What Instruments Can Be Made at Home?

Pots and pans make great percussion instruments. Making instruments at home is an activity that most people can do in their spare time. While you aren't going to be able to make a professional instrument out of materials you will find around the house, it is possible to create a small family orchestra for your own amusement and enjoyment. With a few basic materials, you can make an orchestra of homemade instruments.


Effective homemade string instruments are possible. Find a coat hanger that is made of wood. You may have to go out and buy one if you don't have one already. Get some thumb tacks and several pieces of string. Attach seven thumbtacks on both sides of the coat hanger from the outside edge working in toward the middle. Make sure to align the tacks evenly. Cut seven pieces of string and wrap the string around the thumb tacks. Tighten the string until it creates a resonant plucking sound. Do this for each set of thumbtacks and tighten or loosen the strings as necessary to achieve your desired pitches.


Woodwind instruments require a little more preparation and skill, but it is still possible to create a basic woodwind instrument at home with the proper tools. Woodwind instruments operate by elongating and shortening the length of the instrument. The holes in a woodwind instrument act to extend and shorten the length of the instrument. By finding a wooden tube, you can simply cut holes in the tube spaced equally apart. Covering the holes with your fingers will allow you to create different pitches.


Drums are the easiest instruments to make since they are anything you hit or strike with a mallet. Look for an old bucket, cover the bucket with three layers of wax paper and attach the paper with string or twine. Find a wooden stick to use for a mallet. It is possible to make several different sized drums using this method that will all produce different pitches. For lower pitched drums use large buckets, for higher pitched drums use smaller buckets.


Chimes are easy instruments to make at home. Go to a home store and look for various sizes of metal tubes. Drill holes in the tops of the tube and attach the tubes to a wooden plank by pulling a string through the holes and attaching them to the plank. Chimes used in orchestras create special effects. You can play your chimes with paintbrushes, wooden spoons or even metal rods.


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