Click the photo to hear the sound.

Red Guitar

by Marcus T.

The name of my instrument is the guitar. My mom plays the guitar and that is how I got the idea for making it. The guitar is a stringed instrument. My guitar is red. There is an eyebolt at the top of the neck of the guitar that I wrap the string around. You can change the pitch when you twist it. It tightens and loosens the string. The volume on my guitar is controlled by how hard you pluck it. It gets louder when you pluck it hard and the softer you pluck it the softer it sounds. My guitar doesn't have great resonance because there is no hole in my guitar. It is made out of a paper milk carton so the tone quality is not as good as a wooden guitar. Also, my guitar has only one string.

I used a milk carton for the body of the guitar. I used 8 pound fishing line for the string. The other materials I used are a wooden match, an eyebolt, a nut, two 15" pieces of wood, glue, spray paint, cardboard and tape. I found some of these things at home and some of them I bought at the store. I used a half gallon carton for the body. The wood sticks were used to make the neck of the guitar. I used the cardboard and tape to make the bridge. The eyebolt was used to tie the string on and to tighten the string. The match was used to hold the string in place.

The first step in making my guitar was to get the two 15" sticks and glue them together. My dad drilled a hole into the wood at the end of the stick. Next, I got the eyebolt and screwed it into the hole. Then I screwed the nut on to the back of the eyebolt. Then I got the milk carton. I used a knife to cut two holes in the carton, one at the top and one at the bottom. I placed the stick into the carton through holes that I had cut. Next, I made the bridge of the guitar by cutting out a piece of cardboard and bending it into a triangular shape. I used tape to help keep the triangle shape and to stick the bridge to the guitar body. I cut a little notch into the bottom end of the wooden sticks. I attached a wooden match to one end of the fishing line. I hooked the match into the notch of the wooden stick so that the string would be secure. Then I tied the other end of the string to the eyebolt and tightened it until the string was very tight and sounded like a middle C on the piano. The last thing I did was to spray paint the guitar with red spray paint. The only parts that my dad helped me with were cutting the wood and drilling the hole into the wood for the eyebolt. My mom helped me by supervising the assembly of the parts. I did everything else myself. I really didn't have any problems with making my guitar.

I play my instrument by plucking it. I can change the volume by plucking harder to make the volume louder and plucking softer to make the volume more quiet. I can change the pitch by turning the eyebolt. Turning the bolt tighter makes the pitch higher and the bolt more loosely makes the pitch lower.

This project was fun. I liked being able to build something by myself. I liked being able to spray paint my instrument. The guitar made a better sound than I expected it would be able to make. I also enjoyed giving the presentation and showing the class what I made. I learned that I really could make an instrument. I learned about a lot of the things that we learned in class. Making the guitar helped me to better understand what these terms are: tone quality, volume, resonance and pitch.