Make Your Own Instrument - Pan Pipes

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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Comments 25 comments

Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 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


Stacie Naczelnik profile image

Stacie Naczelnik 8 years ago from Seattle Author

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


alexander 8 years ago

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


RICHEOUS 8 years ago

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


stupidgirl698 7 years ago

When was the pan flute made/discovered?


Atori 7 years ago

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


Ashley Joy profile image

Ashley Joy 7 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.


Trudy and Nigel 7 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?


Sam 7 years ago

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


CoolChick 7 years ago

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


Kristen 7 years ago

Wow your really good


bec 7 years ago

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


RAWR 6 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


Peter 6 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.


longcat 6 years ago

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


Supmy homies 6 years ago

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


allison 6 years ago

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

Video is cool though ; fun to watch


Sneha Ravi profile image

Sneha Ravi 6 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.


??? 6 years ago

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


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.


JoyFilledHeartAche 5 years ago

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


Lovepigs00 5 years ago

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


???????? 4 years ago

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


¡! 4 years ago

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


Picasso 2 years ago

Cool

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