Make Your Own Rhythm Band Instruments

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“Make Your Own Rhythm Band Instruments,” Friend, Oct. 1983, 43

Make Your Own Rhythm Band Instruments

Start your own rhythm band by making and playing any of the following instruments, or build your own designs.

Rhythm Blocks

You will need: block of wood about 5″ (12.5 cm) square, paint, paintbrush, and two wooden clothespins.

Paint wood blocks as desired. Let dry. Use clothespins to tap out rhythms on wood block.

Sandpaper Blocks

You will need: two wood blocks 4″ x 4″ x 1″ (10 cm x 10 cm x 2.5 cm), two pieces of sandpaper same size as blocks, two empty thread spools, and glue.

Glue sandpaper to one side of each block. Turn blocks over and glue a spool in center of each block. Let dry. Hold blocks by spools and rub against each other to play.


You will need: horseshoe, dinner knife, and 12″ (30.5 cm) piece of string.

Tie string to middle of horseshoe. Hold horseshoe by string and strike lightly with blunt edge of knife to play.

Musical Rattle

You will need: clean can small enough to hold in one hand, several pebbles or small handful of rice, piece of cloth larger than open end of can, and wide rubber band.

Put rice or pebbles in can. Place piece of cloth over can’s open end. Use rubber band to hold cloth in place. Shake to play.

Shortening—Can Drum

You will need: clean, empty shortening can with lid; large nail; hammer; 36″ (0.9 m) piece of string; tape; two pencils; and two empty thread spools.

With large nail, punch hole in center of can bottom and center of lid. Thread string through hole in bottom of can, then through lid hole. Put lid on can, and tape it shut. Tie ends of string together. Make drumsticks by slipping pencils into holes of thread spools. Put drum string around neck when playing drum.

Tube Flute

You will need: cardboard tube, nail or pencil, waxed paper, rubber band, scissors, and crayons.

Place waxed paper over one end of tube and hold in place with rubber band. Decorate tube as desired. With pencil or nail, punch holes about two inches (5 cm) apart down one side of tube. Sing “ooh” into open end of tube.