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Homemade Instrument

 

 

Make Your Own Instrument

 

INSTRUMENT FACTS AND SUGGESTED MATERIALS

 

Brass Family Instruments

1. Brass horns are made of metal. They are gold or silver in color.

2. Brass horns have metal tubes that wind around.

3. Brass instruments have cupped or cone shaped mouthpieces.

4. Brass family instruments have bells at the end where the sound comes out.

5. Valves or slides are used to produce high and low sounds on brass horns.

6. Brass players buzz their lips into the mouthpiece to create sounds.

Tight lips produce fast vibrations and high pitches.

Loose lips produce slow vibrations and low pitches.

 

Suggested materials for Brass Instrument Creations

1. Water hose (The facet connection makes a great mouth piece).

2. PVC pipe and fittings are very inexpensive and can be found in the plumbing department at Home Depot or other hardware stores. The corrugated PVC pipes are great, as they bend in different shapes easily.

3. If PVC pipe is used, spray painting is a good option. Regular paint with a brush will flake off.

4. Copper tubing can also be used in making a brass instrument.

5. Funnels make good bells for brass instruments.

6. Valves would be difficult so you can drill three finger holes in the top of the tubing to make the high and low pitches. In addition to these three holes, drill one hole underneath the pipe for the thumb.

7. Zip ties are great for tying things together.

 

 

 

 

 

Woodwind Family Instruments

1. Woodwind instruments are made of wood or plastic.

2. Keys are used to cover holes in the body of woodwind instruments. Fast vibrations occur when fewer holes are covered, which makes the pitch higher. Slow vibrations occur when more holes are covered, which creates lower pitches.

3. Woodwind mouthpieces have single or double reeds or holes to blow across.

Oboes and bassoons have double reeds.

Clarinets and saxophones have single reeds.

Flutes and piccolos have holes in the mouthpiece. The player blows across the hole to produce the sound.

Recorders have a mouthpiece that resembles a whistle.

 

Suggested Materials for Woodwind Instrument Creations

1. PVC pipe and fittings are very inexpensive and can be found in the plumbing department at Home Depot or other hardware stores.

2. Bamboo also makes good woodwind instruments.

3. Flutes should have a cap on the same end at which the mouthpiece is located.

4. The flute mouthpiece hole should be large. Finger holes should be drilled along the top of the instrument. The finger holes can be smaller than the mouthpiece hole. Drill a thumb hole underneath the row of finger holes. (The thumb hole goes on the back side of the tube).

5. If PVC pipe is used, spray painting is a good option. Regular paint with a brush will flake off.

6. Oboes or bassoons can be made by using real oboe and bassoon reeds. Drill a hole in a piece of cork and place the reed in the hole. Put the cork in the end of a PVC pipe or metal pipe. Finger holes should be drilled along the top of the instrument. Drill one hole underneath the pipe for the thumb.

7. Clarinets and saxophones could be made by placing real clarinet or saxophone mouthpieces in a tube. Finger holes should be drilled along the top of the instrument. Drill one hole underneath the pipe for the thumb. Funnels make good bells.

8. Pan pipes can also be made by connecting tubes of different lengths together with hot glue, leather cords, or yarn. Capping the ends will improve the sound.

 

 

String Family Instruments

1. String family instruments all have strings.

2. String family instruments have a sound box in which the sound waves vibrate to produce more volume.

3. String family instruments are sometimes electronically amplified.

4. Stringed instruments can be played by plucking, strumming, or bowing the strings.

5. High and low sounds are produced on string family instruments in several ways.

Long, loosely stretched, thick strings produce slow vibrations and low pitches.

Short, tightly stretched, thin strings produce fast vibrations and high pitches.

Placing you fingers on the fingerboard to shorten the strings will produce fast vibrations and higher pitches. The further your finger is from the sound hole when you place it on the finger board, the longer the string is, producing slower vibrations and lower pitches.

 

Suggested Materials for String Instrument Creations

1. Sound boxes

 

Sound boxes can be made of light weight wood. The craft section of stores like Michaels, Garden Ridge, Hobby Lobby, or Walmart have small, thin wooden boxes for reasonable process. Large plastic, cardboard or Styrofoam tubs or containers can also be used for the sound box.

2. Strings

 

Real guitar strings (nylon or steel) create the best sound on a string instrument. Some stores who repair or sell guitars will give you old strings taken off guitars that are having strings replaced. You would have to call ahead and ask the repair person to save them for you. Rubber bands can be used for strings. However, thin rubber bands break easily. Fishing line does not produce a good sound, as it stretches out and does not vibrate well. Strings need to be tight in order to produce a great sound. Screws with an eyelet can be used to securely fasten strings. That is just one idea.

3. Bridge

 

String instruments should have something to hold the strings off the body and/or the neck of the instrument. Small pieces of flat wood, wooden dowels or pencils can be used for this purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

Percussion Family Instruments

1. Percussion instruments are played in several ways. Some make sounds by tapping them with mallets or with the hand. Other percussion instruments produce sounds when you shake or rub them together.

One of the purposes of percussion instruments is to produce interesting sound effects in the orchestra or band. Another function of percussion instruments is to keep the beat steady in a group.

2. Some people consider keyboard instruments percussion family instruments because of the function of these instruments within a musical ensemble.

3. Some percussion instruments only produce one pitch.

4. Some percussion instruments produce more than one pitch. (Tuned)

Long, thick bars produce slow vibrations and low pitches.

Short, thin bars produce fast vibrations and high pitches.

Tightly stretched, small drumheads produce fast vibrations and high pitches.

Loosely stretched, large drumheads produce slow vibrations and low pitches.

 

Suggested materials for Percussion Instrument Creations

1. Drums

 

One drum or one maraca will not be accepted, as one drum or maraca would only create one pitch. If you make drums, you will need to make more drums of different sizes. Plastic, metal, cardboard, or Styrofoam containers can be used to make drums. The best material for drum heads is rubber. If you have any rubber gloves that your family no longer needs, cut a section of the gloves out and stretch them over the drum. Zip ties work the best to secure the drum head. Rubber bands often break. Zip ties are inexpensive and can be found at stores such as Home Depot.

2. Xylophones

 

If you are making a xylophone, make sure you have something to place between the frame and the wooden or metal bars. Rubber tubing or heavy felt can be used for this purpose.

3. Chimes

 

Holes can be drilled at the top of metal tubes, which can be suspended from the frame with fishing line