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12 Sweet DIY Instruments For Cash-Strapped Musicians

1. Make tiny finger bells with a washer and some dowels.

Make tiny finger bells with a washer and some dowels.

This is perhaps both the easiest AND most twee guide of all. Get a little jangly with the help of this simple how-to.

2. You know how amazingly cool theremins are, right? So why not make your own?

You know how amazingly cool theremins are, right? So why not make your own?

After getting hands-on with a battery and some other cheap materials, you can experience the magic of no-touch music for less than $20. Full guide here.

3. Or forgo tricky wiring and make your own mbira, or thumb piano, from screws and scrap metal.

Or forgo tricky wiring and make your own mbira, or thumb piano, from screws and scrap metal.

Then while away a few hours plucking away on a porch someplace. Here’s the key to perfectly portable music.

4. Too broke to buy a guitar? Make a mini one out of a cigar box.

Too broke to buy a guitar? Make a mini one out of a cigar box.

Believe it or not, this one is electric. Pretty rad, right?

5. You can use similar materials to make some seriously cool-looking ukuleles.

You can use similar materials to make some seriously cool-looking ukuleles.

If you’re not shy about using power tools like drills and sanders, you can DIY a whole squad of inexpensive ukes with this tutorial.

6. Use old floppy disks to make this cool-sounding percussive instrument.

Use old floppy disks to make this cool-sounding percussive instrument.

Because what else are you going to use them for, ya dingus? This is an updated version of the Japanese kokiriko and it’s endlessly cool (and VERY easy to make).

7. Make a crazy affordable bite-size banjo if you’re feeling folksy.

Make a crazy affordable bite-size banjo if you're feeling folksy.

It might take a little time, but that’s probably worth it when afterwards your friends will think you’re the most down-home-style brilliant person this side of the Mississippi. Here’s how.

8. Know what would sound great with that? This washtub bass.

Know what would sound great with that? This washtub bass.

This is classic bluegrass at its very easiest. Also, do you know how much fun these are to play? Find out with this guide.

9. If you have a small living space, practice the drums on this homemade percussion pad.

If you have a small living space, practice the drums on this homemade percussion pad.

It’s fully tunable and, more importantly, won’t annoy your neighbors. Practice your heart out with the help of these instructions.

10. If you’re about function over aesthetics, get to work on these ugly, but surprisingly effective, PVC flutes.

If you're about function over aesthetics, get to work on these ugly, but surprisingly effective, PVC flutes.

You can cut different lengths to make pipes for many different notes, and they’re each capable of hitting two octaves or so. Broke wind musicians will definitely appreciate this step-by-step.

11. For a more involved project, DIY a fully-personalized sequencer.

For a more involved project, DIY a fully-personalized sequencer.

Bonus points if you make it as nice-looking as this one is. Get started here.

12. If you’re lusting after a pricey fuzz pedal, try doing it yourself.

This video will show you how in just under two minutes.

Congratulations, you’re now ready to go forth and shred.

12 Sweet DIY Instruments For Cash-Strapped Musicians

And you can take pride in the fact that you made your new instrument completely by hand! Pretty sick, right?

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