How to Make a Recorder Woodwind Instrument

Written by sarah freeman
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How to Make a Recorder Woodwind Instrument
A PVC pipe can be turned into a recorder. (Pipes and more pipes image by rider from

The recorder is woodwind instrument has been played since the Middle Ages. According to Music 88's website, the recorder was the main flute instrument used during the Renaissance and Baroque eras. (See Reference 1) Traditionally, it is made of wood and ivory, but in recent years the instrument has been produced in plastic. You can make your own recorder at home using PVC pipe and wood.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • PVC pipe, 1 foot long, about 3/4 inches in diameter and 1/16 inches thick
  • Wooden dowel rod between 7/8 inches and 15/16 inches in diameter
  • Drill
  • Hacksaw
  • File
  • Tin snips
  • Ruler

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  1. 1

    Cut a 1-inch piece from the PVC pipe using the saw. Use the tin snips to cut along the length of the piece. This will later become part of the mouthpiece.

  2. 2

    Cut a 1-inch piece of the wooden dowel with a hacksaw.

  3. 3

    Cut a rectangular piece about 1/4 inches by 1 1/4 inches into the bottom of the PVC pipe using the tin snips. Use a file to soften any rough edges.

  4. 4

    Put the wooden piece into the long PVC pipe, on the end with the rectangular slit. Then slip the 1-inch sliced PVC pipe piece around both. Leave a gap between the small PVC pipe piece and the wood.

  5. 5

    Blow into the recorder. If it doesn't make noise, adjust the placement of the wood and small PVC piece to experiment with different air hole sizes. If the wood is moving too much, wrap a piece of duct tape around it to widen it.

  6. 6

    Use the drill to create six holes along the top of the recorder. These should be evenly spaced along the front of the long PVC pipe.

  7. 7

    Blow into your recorder and make some music.

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