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Make Your Own Instrument - Pan Pipes

Updated on March 5, 2008

Pan pipes are instruments that date far back into history, even figuring into the mythological story of Pan. The pipe is often used in folk music, providing a harmonica-like flute sound. The traditional panpipe has about ten pipes, but it will be easier to make your own with about five pipes.

This project is for people who like to learn by making things, and for anyone who loves music. Be sure to read the instructions all the way through before beginning the project. You will also want to gather all of the materials you need because you won’t want to stop halfway through a project due to a missing object.

I’ve made this project with children before, but you will want to practice safety while using the saw. If you are doing this with young kids, I suggest you do the sawing yourself. In fact, unless you are doing this with older children, you should prepare the materials ahead of time, and have the younger children simply put the pipes together.

Gather Your Materials:

  • Bamboo – get a good length from nature, or buy an inexpensive bamboo fishing pole at a local sporting goods store.
  • Small saw – something like a hacksaw.
  • Dowel – buy a dowel from a craft store, or use a stick from nature.
  • Penknife – make sure it Is sharp.
  • Glue – regular glue is fine, like Elmer’s.
  • Twine – I prefer a good hemp twine because it is very strong and easy to use.

Make Your Pan Pipes:

#1

Saw off a length of bamboo about 6 to 8 inches long. It needs to have one end open, and the other end closed by a joint.

#2

Use your penknife to cut a sharp notch 1 inch from the open end of the bamboo. The notch needs to be cut through to the hollow part of the bamboo, and about 1/3 of the way through the entire piece of bamboo.

#3

Whittle (cut) out a 1½ inch long wooden plug to fit into the open end of the bamboo. It needs to fit snugly without splitting the bamboo. The plug must have a flat area carved on the top.

#4

Put some glue on the plug, and then push it into the bamboo unit it gets just to the edge of the notch. Make sure the flat area is on top of the plug.

#5

Blow into the whistle to check the sound. Move the plug in and out until you get the best sound.

#6

Make several whistles like this, but in different lengths. You will want to adjust each one until they make clear whistle sounds.

#7

Split another piece of bamboo into four strips, and tie the strips to the whistles, one at a time in a crisscross knot.

You can play your flute by blowing across the open ends of the flutes. Practice making different sounds with each of the pipes, and you will find that you can play some interesting and beautiful harmonies.

How to play Pan-Flute

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    • profile image

      Picasso 3 years ago

      Cool

    • profile image

      ¡! 5 years ago

      my pan flute doesn't sound like your? really cool though...

    • profile image

      ???????? 5 years ago

      Just one question. Is bamboo hollow? I would like to create my own type of instrument with bamboo.

    • profile image

      Lovepigs00 6 years ago

      Thankyou, you really helped my project! I JUST LOOOOVE THE IDEA!!! :)

    • profile image

      JoyFilledHeartAche 6 years ago

      The thing is, the guy in the video is no new comer to making pan pipes. =/

    • TheOneWhoKnows profile image

      TheOneWhoKnows 6 years ago from Croatia

      It's really interesting, I had some former experience with Pan Pipes and I loved them.

    • profile image

      ??? 7 years ago

      i hav a school assment and this would be perfect thanks (:

    • Sneha Ravi profile image

      Sneha Ravi 7 years ago from Maihar cement,sarlanagar,staff colony E-39 satna(M.P)

      This is really nice to learn music.It remove all stresses of urs life.iam also from music and i play guitar.u must join it's really nice.

    • profile image

      allison 7 years ago

      i used copper pipes to make mine but it sounded out of tune...oh well

      Video is cool though ; fun to watch

    • profile image

      Supmy homies 7 years ago

      This is da bomb!! I LOVE IT U HELPED ME ACE MY MUSIC ASSIGNMENT!! THank You SOOoo muCh! :D :P :B

    • profile image

      longcat 7 years ago

      must the panflute be made from bamboo? or would other sticks that have been hollowed out work as well?

    • profile image

      Peter 7 years ago

      Hello, it's very nice. Should you tell me, how long bamboo is (cm or mm) and which Diameter (mm) have got every bamboo? I found this http://www.panflutejedi.com/david-pighills-tutoria... but there is (on this page) only a few of bamboos and not all as on the link.

    • profile image

      RAWR 7 years ago

      can u make a pan flute without other equipment?

      if so can u tell me what kind, its for a project of mines and im really interested in the pan flute

    • profile image

      bec 7 years ago

      this is really good....i am researching for a school assignment and this has helped me out a lot... THANKS !

    • profile image

      Kristen 8 years ago

      Wow your really good

    • profile image

      CoolChick 8 years ago

      this is okay,but kind of complicated....getting the materials

    • profile image

      Sam 8 years ago

      Really cool, they sound fantastic, I think I'll make some this weekend :)

    • profile image

      Trudy and Nigel 8 years ago

      How did you make your pan pipes? My son and I made one out of bamboo, but it didn't sound like yours does?

    • Ashley Joy profile image

      Ashley Joy 8 years ago

      What a fun idea! I will be spending lots of time this summer with my new step kids and I am trying to find things that we can do together.

    • profile image

      Atori 8 years ago

      i think that dis iz realy great i couldn't believe it thiz iz amazing

    • profile image

      stupidgirl698 8 years ago

      When was the pan flute made/discovered?

    • profile image

      RICHEOUS 8 years ago

      THIS IS SO SMART>>ARE YOU A PRO AT PLAYING???

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      alexander 9 years ago

      geez...this is really good. i could have never come up with this myself

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image
      Author

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      It really is neat. One of my cousins still uses his, and we made them years ago.

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 9 years ago from United States

      This is just way too cool, Stacie! I have GOT to try this so I can do this with the grandkids! Thanks!

      Bonnie