Instrument Building Zone


Welcome to the Bash the Trash instrument building zone! Here you can find out how musical instruments work and learn how to build your own.

I seriously suggest you go first to How Musical Instruments Work (Easy or In-Depth) before starting to build - the info there will help you figure out what you do with the materials you have, and your instruments will turn out better for knowing the science behind it.

How Instruments Work - Easy

How Instruments Work - In-Depth

Then choose an instrument family and get started!  Each instrument is rated by the difficulty of building - Easy, Medium and Difficult.




In the unlikely event that you run out of instruments to build, consider going to the NY Philharmonic Kidzone, which has 20 additional instruments that Bash the Trash was commissioned to create:

New York Philharmonic Kidzone (with 20 additional instrument designs!)

What often amazes people is the quality of the sound of the homemade instruments.  They sound fantastic, often very close to the real thing.  And why not?  After all, the physics of the instruments work the same way regardless of the simplicity of the materials.  In countries around the world, whenever people build instruments they tend to build them from whatever happens to be in their backyard.  What happens to be in our backyards is trash....

And that is another great thing about building homemade instruments – it makes good environmental sense.   The concept of using found objects to build cool stuff reinforces the center leg of the ecological troika of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle.  From our point of view anything that can even incrementally change our society’s attitude toward trash is a good thing.  Like many of the poorer cultures in the world, we view trash not as something extraneous, but as a resource.

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“Bash the Trash” and the musical garbage can are registered trademarks