My coworkers and I have been cranking away at getting this catalog finished. A tradition of theirs when uploading to the printer is to play “The final countdown”. My coworker showed me this youtube video, which features a guy playing a ukelele built from the body of a toy piano. With a Kazoo bolted to the headstock. Click for larger.
This is brilliant for several reasons:
- Combining several instruments together (three in total)
- Using the body of the piano (rather boxy) as a cigar box guitar (ukelele) body
- The flat sides lend themselves well to amateur DIY instrument construction
- Bolt-on kazoo. I’ve seen harp necklaces for playing harmonica (re: Bob Dylan) but never a bolt on kazoo. Genius.
- It actually works as a playable instrument. Most instrument mashups are impossible to play without tons of practice (or play very limited styles of music, see the harp-guitar)
The neat thing is that he’s an active Ukulelist in the Scotland music community. Kudos to him. Here’s a link to his website, with some more videos but sadly no construction pics of this “cigar box guitar” uke with keyboard:
This seems to actually cover three very separate instrument styles and is rather impressive overall. I’m surprised I haven’t seen more of these toy pianos converted in to this sort of thing. After work I scoured the local Walmart and Target and the closest I could find was this sad, 4 note Little Tikes keyboard. Plastic case, only four keys. Every other baby “toy instrument” – or as my buddy Walter likes to say, “instrument shaped object” was 100% electronic. A baby-proof synth. Anyways I ended up finding one similar to what’s pictured in the video, an ancient (“vintage” as the seller likes to claim) Schoenhut toy piano. These retail for around $60-130 new depending on where you buy them from.
Anyways, I was inspired to buy a piano as well. Picked up this bad boy
For $20. Also ordered two of the $25 Grizzly build your own Ukelele kit. The plan is to build a uke first, and then attack the piano with the neck and hardware once I get an idea of what exactly it is I am doing.
Some other points of interest:
- Toy piano sheet music (yes, really)
- Playing Amelie music on a toy piano (amazing)
- Unrelated, but a chinese dude that built his own submarine from scratch
- Link again to the originator of the Kazookeylele