Build Your Own Musical Instrument: Save Big

By: Mike Jerry

You can build a traditional instrument using parts you've purchased or scrapped from existing instruments. You can take a traditional concept for an instrument and add your own take. Then, of course, you could also take a whole different approach and create an original instrument. This guide is not intended to tell you what to build, it will simply offer some advice on how to go about it.

Getting Started

The very first thing you should do is decide what type of instrument you plan to build. You can choose a woodwind, brass, string, percussion, or electronic instrument. Either way, making that decision is the best first step because that will limit the types of supplies you will need. After deciding what you want to build, you should get a tool kit that matches your preferences. Then, you should look for the types of parts you think you will need.

If you are going to make a simple instrument like a drum, then you won't need to buy many things.

However, if you are going for something more complex, like a new style of guitar, you should buy a low cost used guitar to scrap it for parts. Additionally, you should look for low-cost parts in the classifieds section of a newspaper or at a used instrument shop.

Finally, think of this as a learning instrument or starter instrument: a high quality instrument is not as important as a high quality concept. Once you have experience in instrument building, then you can consider using more expensive parts.

Building an Inexpensive Musical Instrument

It is crucial to keep this hobby as affordable as possible. You do not want to commit yourself to too much financially because you may regret it. Additionally, if the instrument you create doesn't work right, then you will lose money on the deal. The cheaper the instrument is that you build, the more money you will have to build a better version of it when you know what you're doing.

Tips and Advice

Here are some general things to keep in mind when designing your instrument. First, make sure your instrument has tuning capabilities; that way you can make true notes without any serious conversion. Second, it might be a good idea to have a keyboard on-hand so you can compare the notes your instrument creates to real musical notes. Third, make sure that your instrument has a practical application - don't build an instrument that you couldn't use in a band or solo performance.

Finally, have a great time. When you take on a hobby like this, your intention should be to have fun and create something that you can call your own. Do not take on instrument building as a hobby if you have any reason to believe that you might not like it, because there are plenty of other things you can do for a hobby. Keep your options, and your mind, open every step of the way.

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