Homemade Instruments and PVC Pipe

After Homemade Instruments Week on the facebook page, here is an article with some PVC pipes instruments!

Percussion on PVC pipes

A classic, long pipes for big bass, easy to tune by changing the length of pipes, guaranteed effect! Despite the percussive gesture, it is indeed an aerophone, the impact vibrates the air column of the pipe.

Depending on the PVC type, it is also possible to strike the wall of the pipe, the impact of the rod on the plastic vibrate the air column, so this is an idiophone / aerophone.

 Membrane pipe

The soft reed instruments have a membrane stretched over the the air column pipe, the system is similar to the car horn and the fog horn, the sound also, a little!

Same principle, here is my own version with drones and foot pump!

PVC flûtes

The PVC allows to reproduce most traditional flutes, here the kaval by Joaquin Sanchez Gil.

Side-blown PVC flutes, traditional version from Burkina with Simon Winsé!

PVC pipes and simple reed

Lindsey Pollack’s Mr Curly, a spiral bass clarinet, it makes the instrument playable without keys and mechanical, clever!

To end this article, a conference I gave three years ago now, a panorama of PVC musical instruments!

There is a lot more, do not hesitate to add some to the list in the comments, and subscribe to follow the next articles!

About Nicolas Bras 16 Articles
Homemade Instrument maker, rare and strange instrument seeker / Bricoleur d'instruments, chercheur d'instruments rares


  1. I am looking to create an uillean pipe sound but without having to buy uillean pipes! Is this possible using PVC of similar? I play the recorder and the Scots great pipes.

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