft idea which children will surely enjoy. The procedure is simple; all you need is an old shoe box, rubber bands, a pencil or a piece of wood, paper and a pair of scissors. Get hold of an old shoe box and cut an oval-shaped hole in the top. Stretch the rubber bands around the box, such that they stretch over the hole. Place the pencil under the rubber bands on one side and the guitar is ready. For the neck of the guitar, use a paper tube. If you have long rubber bands, you can stretch them up to the neck as well. The same procedure can be followed for a making a wooden guitar. Here, you will require a bit of woodworking and the rubber bands will be replaced by real strings. String your guitar and string along!

I know you were familiar with all these musical instrument names and well-aware of the type of music played on them. But did you know that making musical instruments was so easy? Actually, you can build on the procedure for making a guitar to design other string instruments and extend the idea of making a drum, to make similar percussion instruments. Similarly, the procedure for making a flute will help you make other wind instruments. The very obvious advantage of making homemade musical instruments is that it is a cost-effective alternative to buying them. Also, in the process you gain knowledge of their construction and working. There’s a major difference between making musical instruments and buying them. In fact, this difference applies to any kind of ‘buying’ and ‘making’. With ‘buying’, you’ll feel happy; with ‘making’, you’ll feel ‘satisfied’.