Designing a Reed Instrument
Design and construct your own wind instrument that uses a vibrating reed and
makes sounds with four different pitches.
- 6 plastic drinking straws, thin
- 6 plastic drinking straws, thick
- hole punch
Make a straw reed by cutting a wedge about 1 cm ( 1/2 inch ) long at one end
of a plastic drinking straw. Now flatten the reed by pulling it between your
thumbnail and forefinger.
To make a longer instrument, flare the end opposite the reed by inserting a
pencil and stretching the plastic. Remove the pencil and fit another straw of
the same size into the flared end.
Now punch holes in the side of the straw using a hole punch. It will help if
you make the holes so they are at the top of the instrument when you play it.
Note: don't punch through both sides of the straw!
To make a slide instrument
Take two straws-- one thick and one thin. At one end of the smaller straw,
make a reed. Insert the other end of the thin reeded straw into the thicker
Experiment with your instrument.