Making Homemade Music

Discover how making homemade music brings people together creatively and as a community, and is a low-cost way to expand your musical horizons.

| April/May 2003

  • Homemade music is a low-cost entertainment that attracts creative people together. Ann Streuffert is seen here on the fiddle.
    Homemade music is a low-cost entertainment that attracts creative people together. Ann Streuffert is seen here on the fiddle.
    PHOTO: DAVID CAVAGNARO
  • Homer Pettry gives a banjo lesson to David McMillon at Frazier Gill's Barbershop in Coal City, West Virginia.
    Homer Pettry gives a banjo lesson to David McMillon at Frazier Gill's Barbershop in Coal City, West Virginia.
    LYNTHA SCOTT EILER: AMERICAN FOLKLIFE CENTER, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
  • Musician jam in the sunshine at the European World of Bluegrass festival in Holland.
    Musician jam in the sunshine at the European World of Bluegrass festival in Holland.
    JUDI LUBEEK
  • Darcy Cochran, 7 , makes her parents, Grant and Monica Cochran, proud. Grant plays bass for the Bluegrass Missourians.
    Darcy Cochran, 7 , makes her parents, Grant and Monica Cochran, proud. Grant plays bass for the Bluegrass Missourians.
    JERILYNN ANDERTON

  • Homemade music is a low-cost entertainment that attracts creative people together. Ann Streuffert is seen here on the fiddle.
  • Homer Pettry gives a banjo lesson to David McMillon at Frazier Gill's Barbershop in Coal City, West Virginia.
  • Musician jam in the sunshine at the European World of Bluegrass festival in Holland.
  • Darcy Cochran, 7 , makes her parents, Grant and Monica Cochran, proud. Grant plays bass for the Bluegrass Missourians.

Its easy making homemade music together while making new friends in the process.

Getting Involved in Homegrown Music

Homemade Music Etiquette
Use a Kit to Make Homemade Instruments

Making Homemade Music

Call it a jam, sing-around, song swap or hoot — or just a hunch of friends noodling in the kitchen — home made music offers an unparalleled opportunity to get to know people, expand your musical horizons and have a great time without spending one thin dime. Over time, a musical gathering can become a seed swap, garage sale, potluck smorgasbord, babysitting co-op, barter fair, sup port system and job board — all the things community is, with a beat.

"I've most enjoyed times where music has been a naturally flowing part of a conversation," says Jerry Rasmussen of Darby, Connecticut. "I ran a folk concert series for 27 years and spent many late nights sitting at the kitchen table after the concert having something to eat and catching up with the lives of friends I'd come to know through music. It just seemed natural to reach over, grab a guitar and punctuate a conversation with a song.



"Music is first and most importantly a beautiful way to communicate. You express yourself not only with the notes you play, but with how you respect each other—kind of like life."

Every gathering of musical do-it-yourselfers, regardless of how simple or small, presents the possibility of adventure, camaraderie and celebration — even, occasionally, splendor.

mike_58
12/26/2007 11:08:47 AM

a great instrument to add to your sound and fun is the cigar box guitar. they are just what they sound like, a guitar made from an old wooden cigar box. they're fairly easy to make and provide a nice early delta blues sound. many famous guitarists got their start playing these including jimi hendrix! i've made two so far, and plan on making more. cigar boxes aren't required for these either, i made one from a box i found at an arts and craft store. for the tuning machines i used some ones i had lying around from an old electric. but you could fairly easily just make tuning pegs like violins use. just do a search on the internet for "cigar box guitar", there's a wealth of information and pictures to get you on your way to being your own local blues star! ;)







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