Crazy Kazoo (class project)
Difficulty to Make
Basic Kazoo 6+ years old,
Crazy Kazoo capable 9+ years old
Kazoos are a toy children love. Are they just noise makers? Take a look at Kazoophony or for heavier tastes this unbelievable version of Metallicas' Enter Sandman. I have experimented with various materials for mirlitons (the membrane that buzzes), different mirliton hole sizes. Kazoo body materials, length and width of kazoo bodies, distance from mouth to mirliton, and so on. But there is always more to learn! So I would love to hear any feed back or about discoveries you make. See the feed back form at the bottom of the page. Click on link to go to the pdf version
Crazy Kazoo Instructions pdf
Instructions: Cut a hole 15mm wide about 30mm from the end of the cardboard tube (mouth end). Tape, glue or use rubber bands to fix small square of thin plastic bag over the hole. Block up the far end of tube with masking tape leaving a small hole. With mouth pressed firmly against tube, hum into mouth end. The sound of the plastic bag vibrating should be clearly audible.
Crazy Kazoo Trumpet
Materials: cardboard tube 40mm+ diameter, length 200mm, A4 card, fizzy bottle top and lid, material for buttons, masking tape, thin plastic bag
Tools: scissors, hotglue gun, small saw, drill and 16mm drill bit, craft knife
Make kazoo parts
1 Cut top off fizzy drink bottle and drill 16mm hole
2 Make hole with scissors or craft knife
approximately 40mm from end of cardboard tube, big enough to fit bottle lid. Cut 10mm tabs into other end of tube.
3 Make a cone with the A4 card and masking tape with a 10mm hole at the small end of the cone.
Join Kazoo Parts
4 Hot glue the cone into the end of the tube with the tabs to make the bell of the trumpet.
5 Put bottle lid upside down into the cut hole in tube and use hot glue to seal lid in place so it is air tight.
Insert Mirliton (vibrating plastic membrane)
6 Place plastic bag 50mm square over cut off top of the fizzy bottle, screw into bottle lid.
Check that plastic is stretched evenly with no
7 Hum into mouth end of the kazoo. If there is no vibration from the mirliton you can either stretch the plastic slightly with a finger tip or
unscrew bottle lid an eighth turn at a time, testing for the vibration between turns.
8 Add pretend buttons to make kazoo into a trumpet. Paint yellow, gold or any colour of your choice.
• If the mirliton is damaged, simply unscrew bottle top and replace with a new one.
• Cardboard tube can be cut and shaped to make fantasy instruments, a saxophone or
two closely fitting tubes used to make a trombone.
• A mouth piece can be made with a smaller cardboard cone similar to the bell cone at the end of the kazoo.
• The small hole in the bell cone seems to create a higher amount of air pressure in the tube helping to create the vibration.
• Experiment with different mirliton materials, tissue paper, different thicknesses of plastic.
• Use two bottle tops on opposite sides of the tube for an even louder kazoo. The mirlitons have to be tuned to similar amounts of stretch for both to vibrate at the same time.
• Make strap on cone kazoos from card and elastic that leave your hands free to play something else.
Waiting to post feedback in this space. Please comment above. Email me if you have any photos to share.