Simple build for 9 year old

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John Nephin
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:39 pm

Simple build for 9 year old

Post by John Nephin »

My 9 year old daughter has to build an instrument for a school project. She only has 2 days to complete it.
I was thinking a canjo or mbira but would like to hear any other ideas people may have.

Michael Lewis
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:22 am
Location: Northern California USA

Re: Simple build for 9 year old

Post by Michael Lewis »

Canjo! Kazoo!

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G.S. Monroe
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Location: Lakeland, Florida

Re: Simple build for 9 year old

Post by G.S. Monroe »

I recently did a building seminar for a grade school age church youth group.
I showed them how to build "Canjo"s with plastic "Red" dixie cups, and 45 lb fishing line.
I used 3/4" wood dowels for the necks, cut in half length wise about 18 inches long.
and brass linoleum tacks to hold it all together. A small eye bolt for a tuner, and staples for frets.
The kids had a blast, and there were minimal sharp edges for poking little fingers.
Primitive, but it teaches the basic principles of how an instrument is built and functions.

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Jon Whitney
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:04 am

Re: Simple build for 9 year old

Post by Jon Whitney »

A rectangular banjo with a soda-bottle (PETE) plastic head and fishing line strings with friction tuners is a little more sophisticated but can easily be done in two days. The head is shrunk tight with heat from a blow dryer after tacking it on the body frame. Make it fretless but mark the fret positions with a Sharpie for simplicity.

Arnt Rian
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Location: Trondheim, Norway

Re: Simple build for 9 year old

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Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Simple build for 9 year old

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

A stick dulcimer might be a good choice. Half as many frets and it's hard to hit a bad note if they have to demonstrate them. The body could be a cigar box or cookie tin or whatever might be on hand. A quick search of you tube will show all sorts of possibilities.

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Neal Carey
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:19 pm
Location: Woburn, Massachusetts

Re: Simple build for 9 year old

Post by Neal Carey »

Cigar box ukulele? Easy to make.
"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted." - John Lennon

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Andrew Porter
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:49 am
Location: The Banks of Sleepy Creek, NC, USA

Re: Simple build for 9 year old

Post by Andrew Porter »

Probably to late but a unican or canjoe:
I made my school teacher wife several for her class. I use a soup can screw to a stick open end facing the butt. I drilled a small hole ~1/4 inch from rim of the bottom of the can to feed a guitar string through. The frets where finishing nails with the heads cut off. Short right angles where bent at each end to form a staple. The location was determined by holding a straight nail on the neck and fretting the string. I slid the nail up and down till I found the correct location using a tuner. I went with a dulcimer scale. I then drilled slighty undersized holes to tap them into.
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