How to Make a Carrot Recorder

How can a vegetable make music? It seems impossible. That's what I thought when I tried to make a carrot recorder. But, I assure you, it is not! One lesson that I had learned doing this was that if you don't succeed at first, try again (cliché, I know, but true). I included some tricks in this tutorial that I wish I knew when making this for the first time to make this project go as smoothly as possible.

If you are under the age of 12, I recommend a parent/guardian help you with this.

Step 1: What You Will Need:

  • Carrot(s)
    • The more the better.
    • Try to pick ones that are angled in more from the top.
    • Also, you can buy baby carrots just in case (I'll get more into that later).
    • If you have any leftovers in the end, make a carrot cake!
  • Kitchen Knife
    • Be careful
  • Drills
    • Preferably 2 of different sizes
    • Try to get one that is as thick as you can get it to be. Just make sure it isn't thicker than the carrot.
    • The other should be about half the size of that.
  • A footlong ruler
    • Recommended but not necessary

Step 2: Preparing the Carrot

  • Take the thin end of the carrot and cut around an inch off.
  • Save this piece. You will need it later.
  • If you want, you can peel your carrot for a sleeker look, although this will make the life of your recorder shorter.

Step 3: Drills!

  • Take your thicker drill and drill into the carrot from the top (the thicker end of the carrot).
  • Drill as far as you wish, as long as you don't drill through the end.
  • You can rinse out any leftover carrots in the hole or try cleaning your drill by running it inside and back out so it will snatch any remaining pieces. Make sure you do this to avoid having the carrot crack.

Step 4: Cutting the Carrot

  • From the top of the hole, make a cut around half an inch down so that the cut is as deep as one third of the hole.
  • Then move your knife back around 3/4 of an inch and slice at an angle to the bottom of your cut.

Step 5: The Hard Part

It's not really that hard. It's just that this step determines whether your recorder will make a whistling sound like it's supposed to.

  • Take the small end that you cut off from the beginning of the project
  • Push it into the hole that you made in the beginning.
  • Find the area where there is the least room in between the carrot and this piece. This will serve to be the bottom of your recorder.
  • If your end of the carrot doesn't fit snugly, try finding a baby carrot that does.
  • If your end of the carrot doesn't fit at all, try shaving it down or using a baby carrot that fits.
  • Shave down at an angle so that the end sticking out of the hole has the deeper end of the cut. The deeper end of the cut should be from 1/3 to 1/2 of the way down.
  • If some of it sticks out, cut off that part.
  • The most important part is that there is no room in between the carrot and the mouthpiece.

Step 6: More Drills!

  • Almost done! Now, take your ruler and measure it beside the carrot.
  • You can use your smaller drill and make a dent every inch down.
  • If there is room and you think your drill is thin enough, you can make dents every half an inch down.
  • Now drill through the places you marked.

Step 7: Testing

  • Blow through the mouthpiece.
  • If you hear a whistle, amazing!
  • If not, chances are that there is something amiss with your mouthpiece. Try making another one.
    • If that still doesn't help, that's ok! Just use another carrot and try again. You'll get it eventually :)
    • Feel free to comment any other tricks that you used to help others with this!

Step 8: Have Fun!

  • Try different patterns with your fingers and hear the different pitches you make.
  • What songs can you play?
  • Also, try to improvise!
  • Refrigerate when done using it to make your creation last longer.

Step 9: The Science Behind This

  • When you blow into the carrot, the air is forced through the column and out of the holes that are not covered because of the angle you made.
  • The air inside vibrates in waves. The sizes of the waves are larger the lower the pitch you hear and vice versa.

Step 10: Watch This Video If You Need Further Clarification!/ Works Cited Note: This video actually shows you how to make 2 different types of carrot flutes!



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