Click the photo to hear the sound.

One String Guitar

by Dylan K.

My instrument is called the One String Guitar. I got the idea from an instruction sheet that my teacher gave out. My guitar has a soft volume. The One String Guitar is a string instrument.

The One String Guitar needs lots of materials. It is made of a dowel, a small piece of balsa wood, 1/2 of a cork, one guitar string, chamois leather, carpet tacks, and 1/2 of a coconut. You also need an Exact-o knife, a small drill and saw, and sanding paper to assemble the instrument. I found all of this in my basement, at the Ace Hardware Store and at Jewel Food Store.

First my dad and I cut a coconut in half. Next, my dad peeled the insides of the coconut, making it hollow. Third, I sanded the hair off the coconut. Then my dad drilled two large holes at each end and I drilled small holes all around the coconut. Then I cut out a piece of chamois leather 3/4 of an inch longer than the diameter of the coconut. I let the leather soak in water for five minutes. Next, I squeezed the water from the leather. Then I stretched the chamois leather over the coconut and hammered the carpet tacks into the small holes, holding the leather in place.

Then my dad drilled one small hole at one side of the dowel and a mall and large hole at the other side of the dowel. After that, I slipped the dowle through the two large holes on the coconut. I fit the balsa wood in the large hole on the dowel. Lastly, I strung the guitar string through one of the holes, over the balsa wood, and through the other small hole. I tied knots continuously through the small hole until it was taut. I put the 1/2 of a cork on the chamois leather, which served as a mount.

The One String Guitar can be played two ways. You can use a violin bow. The bow makes a sound like a saw cutting wood. You can also use your finger or a guitar pick to strum the guitar string. This makes a sound like a regular guitar. You can change the pitch by moving your fingers up and down the top of the guitar string.

I learned a lot of things when I make my instrument. I learned different ways to change a pitch, for one thing. But most of all, I learned how much fun it is to build and instrument!