Introduction: Conch Shell Horn
Through the valley, over the mountain, and across the sea, the Conch's cry echoes.
To hear my conch, click here! I'm using sub-par recording software; it can't capture the true richness of the sound, so you'll have to make one and hear for yourself. And make no mistake, this is LOUD, and is in fact an approved U.S. Coast Guard noise signaling device.
How To Make a Conch Horn
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Step 1: The Materials
These are the things you'll need to make a horn.
~One Conch Shell
If you live by the Carribean, you can find them on beaches or dive for them. If you live on any coastline, there is probably an analogous species you can use. For example - if you live in Massachusetts, you can use a Whelk. If you don't have access to the ocean, you can buy one online or at some antique stores and flea markets. Anything from around 6" and up will be fine, size doesn't impact loudness, though can impact pitch (larger = deeper).
~Pick one: Hacksaw, Sawzall with metal-cutting blade, Rock, Chisel and Hammer
~Nail or Center Punch
~Sandpaper or File
Step 2: From Home to Horn
Time to turn that snail's home into a musical instrument.
The objective here is to end up with a hole as wide as a U.S. Dime which will be the mouthpiece on the end of the conch. This means we must break off the tip of the conch. If you choose to use a saw, use ventilation and be prepared to learn just how tough a conch's shell is. If you use brute force, be careful to not take too much off. The key to remember here is that you can always take more off, but you can't put it back on. Over all, 1/8" to 1" of the tip will be removed.
Now, you'll notice a structure in the center of your dime-sized hole. Snap this out with a nail or center punch (1/8" to 3/4" of it may need to be removed). You'll see exactly what I mean when you do it.
Just smooth this mouthpiece with sandpaper or file (to prevent cut lips), and that's it!
Step 3: How to Play
Are you ready to rumble?
If you play a brass instrument such as the trumpet or bugle, you're all set, it's the same thing. If you don't, find someone who does and have them teach you how to 'buzz' your lips. If you can't find anyone, it's like this: you place your top lip slightly over your bottom lip and blow. Keep your lips fairly firm but not tight so that they buzz. You then place your lips against the hole, and blow. If you've never done this before, it will take some time (minutes to hours).
Once you've figured it out, get to a mountain, lake, ocean, sunset, etc. and blow. Listen for the echo :)
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