instrument-a-day 5: bass horn

“bass” because it makes a low note and because it’s made of basswood.
The reed is cut from the plastic lid of a takeout soup container. The
thing only makes one note – I put in some random finger holes but they
make no difference! I suspect the horn is way too wide for its
length– I’ll try to make a skinnier one soon.

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2 thoughts on “instrument-a-day 5: bass horn

  1. Finger holes aren’t shown but I suspect it’s more a matter of finger holes too small compared to the cross sectional area — of course making the instrument narrower would fix that too. (Notice how large the holes are at the wide end of a saxophone; of course they’re covered by pads rather than fingers.) Somewhere I have a spreadsheet for calculating tone hole sizes/positions, though that’s probably not in the spirit of the project…

  2. a long time ago, i had this idea to make an instrument called a “gronkhorn”, which is a 12 foot long piece of inch-and-a-half diameter PVC tubing with a bass clarinet mouthpiece attached, except that instead of having a bass clarinet reed, it had a stiff-but-floppy bit of plastic instead. i played it, and it made the most phenomenal noises imaginable, and was really good at scaring away the teenaged doodlehums that would sneak into my side yard from the skating rink across the street to smoke pot… 8)

    mine didn’t have finger holes, though… a 12 foot long tube has enough natural harmonics that it didn’t really need them… 8)

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