How to Make Musical Instruments Using Rubber Bands

by Steven French

Rubber bands have many uses in the home or in an office, but they can also be used in nontraditional ways. Make musical instruments with rubber bands and other common items. Making a guitar where the rubber bands act as the strings, or a horn that vibrates when you speak or sing into it is an interesting project that can help you learn about sound. Combine the two instruments or make extras and play along with friends.

Items you will need

  • Shoe box
  • Scissors
  • Rubber bands (various sizes)
  • Pencils
  • Yard stick
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Paper towel roll
  • Wax paper
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Rubber Band Guitar

Step 1

Trace a circular object such as a cup to make a circle in the center of the box lid. Cut out the circle with scissors. The circle should be around 3 inches in diameter.

Step 2

Stretch the rubber bands around the long part of the box so that the rubber bands stretch across the open hole about 1 inch apart from each other. Use various thicknesses of rubber bands for more variety of pitches.

Step 3

Lift the rubber bands and slide a pencil under them about 1 inch from the hole on one side.

Step 4

Attach the last 6 inches of the yard stick to the back of the box with glue or tape. This will act as the guitar neck.

Step 5

Hold the instrument like a guitar with the neck in your left hand and strum or pluck the rubber bands with your right hand.

Paper Towel Roll Horn

Step 1

Cut a 4-inch-by-4-inch piece of wax paper with the scissors.

Step 2

Wrap the wax paper around one end of the paper towel roll so that it lays flat over the hole, covering one end.

Step 3

Wrap a rubber band around the wax paper to hold the paper in place. Twist and rewrap the rubber band several times to make it tight.

Step 4

Poke a row of holes along one side of the roll with a pencil.

Step 5

Place the open end of the horn to your mouth and sing or hum. The sound will vibrate through the instrument.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cut paper towel rolls to different sizes to create different sounding instruments.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images