Most of us know, and have played, a musical instrument at some point of time in life. But how many of us have actually made a musical instrument. I guess only a handful of us may have actually taken the effort to make a musical instrument from scratch. Though it is not possible to create any instrument from the basics, there are a few which can be made at home, using just some carpentry skills and lots of patience. One such musical instrument is the native American flute. There are many popular native American musical instruments, of which the flute holds a distinctive place owing to its rich, emotional tone. Before we get into the details for how to make a native American flute, let us brush up with the glorious history of this iconic musical instrument.
Native American Flute: A Brief History
With its soft and sensitive notes, the native American flute is a musical instrument which was believed to be first made by the Oasisamerica Ancient Pueblo People. It was popular as an instrument for courting where a young man would play this flute to charm his lady love. The tradition goes like this, that the tune played by the man would be only understood by his lady. And after he is successful in earning her love, the flute would be thrown away, never to be used again.
In the modern times, this flute is played in accompaniment of different western musical instruments. However, the central appeal of the flute lies in it being played as a solo instrument. Sadly, the flute is no longer popular as it used to be, since many new musical instruments have come into existence and have replaced this antique piece. But thanks to some collectors, this flute has gained acclaim once again and its soulful, haunting sound is sure to capture many a heart.
Instructions for Making Native American Flute
Native American flutes can be availed online and also at stores which sell musical instruments. However, one can style this simple flute even at home. With the help of a few basic things, you can make your own native American flute. However, it should be noted that if you are amateur at this task, then it can be quite an effort to make this flute. Here are a few guidelines to help you shape your own native American flute.
- Choose an appropriate raw material for the flute. You can make a native American flute out of bamboo or red cedar wood, both of which should be of excellent quality without any cracks on the surface, that may spoil the flute. If you are making a flute out of bamboo, make sure that the wood is mature and not green.
- With the help of a saw, cut the wood measuring 18 inches (the standard length of the flute). If you are styling the flute out of cedar, then saw the wood making two equal sized pieces. Smoothen the ends of the cut wood with the use of sandpaper. Stick the two pieces with glue and hold them firmly, till the two ends are properly stuck.
- Cut two inches from one end of the pipe, for the mouthpiece, using a knife. Make the surface smooth by sanding it. Now, wrap a masking tape around the flute to protect it from snapping. Using a drill, bore a couple of holes 1 inch away from each other on the flat surface.
- Remove the tape and, using sandpaper, make the holes smooth. Bore 6 more holes on the other plane of the flute, measuring 6 inches from the top. The holes must be placed 1 inch apart from each other and sandpaper them.
- You can carve intricate designs on the wooden surface, to give your flute a more native American feel. Varnish the wood to protect it from damage. Once the varnish has completely dried, you can use your native American flute to create beautiful music.
This was all about how to make a native American flute. With serene, lulling notes emanating from it, this wind instrument is a perfect blend in any symphonic concert, jazz quartets and rock bands.