Making Instruments (1 Viewer)

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Anyone have any experience making cheap, nice sounding instruments?
Recently (within the past year) I started experimenting with Native American Flutes. While it sounds like some hippy dippy shit, they're actually pretty fun and rewarding to make, and if built right, not that hard to play.
I've also been messing around with cigar box guitars, but no luck so far with a finished product.
I found this awesome link for a ukulele: The Plastic Jumping Flea but have yet to make it. That site also has some other cool designs for cheap homemade instruments.
Anyone else interested in this kind of shit?
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

Beegod Santana

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Jan 28, 2008
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The woods
I love being a drummer because I just find me a new 5-gallon bucket in every town I get to. I prep the buckets by cutting off half of the lower plastic rim and cutting off the little circle in the center left by the mold. Now you have and good resonating drum that can easily be played with sticks or your hands and it sure beats the hell outta lugging an instrument from town to town... although I do miss my guitar some days.
 

Geoff

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i heard of a way to make a didgeridoo out of a platic pvc pipe. you can even get two (one slightly larger in diameter) and put one inside the other to create a sort of sliding didgeridoo trobone type instrument. you can change the sound with your mouth and the tone with the length of the instrument. just thought i'd throw that out there, it seems kind of hard to play though.
 

steelcitybrew

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yeah its really easy to make, but mastering it is hard, all i ever get is an amplified fart sound. if you can get it though you can do some pretty cool shit
 

Linda/Ziggy

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Apr 6, 2009
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Near Ukiah California.
Cool thread !

I am making a bass/violin, 'thingy' out of a small
round chocolate tin, a walking stick and bike gear cable !

I've seen some awesome junk instruments on youtube.

A good book to get is called:
"The fine art of the tin can".

Linda/Ziggy
 
OP
Beyond The Sun
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Sep 13, 2006
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There are some really cool ideas on here so far. Linda/Ziggy, let me know how that bass/violin thingy comes out I'm really interested in making something like that.
 

Rise 609

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Im actually trying to make a neck right now for a cookie tin banjo. I'll keep you posted as to how it comes out.
 
OP
Beyond The Sun
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Yeah definitely do. I tried to make a neck for a cigar box guitar, but it ended up bending when I strung it up because there wasn't enough strength. Then the headstock snapped off and it was all over. Needs some sort of truss rod or something to give it the needed support.
 

Rise 609

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Well im actually using the neck from a bass. I'm plaining/shaving it down to the size of a banjo neck, pulling the frets out of the fingerboard sanding it smooth and leaving it fretless.
 
OP
Beyond The Sun
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Cool. Well share how you attach it to the cookie tin, cause some guy gave me an old guitar neck that I'm still trying to figure out how to attach to a cigar box. I found some scrap wood that I might use to try and bolt the neck to, but I dunno how that will ultimately hold up.
Any ideas/suggestions are welcome.
 

Rise 609

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The reason for using a bass neck is that you need to make the neck continue all of the way through the body(either the cookie tin or the cigar box that way you can screw them right together and your instrument will last you alot longer. Go to google and look up cookie tin banjo.
 

Rise 609

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New Jersey
I've searched dumpsters for a while with no luck. I actually got mine by going into a music store and asking if they had and really fucked up basses I could buy for cheap. I paid $10 for the one I got. Doing that I got a good neck, the tuners and a bridge.
 

oldmanLee

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Sep 7, 2009
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Richmond,Va.
Now this may offend,but there is a way to get a set of ivory plates for the neck if you want the smoothest fingerboard after sanding ever.Keep an eye out for dumpstered pianos.Folks regularly put them out in this area,and if you get to them before the rain,look at the ends of the keyboard cover.See the giant screws?Take em out,and the whole leyboard is exposed.The ivory faces on the keys can be taken off with a small saw(I use one of the little 6" plumbers tubing saws,with the fine tooth metalworking blade).Scrape the backs and the face of the neck,apply contact cement to both faces,wait 20 min,and clamp in position.After about 4 hours,take your saw and trim the edges,and lightly sand the top.You can also make gages out of the keys(soak overnight in dilute phosporic acid,Cocacola works well,bend,clamp,wash in cold clean water and let dry),carve the ebony keys if they are real,and sell the leftover ivory to craftsfolks for doing scrimshaw or minature paintings on ivory.If you have a set of boltcutters,the wire strings are a thin steel strand wraped in bronze wire on most,and bring a good price at the scrapyard(usually about 40 POUNDS of scrap,but be careful,they pop when you cut them!).
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHA So I just finished my 3 string guitar and its way pimpin.. Didnt take that long really to make it either.. If my new camera wasnt broke I would post pics.. Maybe soon.
 

theefixeated

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Dec 3, 2009
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9
had a friend that built a stand up bass with an old bass neck and a small car gas tank had an amazingly deep sound, first he used weed-eater strings of different gages for strings, tuning them with a electric tuner, then eventualy scored actual strings, so he could use a bow
 
OP
Beyond The Sun
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Sep 13, 2006
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A.T. NOBO
Pirtymic, I'd love to see pics if you can get yer hands on a camera. I'm hoping to get my ass in gear soon to make a travel friendly (durable/lightweight/waterproof) uke. I'll post pics if I ever do get around to it.
But yeah, love to see pics of what you did.
 

ferretwakeup

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Feb 9, 2010
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20
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michigan
keep this pumping out

taking guitar strings and putting the over a snare drum head, tying them to the sides of the drum tight, then with wood or something underneath the strings, pushing them up real tight makes some good sounds

horrible description of what im trying to communicate, sorry
 

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