Category Archives: musical instrument

Some Strings Attached: Electric Tenor Guitar Built From Scratch

It’s no secret that we have a soft spot for musical instruments here at Hackaday, especially for the weird and unusual ones. An instrument that definitely fits the unusual category is the four-string tenor guitar, which — as legend has it — originated back in the 1920s by frankensteining a …read more

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Posted in diy instrument, guitar, luthier, musical hacks, musical instrument, tenor guitar | Leave a comment

Rock Out with Toilet Paper Rolls

Singing in the shower is such a common phenomenon, rarely anyone ever bats an eye about it. Singing in the toilet on the other hand is probably going to raise an eyebrow or two, and it’s not for nothing that the Germans euphemistically call it “stilles Örtchen”, i.e. the little …read more

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Posted in arduino, diy instrument, musical hacks, musical instrument, pure data, Raspberry Pi, toilet | Leave a comment

DIY Bagpipes Made From Common Household Items

The bagpipes, most commonly seen in their Great Highland form from Scotland, are a loud and imposing musical instrument. Known for being difficult to practice quietly, they’re not the ideal thing to pick up in these times of quarantine and isolation. But, if you must, here’s how you can craft …read more

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Bottle Organ Breakdown

A keen-eyed commenter pointed us to a homemade bottle organ that plays like a piano. The complexity gets turned up with foot-powered bellows and custom keys, but the magic of [Mike] and [Simon Haisell]’s garage-built instrument is not lost in the slightest. We also have the video below the break …read more

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Posted in bottle organ, chords, fipple, keys, music, musical hacks, musical instrument, piano | Leave a comment

Hacked Tape Player Makes for a Unique Instrument

[Gijs Gieskes] is certainly no stranger to hacked cassette players, but his latest triumph may well be the most approachable project for anyone looking to explore the world of unorthodox tape unspooling. By attaching a fairly simple add-on PCB to a modern portable cassette player, the user is able to …read more

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Posted in cassette tape, circuit bending, classic hacks, distortion, musical hacks, musical instrument | Leave a comment

When Toothbrushes, Typewriters, and Credit Card Machines Form A Band

Many everyday objects make some noise as a side effect of their day job, so some of us hack would them into music instruments that can play a song or two. It’s fun, but it’s been done. YouTube channel [Device Orchestra] goes far beyond a device buzzing out a tune …read more

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Posted in diy instrument, electric toothbrush, Electric Typewriter, hacked receipt printer, instrument, musical hacks, musical instrument, musical instruments, receipt printer | Leave a comment

Sounding A Sour Note Can Save People From A Sour Stomach (Or Worse)

We’ve covered construction of novel music instruments on these pages, and we’ve covered many people tearing down scientific instruments. But today we’ve got something that managed to cross over from one world of “instrument” into another: a music instrument modified to measure a liquid’s density by listening to changes in its pitch.

This exploration started with a mbira, a mechanically simple music instrument. Its row of rigid metal tines was replaced with a single small diameter hollow metal tube. Filling the tube with different liquids would result in different sounds. Those sounds are captured by a cell phone and processed …read more

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Posted in density, diy instrument, drugs, Medical hacks, musical hacks, musical instrument, pharmaceutical, science equipment | Leave a comment

Strike a Chord With This LED Ukulele

You may laugh off the ukulele as a toy or joke instrument, and admittedly, their starting price tag and the quality that usually comes with such a price tag doesn’t help much to get a different opinion on that. But it also makes it the perfect instrument for your next project. After all, they’re easy to handle, portable, and cheap enough to use a drill and other tools on them without too much regret. Plus, a little knowledge to play can get you far, and [Elaine] can teach you the essential, “all the pop songs use it”, four chords …read more

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Posted in leds, musical hacks, musical instrument, ukulele | Leave a comment

Students Hack an Unusual Violin

[Sean Riley] is a violinist who had a problem. He wanted to play one particular piece, but he couldn’t. It wasn’t that he lacked the skill — he a doctoral student at the University of Texas and has two degrees in violin performance from The Julliard School. The problem was that “The Dharma at Big Sur” by [John Adams] is made for an instrument with six strings, while most violins only have four. So he did what any of us would do. He stopped by the local hackerspace and fabricated one. You can hear (and see) [Sean] performing with the …read more

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Posted in musical hacks, musical instrument, university of texas, violin | Leave a comment