A rainstick is an instrument used to imitate the sound of rainfall; sometimes it is also called a rainmaker instrument. It is believed that the rainstick originated in Chile or Peru, but it has gained traction over the past 30 years as a novelty instrument in mainstream western music. The instrument is typically made out of a hollow wooden tube which is filled with pebbles. Creating a wooden rainstick requires immense technical know-how and special tools. However, it's possible and fun, to make a rainstick out of household materials.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Long cardboard tube
- Rubber bands
- Waxed paper
- Rice or beads
Take the long cardboard tube -- the kind that come from a roll of wrapping paper is perfect -- and attach a square of waxed paper to one end with a rubber band. Make sure that it covers the opening entirely.
Pour in a handful of the rice or beads. Rice will create a soft pitter-patter, while beads -- like the cheap plastic kind available from most craft stores -- will sound like a steady downpour.
Attach a second square of waxed paper to the other end of the tube, in the same fashion as before. Make sure that it also covers the opening entirely.
Tips and warnings
- Waxed paper tends to be easier to work with than regular paper and provides a nicer sound, but in a pinch any old piece of paper can be used in place of the waxed paper.
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