Kazookeylele and more

All a cigar box guitar is, at heart really, is a ukulele with guts.

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.

cigar box guitar piano cigar box guitar ukelele with piano

This is brilliant for several reasons:

  1. Combining several instruments together (three in total)
  2. Using the body of the piano (rather boxy) as a cigar box guitar (ukelele) body
  3. The flat sides lend themselves well to amateur DIY instrument construction
  4. Bolt-on kazoo. I’ve seen harp necklaces for playing harmonica (re: Bob Dylan) but never a bolt on kazoo. Genius.
  5. 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:

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6 Responses to Kazookeylele and more

  1. Hey, did you ever finish the ukulele? I have yet to track down a piano with black keys as mine only has them painted on. Please get back to me!

    Pockets (the kazookeylele guy)

  2. Rajesh says:

    I wanted to learn both as well but once I steartd guitar I was convinced that it would have been too much to concentrate on both so I put off the piano. Guitar kept getting more and more advanced I was doing concert material by age 11 and just never looked back. It is a mistake I regret till this day. my life is now soooo busy I just don’t have the time, energy nor the resources for equipment to learn today. However I am so grateful to have mastered at least one instrument. There is no greater rush than cranking out in front of a couple hundred or more people.Having a knowledge of music gives you an entirely different perspective and appreciation for music that somebody without that knowledge will ever experience. It’s hard to describe, you can listen to any type of music and it just goes straight to your heart because it’s amazing that people are capable of creating something so beautiful. I know that sounds a bit like, oh my god! gag me, but that’s the only sincere way I know how to describe it. Good luck and go for it.I don’t understand what some of these people are talking about when they say one is harder than the other. One thing I’ve learned it’s not about just hitting the notes and cords it’s about developing style, for example I can get hundreds of pitches and sounds out of one single note. You never stop learning different techniques or combinations. Otherwise it would get repetative and boring. There is no limitations to an instrument thats why music keeps changing and evolving. See what I mean about a whole nother perspective.

  3. You’ve really captured all the essentials in this subject area, haven’t you?

  4. You’ve impressed us all with that posting!

  5. erections says:

    An intelligent point of view, well expressed! Thanks!

  6. Reagan Neviska says:

    Did you ever end up putting one of these together? I’d love to see a post on the results.


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