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Make a small musical instrument that really works from things you can find around your office! (By "really works", I mean that you can actually play simple tunes on it. I can play Mary Had a Little Lamb on mine.)

I'm sure this is going to be all the rage with cubicle-slaves (I mean "valued employees") across the nation. Depending on how bored you are, you can really waste your employers' time and annoy your co-workers!

And since this Instructable is an entry in the Office Supplies Challenge, if you like it please give it a "+" rating!

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Supplies

Go get the things you'll need:

-2 paperclips
-1 unsharpened pencil
-1 rubber band
-1 disposable cup
-tape
-scissors

Step 2: Create the Pencil "Armature"

This step creates a place to attach the rubber band to the pencil. First, straighten a small paper clip so that only the innermost curve is left.

The next step is hard to describe. Place the bend in the paperclip so that it sits over the diameter of the pencil, leaving a loop sticking up (see the second picture). Then, wrap the remaining length of wire around the pencil.

Step 3: Attach the Rubber Band

This is so easy that it almost doesn't deserve a step. First, use your scissors to cut the rubber band so that it's just one long piece of rubber. Then just tie one end of the rubber strip to the loop in the pencil "armature".

Step 4: Attach the Pencil to the Cup

Turn the cup upside-down. Then, securely tape the end of the pencil (the end without the paperclip and rubber band) to the side of the cup. Tape it so that the end is partway up the cup; you want the armature to sit as high up as possible. See the picture if you're confused.

Step 5: Attach the Rubber Band to the Cup.

This is the final step in construction. Use your scissors to poke a hole in the bottom of the cup, large enough for one end of the rubber strip to pass through, and directly across from the pencil. Finally, stretch the rubber band through the hole and out the top of the cup, and attach it to the wall of the cup, directly underneath the end of the pencil. Done!

Step 6: Playing the Mini-Washtub Bass

Playing this instrument is very simple. Just place the cup on a flat surface and pluck the rubber band. Twang! To change notes, just grab the rubber band with your other hand at different places above where you're plucking. (See the picture for "correct posture.") If you payed attention in science class, you should know that by shortening the length of the rubber band, it'll vibrate at higher frequencies, and make higher notes.

Remember: practice makes perfect so practice, practice, and practice some more! This is a great time killer and will probably annoy your co-workers (unless they've already made one themselves!) Or you could get together and form "Rubber Bands! " (Pun intended.) Have fun!
Eek, I'm lost. What's the second (large) paperclip for?
I used it to secure the rubberband from the bottom by poking it through and letting go
Thanks, this is *exactly* what I was looking for! I teach a small group of kids on Saturdays and was looking for a stringed instrument that could be made cheaply and wasn't too tricky for 3-7 year olds :D I think I'll sub chopsticks for the pencils though - cooking chopsticks have ridges round the end that should hold the rubber band in place without a paperclip armature. I guess if you had lots of time to kill you could use a marker and some experimentation to mark where to hold the string for different notes!
is it posible to add more than one rubber band to get the ral feel of a bass
you have no idea how mad my faimly is at you
why
lol u showed him this and hes annoying someone wiht it

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