The Combmarnica by Emilee

The name of my instrument is the Combmarnica. I used my imagination and tried to use simple materials to make my Combmarnica. This instrument belongs to the woodwind family. It looks very simple and is very easy to play.

I used two new black pocket combs, wax paper, aluminum foil, clear wrapping paper, rubber bands, pipe cleaners and some tape. The wax paper, aluminum foil and clear wrapping paper were used to try to make different sounds, pitch, and vibrations when the rubber bands are attached and pipe cleaners added inside. The materials are all easy to find around the house and at the arts and craft store.

I measured the comb and cut the three kinds of paper about an inch longer than the comb. These materials are used to make something like a sleeve to put the comb inside. The extra inch can be folded and taped if the sleeve comes off when you blow inside or on the side where the teeth of the comb meet the sleeve. My mom helped me cut the sleeves in different widths and fold them to put the comb inside. My biggest problem was the sleeve came off when I blew inside. My mom suggested cutting the little slits in the sleeves. It worked. The sleeves stayed on and the sound changed too. I used three small rubber bands to keep the sleeves on and that really changed the sounds. I put one or two pipe cleaners in and the sounds seemed to get a little deeper with almost no vibration inside the aluminum foil.

To play my instrument you hold the Combmarnica like a harmonica and blow into the slits on the different sleeves. Blowing into the aluminum foil humming and moving the Combmarnica from side to side in my mouth makes different sounds and vibrations. Moving my fingers up and down on the paper changes the vibration. The wax paper sleeve does not work as good as the aluminum foil. But I tried to make a different type of sound and vibration. The clear wrapping paper sleeve is good but it slips off of the comb a lot. If I tape it on, it will be hard to change to the aluminum foil or wax paper. Adding the rubber bands changes the vibration on the wax paper and the aluminum foil and I did not see any change on the clear wrapping paper sounds with the rubber bands.


This project was very interesting and gave me a chance to use my imagination in music. I want to be an Imagineer and work for Disney or some other studia. But using my imagination to make an instrument was not easy. I liked using the comb and the Combmarnica is easy to take along in your pocket just like a harmonica. I learned that you have to keep trying and never give up. If I gave up, my project would be a failure. My instrument is simple and I like it very much. It really took some imagination to make this instrument. Why? Because I want my instrument to be different and it is different.