It's been a year now since I've started to learn how to make native flutes with bamboo. I started with Native American Flute and progressively turned towards Andean flutes such as the Quena and its variations the small Quenilla and big Quenacho.
Both have their uniqueness, both in terms of look and voice.
The Native American Flute and its minor pentatonic scale is great for the beginners because it does not require much skill to get a good sound out of it and it's easy to improvise. It's also great for meditation type of music.
The Andean flutes, are more suitable for happier and more melodic music, although you can still play them for any type of music, this is just my own personal feeling about those instruments. They are however, more difficult to play and require a lot of practice in order to get a good sound.
With each new flute I'm making, I'm learning something new. Using bamboo for making flutes has pros and cons. Bamboo is naturally hollow so you don't need special tools to drill the bore, however, it's a material that is rather irregular and the end result can be unexpected. I've sometimes spent hours making a flute to just end up burning it in the BBQ.
Here is a Quenilla and a Quenacho I made. The Quenilla ended up as fuel for the BBQ, the Quenacho is still useable although I'm not 100% happy with it because of its voice timbre but I kept it because it suits certain type of music:
Seed pod shakers
Making flutes is a bit too complex for a kid but I wanted to do something with my son so I thought making some seed pod shakers (rattle, maracas...) would be interesting. The idea is to get some nuts or seed pods that have a hard but hollow shell, drill a hole through the shells and attach them to strings. You then tie them as a bunch and they would make percussion sound when shaked.
So during we went hiking during lunch time (that's one of the few things we are allowed to do outdoor during this NSW lockdown) and collected some gumtree seed pods. They are not ideal: small and not very hard but might work.
I then bought a battery powered rotary tool for my son when I'm using the wired (more powerful) one. We split the tasks: I'm emptying and cleaning the inside to make them a bit more hollow while my son would drill a hole through the base.
We haven't yet finished the work, there are so many seed pods to go through. I will update when we've finished the work.
Flute cover songs
Here are my most recent flute recordings:
"Without you" in collaboration with Roberto Moreno on guitar and charango:
Thanks for dropping by.