Recording Studio: Rain Sticks
It is great if a recording studio is equipped with many different instruments so as to be able to create a myriad of different sounds.A rainstick is something that falls into the Sound Effect category and is useful for Sound Healing and ambient music. A Rainstick is formed from a long, hollow tube partially filled with small pebbles or beans that have small pins or thorns arranged helically on its inside surface. When the stick is inverted, the pebbles fall to the other end of the tube, making a sound reminiscent of rain falling. The recording studio sound produced by a rainstick is deeply relaxing.
The rainstick is believed to have been invented by the Aztecs. Rain sticks were played in the belief it could bring about rainstorms. It was also found on the Peruvian coasts, though it is not certain if it was made by the Incas. Rainsticks are usually made from any of several species of cactus. The cacti, which are hollow, are dried in the sun. The spines are removed, then driven into the cactus like nails. Pebbles or other small objects are placed inside the rainstick, and the ends are sealed. A sound like falling water is made when the rainstick has its direction changed to a vertical position.
Although it was thought to have been invented in Mexico, many similar instruments can also be found in Southeast Asia, Australia and Africa, where it is often made using bamboo rather than dried cactus.
Rainsticks may also be made with other common materials like paper towel rolls instead of cactus, and nails or toothpicks instead of thorns, and they are often sold to tourists visiting parts of Latin America, including the Southern United States.
Rainsticks are great for kids! Here is a video on how to make them:
By Daniel Coates