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!

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: 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: Make a finger pop sound with your mouth

Make making music with your own anatomy easy with the fancy finger pop shown in this how-to video. You may remember this famous finger popping sound from such movies as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." In any case, the finger pop sound is a fun party trick or a way to annoy people-it's your call. Check out this quick video lesson, and you'll soon be finger popping like a pro.

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: 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: 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 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).

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: Play a hurdy gurdy

This is a demonstration on how to play the Hurdy Gurdy, a medieval musical instrument, by Wyndebagge, at an English Heritage Living History event at Kenilworth Castle. A gurdy is a medieval word for your bottom and hurdy means turn, so swing your bottom, swing your pants. This is a dance instrument used for medieval raves. Impress your friends by surprising them with your secret talents of playing the hurdy gurdy! Play a hurdy gurdy.

How To: Bow the erhu

In this video tutorial, viewers learn how to bow the Erhu. When playing this instrument, keep the shoulders and both arms relaxed. The elbow moves the arm, the arm moves the wrist, the wrist moves the fingers and the fingers move the bow. There is a slight twitch of the wrist on attack of each stroke. The only pressure point is where you hold the bow. Practice bowing the whole length of the bow. Practice with various speeds. This video will benefit those viewers who are interested in playing ...

How To: Change a string on your guzheng

This video explains how to change a string of guzheng. The process is well described in the video with each and every steps clearly. The thing that is to be done is loosen the peg in a an anticlockwise direction using a tuning tool to remove the string. Thus remove it. If there is no string to begin with then loosen the tuning first before fitting a new string. Than take a new string and insert the pointed end through the hole from the back of the guzheng. To get it on other side pull it thro...

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: 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: 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 erhu when left handed

In this video tutorial, viewers learn how to play the erhu in the left-handed position. The erhu is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, used as a solo instrument, in small ensembles and in large orchestras. Viewers learn basic tips such as: do not grip tightly, elbow and arms should be relaxed and hung down by sides fingers should be pointing downwards. This video will benefit those viewers who are left-handed and wish to learn how to play the erhu.

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: Read music and sightread sheet music

If you're having a hard time reading music and sheet music, this tutorial is here to help. In the video you'll get a near eight minute lesson on what certain symbols mean and how to interpret them when they are on sheet music. It's eay to follow and will make life a bit more easier when playing music. Good luck and enjoy!

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