News: DIY Musical Maven Cannot Stop Creating Instruments

Musical instruments are lots of fun but boy, they sure ain't cheap. Dennis Havlena (the internet's true DIY instrument king) demonstrates some dedicated yankee ingenuity with his homemade alternatives (aka poor man's instruments). Dennis has created hundreds of hybrid, folksy instruments including bagpipes, banjos, psalteries, didgeridoos, hang drums, and dulcimers. 

How To: Fix dimo (flute membrane)

In this video, we learn how to fix dimo flute membrane. First, slice open a tube of dimo and cut a piece big enough to cover the dizi hole. Next, crumple and crease the dimo for better sound. Now, wet the area around the dizi hole with water and rub a piece of Jiao around the dizi hole. After this, spread with glue and paste the dimo over the hole making little creases that run perpendicular to the dizi hole. After this, try it out and see how your dizi sounds, if it sounds dull, press lightl...

How To: Make a Cuíca Brazilian percussive instument

A Cuíca (pronounced KWEE-kah) is a Brazilian friction drum often used in samba music. This 3 part how to video will teach you to make a Cuíca with household objects. You will need a plastic or paper cup, string or twine, a paper clip and cloth. This is a perfect project for children. Make a Cuíca Brazilian percussive instument - Part 1 of 3.

How To: Make musical instruments from household items

This SUPER cool video shows how to make some fantastic percussion instruments out of items you can easily find around your house, or for cheap around your neighborhood. From plastic pails, PVC pipes, tin cans, buckets, 45 gallon drums and more. This video is short, but very inspiring when you see what cool things you can build on your own. Musical instruments can cost thousands of dollars, but with this video you can make dozens of instruments from items around your home!

How To: Play the dizi, a Chinese bamboo flute

In this video, we learn how to play the dizi, a Chinese bamboo flute. First, fine the mouth hole where you place your mouth. After this, look to see the different finger holes that are on the side of the flute. At the end, you will see air vents that are not to be confused with the finger holes. To prepare the flute, you can twist it so the pitch is changed when you play it. Now, place your fingers along the finger holes and start to blow into the mouth opening. After you do this, you will be...

How To: Coil a guitar cable

This is a video demonstrating how to properly coil a guitar cable. First some incorrect ways of folding the cable are shown. One should not wrap the cable around the forearm, pick it up in a ball, or wrap it like a lasso around the hand. The correct way is demonstrated by taking a section between the thumb and index finger, rolling the index finger toward you, then making another loop by rolling the index finger away from you. This process is repeated until the entire cable is coiled. Folding...

How To: Properly roll guitar & mic cables

This Music & Instruments video tutorial shows how to properly roll guitar & mic cables. Master Doug from Tech Support demonstrates how to do this in this video. First remove all the kinks from the cable before rolling it. Put one end of the cable in one hand; say in the left hand and with the right hand make loops and place them in the left hand. Make sure you don’t entangle the cable while doing this. If the cable is longer, do this process by placing the cable on the ground. Make sure that ...

How To: Turn your gas mask into a kazoo

This is a strictly for fun and comical video tutorial that teaches you how to make a musical instrument specifically a "kazoo" with a gas mask. A kazoo is a wind instrument which adds a buzzing sound to a player's voice. This makes a creepy sound effect to a mask. You simply remove specific parts of the mask to turn it into a kazoo. The video also has a great finale where the performers use the kazoo masks to sing the acapella version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".

How To: Construct a membranophone from a water bottle

A membranophone is any musical instrument which produces sound primarily by way of a vibrating stretched membrane. This 3 part how to video teaches you how you can make an inexpensive mebranophone made from household items. All you need is a water bottle, a latex glove or vinyl glove or a balloon, and a straw. Learn how to make this fun musical instrument with this tutorial. This project is perfect for children. Construct a membranophone from a water bottle - Part 1 of 3.

How To: Do rolling vibrato on the erhu

In this video, we learn how to do rolling vibrato on the erhu. Vibrato is a series of deliberate and controlled finger and hand movements. It is not convulsing or vibrating your hand to create the desired effect. First, you will need to learn finger movement. You will want to roll down and roll up as one nod once you are comfortable. Start with 1 nod per beat, then progress to doing 3 nods per beat as you become more familiar with the instrument. Next, you will need to learn bowing by setting...

How To: Play the ruan, a Chinese Lute

In this tutorial, we learn how to play the ruan, a Chinese Lute. First, sit on 2/3 of the chair, then rest the ruan on the lap, slanting it 45 degrees to the left. For the left hand position rest the thumb at the back of the neck and allow the other fingers to curve into a ball shape. use the fingertips to press into the strings. Do not pull the strings when pressing or the pitch will be messed up. Also, do not rest the palm onto the neck of the ruan. Use the pick between the thumb and pointe...

How To: Play a ghost catcher

In this tutorial, we learn how to play a ghost catcher. First, you want to place your index finger on the top of the end of the ghost catcher, then use your other fingers to help hold it. Now, place your mouth on the other end of the instrument. You will pick the strings with your right hand and put the ghost catcher in the left corner of your mouth. Start strumming with your index finger, while still holding it with your other hand. Push your thumb the opposite way, going down instead of up....

How To: Make a kazoo out of a clothespin

In this tutorial, we learn how to make a kazoo out of a clothespin. This musical instrument can be made at home with just a few minutes. You will need: 2 rubber bands, a clothes pin, and tape. First, take the clothes pin apart and then take one side and wrap both ends with tape. Throw the metal part away, you won't need this anymore. Next, you will take this side and wrap a rubber band across it. Then, put the two flat sides together on top of the pin. Wrap a rubber band around the entire thi...

How To: Change strings on the erhu

In this video, we learn how to change the strings on the erhu. First, loosen and remove the inner string. After this, take and unwind the new inner string. Then, take the end with the loop and put it through the Qianjing. Then, loop it in the screw at the bottom of the erhu. Then fold the tip of the other end of the string and put it through the hole in the first peg. Then, loop the string one and push the tip into the hole. Now turn the peg clockwise to tighten it. Repeat this for all the st...

How To: Wear pipa nails on your fingers to play a pipa

In this tutorial, we learn how to wear pipa nails on your fingers to play a pipa. First, place the nail on your natural nail with the bases matching up. After this, wrap the tape around your finger until it reaches the end. Then, press down on the tape to secure the nail. After you do this, continue to repeat the process for all of your nails. It should be easiest to start with the thumb nail and continue on down to the pinkie nail. do this for the opposite hand when finished with one, then y...

How To: Rosin your erhu bow

You can easily rosin your erhu bow. To do this first take the cake of rosin and rub it back and forth on the one part of the bow until you get rosin powder on the hair of the bow. Now go the next part of the bow and do

How To: Read fiddle tablature

In this video, we learn how to read fiddle tablature. These will have an A part and a B part on them. You may see a repeat part along with a part that is written out more than once. A tablature shows what strings to play on and what finger to use instead of using notes. A "1" indicates putting the finger on the first string, and so on for the different numbers. Bar lines measure off a certain number of beats in each bar. Count the different beats and learn where the divided beats are so you k...

News: Old Jeep Cherokee Makes Techno Music

We've seen the talented Diego Stocco's music from a tree and experibass. YouTube's Julian Smith now brings us something equally unusual. The combined sounds of an old Jeep Cherokee (slamming doors, pushing door locks, revving the engine, setting off the door alarm, etc) make a techno song.

How To: Read music notation

Watch this music how-to video to learn how to read musical notation or sight read. This instructional video is very detailed and includes types of notes, tempo, and the staff. Reading music will be easy once you've watched this helpful music notation tutorial video.

How To: Whistle with two fingers

This guy is teaching everyone how to whistle with his fingers. This technique uses two fingers, requires you to roll your tongue into a C shape, bottom lip loose and top lip firm and rolled. This is for optimal whistle sound and loudness.

How To: Play basic intervals on the lyre

This lesson teaches some basics on how to set up the bridge, and a few technical exercises on how to play basic intervals on the lyre. I have tuned the lyre to the melodic minor mode, as the intervals here are much more simple and therefore easier to understand, than the much more exotic Eastern-sounding modes which the lyre can also be tuned to (eg the "Ahava Raba" mode, as discussed in previous lessons).

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