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Rain Stick 

The imaginative Rain stick has many stories associated with it however it is basically a tubular rattle that has been created to make a sound similar to that of falling rain. It has become a very popular percussion instrument from the 1960's and may have originated from South America.

The soothing sound of rain falling would make a wonderful addition when building a soundscape composition.

There are many ways to make a Rain stick although the primary material must be a tube. Above find a Rain stick that was made from a dried section of bamboo although a plastic tube or even a longer cardboard tube can be used.

 

You will need:

Look at what you have on hand.

Think about what fun features you might like to give it.

Materials:

  • A hollow tube like bamboo, plastic or cardboard
  • Pen
  • Pliers
  • Bamboo skewers or tin foil twisted into a long spiral   
  • Drill and bit the same size as the skewers (if using them)
  • Utac or Blutac
  • Rice grains or split peas
  • A bit of sand paper

What to do:

If using bamboo:

  • Ensure that the bamboo is hollow all the way to the bottom of the tube (you may need help to hollow out the joint sections)
  • Mark the outside of the bamboo with marks to show where to drill holes for the skewers
  • Drill skewer holes down the length of the bamboo stick
  • Push skewers through each hole, cutting off the excess with pliers
  • Fix skewers with Blutac or Utac
  • Make a cover for the bottom of the stick
  • Place 1/2 cup (or so) rice grains or split peas (or similar) as required
  • Make a cover for the top of the stick and decorate how you like

If using a plastic or cardboard tube follow you can change the interior composition and use tin foil that has been twisted together into a spiral. Make a bottom, put in the grains, seal the top and see how that works. When completed turn the stick upside down and hear the rain falling.

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