How to Make a Musical Instrument: A Guide to Instrument Building

By: Remy Jirek


If you're an ambitious and imaginative musician, then you may wonder how to make a musical instrument. In truth, this is a task that is much more difficult than it sounds. Sure, you could make a simple instrument out of pretty much anything. The challenge is creating an instrument that actually sounds good. Then, of course, you face the challenge of keeping costs down. After all, why make your own instrument when you can buy a superior instrument for a low cost? Here is your guide to making an instrument at a low cost.

Generating Good Sound

First, unless you're an expert electrical engineer, an electronic keyboard is out of the question. Similarly, if you aren't a master craftsman, you shouldn't even try to make your own woodwind (unless you're making something really simple, like a reed flute). I would recommend trying to build a guitar as a starter instrument. The reason is simply that more guides are readily available for affordable guitar building than any other instrument.

Additionally, you may even be able to find a kit that will give you everything you need to build a guitar. Finally, guitars are good for independent builders because you can easily tune them, allowing you to ensure that you are creating notes, not noise.

Saving Money

When you purchase the parts for a guitar, remember that keeping down costs is essential. This is just a learning instrument, not a masterpiece. After you build a cheap guitar or two, then you can take on the challenge of a more expensive project. The reason, of course, is that if you mess up on a cheap guitar, the costs won't bankrupt you. If you spend $1000+ on guitar parts and mess up, that can be a hard cost to swallow.

If you really want to build an inexpensive musical instrument, it's recommended that you check out your newspaper's classifieds section or a used guitar shop. By purchasing used parts, you can save a significant amount of money. With careful, selective shopping, you should be able to get all of the supplies you need for less than $250.

No matter what kind of instrument you decide to build, remember that you will want something that plays music well. Otherwise, you'll have a hunk of junk that just takes up space until you throw it away. To summarize my main points in this guide, here are the things you should remember most:

First, no matter what instrument you choose to build, don't build something that you know is more complex than what you're capable of building.

Second, make sure that you have some means of tuning the instrument after you've built it. That is essential because it will allow you to build it first, and then worry about the way it sounds afterwards.

Finally, do not spend a whole lot of money on your first homemade instrument. If you're willing to spend more than $300 on a project like this, you should just buy a pre-made instrument.

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Finding an inexpensive musical instrument for your young student or yourself can be a fairly easy task with a few simple pointers. For articles, tips and resources that will make it a lark, visit us at Inexpensive Musical Instruments.

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