THE KNOWLEDGE TOOLBOX
How to make musical instruments
By Kathryn Carlson
Open your cupboards, empty your junk drawers and take a peek in your recycling bin. You
will no doubt have the makings of multiple musical instruments.
People have always used the materials around them to create music. From First Nations drums
made from stretched animal pelts to upturned washtubs in logging camps, the primal urge to
make music always finds a way to express itself. Everything is an instrument if you look
at it the right way. Here is some help to get you started in making your own instruments.
The banjo has a long history and a distinct place in jazz, bluegrass and Dixieland music.
With a plastic container, some wood and a bit of fishing line you will be picking along
in no time.
Every band needs a driving bass line. Learn how to make a stand-up
Although shakers are small in size, they add just enough sound to help keep a beat and give
some personality to a tune. Shake it with your own homemade
The origin of the rainstick lies in the farmland of South and Central America where it is
said that the instrument was played to bring rain. Substitute a paper towel roll for the
dead cactus stalks that were originally used and you can play
for rain all day.
The tambourine can be traced back to the most ancient civilizations in Greece, China, India,
Egypt and Rome. It is often associated with dancing, joy and celebration. It also turns
anyone into the ultimate backup performer. Learn
how to make your own.
First Nations Rattle
First Nation peoples used rattles as a percussive ceremonial instrument. Their sounds were
thought to be calming and magical. Rattles were designed in a variety of shapes and sizes
and often ornately decorated. Design
your own rattle and shake it all off.